Price’s agent hails Habs for smooth talks

Gerry Johannson, Carey Price’s agent since the goalie’s first days in junior hockey, says he figured getting a contract signed with the Canadiens would take most of the summer.

But he never doubted that a deal would get done before training camp, and he praises Habs GM Pierre Gauthier for the positive, professional way he approached the goalie’s future in Montreal, today extended by two seasons with a $5.5-million contract signing.

Stubbs column below on Johannson’s take on getting his client’s signature on the bottom line.

“I don’t think it was ever in doubt that they were going to sign him, it was just a matter of timing. It would have been silly not to get a deal done between a guy who wants to be there and a team that wants the player.”
– Gerry Johannson, Carey Price’s agent

The Gazette

Gerry Johannson expressed those thoughts not Thursday, but 40 months ago, a few days after Carey Price had signed his first professional contract with the Canadiens in April 2007.

In the interests of being green, Price’s agent since the goalie’s earliest days in junior hockey might want to recycle those words today.
That April, still four months from his 20th birthday, Price sat in his bedroom in the Pasco, Wash., home of Dennis and Jill Williams, his billet family for all four years of his major-junior career with the Tri-City Americans, and carefully read every word on the nine-page document.
There was his salary – $2,805,000 U.S. over three years, with a few bonus clauses nestled in the fine print of the entry-level pact.
Thursday in Kelowna, B.C., preparing for the season ahead, Price signed a faxed copy of the second Canadiens contract of his career, a two-year, $5.5-million deal.

If he’d put his ear to the ground, he’d have heard more than one sigh of relief in Montreal from fans who have been suffering anxiety attacks for weeks.

All the more so, of course, with the opening of training camp now precisely two weeks away.

“I never doubted we’d be up against the camp deadline of getting a contract signed,” Johannson said Thursday night from Edmonton. “Carey not coming to camp was never considered. Not for a second.

“As the pace of talks began to settle in, I thought it would take most of the summer. But I never had the sense that there was a risk we’d not get it done before the season.”

Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier wasn’t making any comment Thursday night, and won’t speak publicly until the Sept. 13 opening of the team’s rookie camp. If his predecessor, Bob Gainey, was spare with a word, Gauthier is laryngitis in a smaller suit.

But Johannson had nothing but praise for the way Gauthier moved summer-long toward this contract.

“Pierre was very clear about their thoughts on Carey,” he said. “There wasn’t any gamesmanship. It was very professional and very positive. It’s really refreshing when you start out with a team being upfront, saying, ‘We like the player, here’s our situation.’

“There were no red lights. A few yellow lights when we slowed down, but we were never overly concerned. Then we had to figure out the value (of the contract) and that took awhile. Pierre had some points, we had some points, and over time we got on the same page.”

Both sides agreed early on about the two-year term. And Johannson said the Canadiens’ trading of goaltending fan favourite Jaroslav Halak in June, before talks began about Price, was a necessary thing.

“They had to make a decision on their goaltending before they began negotiating with us,” said Johannson, a former defenceman who was the Canadiens’ seventh pick in the 1984 entry draft, 95th overall, but never signed a contract.

“I’m not sure they could have done it the other way. Our question would have been, ‘Who’s your goalie?’ It was obvious they first had to decide what direction they were going to take. Frankly, that made our job a little easier, knowing what we were talking about.”

Johannson first chatted at the entry draft in Los Angeles with then-hockey operations vice-president Julien BriseBois. The rest was done by phone between the agent and Gauthier, numbers changing as other deals were being signed around the league.

If the dollars were fluid, the tone of the talks was only positive. At no point, Johannson said, did he believe that “anything was being jammed at us. … If the tone is positive, you’re not so worried about the number.”

In recent days, word appeared on the Internet that had a “very, very reliable source” telling a Montreal reporter who’s seldom around the team that Price was demanding $3 million per season or he’d walk out on the club.

“At first I thought that was funny because it was so ridiculous,” Johannson said. “But I could see there was a bit of anxiety about Carey signing, and that gave us the chance to restate that he was never, ever considering not being at camp.

“Maybe the guy did us a favour – we put out something positive that we might not have considered doing.”

Thursday morning, Price signed the most valuable autograph of his young career.

“Now that we’ve put this to bed,” Johannson said, “he can get on to bigger things – having his best year ever.”


  1. Harry says:

    Harry Koivu

    So the recent rumour had it that  Price was demanding $3 million per season or he’d walk out on
    the club?

    His agent says: “I could see there was a bit of anxiety
    about Carey signing, and that gave us the chance to restate that he was
    never, ever considering not being at camp.

    “Maybe the guy did us a favour – we put out something positive that we might not have considered doing.”

    Usually we don’t get much insight into what goes on between negotiating parties. This time, we get a lot….Talks are taking a really long time and now things are critical as training camp is not far away. This rumour is deadly. Months of fan complaints over the Halak trade, the timing and its possible impact on talks on Price’s contract and its cost.

    Price’s agent’s comment on the rumour  indicates Canadiens management was really pleased at hearing from them that Price would never hold out . Canadiens management knew that the rumour mill had gone too far.  Price would no longer have a future in Montreal with the rumoured type of attitude  toward the club remaining  an ever lingering doubt in fans’ minds however long Price was to be with the team. So a deal was needed fast.

    “Maybe the guy did us a favour” Favour?… Well, for one, aided by the rumour, Price and his agent must have gotten got the terms they were seeking. More joy it seems is coming from them than from the Canadiens management, who have taken months of criticism on their handling of all this.

    And it was all in the timing…It was a deal done only days before Halak was due back in town for a thank-you gesture. Perhaps the impending visit did the Price camp yet another favour.


  2. WarHero says:

    Hey Folks, from time to time I write blogs on and
    have just completed another with my Habs point predictions for the
    Wingers for the upcoming season. Please feel free to give it a read and
    comment away.

    My article on the Centers can be found here:


    Never judge another man’s decision poor until you actually have proof of it failing!

  3. stjrandy says:

    He does have a losing record once you factor in the shooout loses that he has over his career. The 10 games over record dismisses any shootout losses though it credits him with shootout wins in the win column. It is only fair to not conveniently ignore those losses. For the record I like Price and am hoping he’s about to really turn it on.



    Back from the Abyss

  4. saskhabfan says:

    Imagine that some price hater’s facts are off. Its amazing their best arguement is using a january 1st 2009 date as their focal point.


    Leafstv “telling their fans they deserve to win for over 40 years”

  5. Fairfax says:

    Ummm… I think your facts are a little off there. LAST season Price lost more games than he won. Over his career, the entire 3 years he’s been in Montreal, he’s still about 10 games over 500.

    Let’s hope the kid can live up to his potential. He’s shown he can be a GREAT goalie, not only in Juniors and in the AHL, but also in the NHL. All that’s been lacking is consistency and the mental toughness to battle through and recover quickly when things are going badly. But the mental side of the game always improves with age and maturity – and he’s still UNBELIEVABLY young.

    Too many people have been WAY too quick to give up on Price. Of course we’d all rather have Halak… but the guy we’ve got in his place is no chump. Let’s encourage him, rather than constantly doubting him.

  6. AH says:

    Very good post! If we lose to Washington, most if not all, of the posters on here would have wanted the team blown up again! (although imo considering what little we did in the off seaon, that wouldn’t be a bad idea).

  7. Everlasting1 says:

    Flushing out the ‘bunnies is the easy part.



    Don’t pollute the water.

  8. Everlasting1 says:

    Got out of Iraq??? Obama’s biggest lie. Also expanded troops in Afghanistan and Syria. Profit? By bailing out the banks, big business with their own money and leave taxpayers endebted with it forever. End of torture? So they say. Perhaps no more waterboarding during interrogations.



    Don’t pollute the water.

  9. madcap_habsfan says:

    halak wasn’t the only one who choked against philly


    -“People have to really suffer before they can risk doing what they love.” Chuck Palahniuk

  10. madcap_habsfan says:

    Gionta! or Gorges…then one day Subban




    -“People have to really suffer before they can risk doing what they love.” Chuck Palahniuk

  11. madcap_habsfan says:

    love the analogy :)lol

    -“People have to really suffer before they can risk doing what they love.” Chuck Palahniuk

  12. nunacanadien says:

    How about the Halak who actually got us into the playoffs and had us winning against the best in the east and the stanley cup winners?  I know Halak did that at least.  I guess you enjoyed the playoffs just as much as any Habs fan, if Price played all that year, we would have finished ahead of the laffs.

  13. Chorske says:

    Berkshire! HardHabits! You turned my thread into Crossfire!!!

  14. nunacanadien says:

    Problem with that picture is we’re now into the third year in the NHL for Carey.

  15. nunacanadien says:

    Does anyone know if any other goalie similar in stats to Carey also gets the same amount?  I guess Price is still riding high on his calder cup credentials, however, it doesn’t make sense to pay an under performing player that much money.  Here we crap all over poor Gomez for not scoring enough, but at least he makes up for it by having one of the highest assist stats and overall team contributor and unofficial captain.

  16. nunacanadien says:

    If Price continues to struggle, then there is an issue perhaps with the coaching, the management, are not doing the right things to help this poor young man.  Having great players like Gomez and Cammy for another season may also help perhaps.  At any rate, let’s hope Gauthier doesn’t blow up the team next year if Price continues to struggle and repeat the same mistake yet again.

  17. nunacanadien says:

    What would the projection be on his 3 year slump?  Or the projection based on last season’s performance?  With 20 wins 49 losses or something like that?  Price’s career wins are batting just below par, in otherwords Price has managed to lose more games than he has won.  Usually you don’t make a performance like that your number 1 goalie, as it seems Gauthier has again all but annoited Price as number 1 goalie. 

  18. REB says:

    You really should read up on how the American political system works.  The Democrats, who controlled both the House of Representatives and the Senate, since the 2006 election, spent like drunken sailors, driving the deficit ever higher, leaving the country a mess, a GIANT mess.


  19. pointu says:

    60 wins 66 loses hence he has lost more games then he has won (career wise) or are otl wins now?

  20. HabFarmer says:

    Or in keeping with the movie allusion, perhaps the Brad Pitt character from 12 Monkeys, to quote Roger Ebert: ” The Brad Pitt  character, spewing compulsive visions of paranoia and dread, is a powerful influence………”. 😉


    A man’s attitude… a man’s attitude goes some ways. The way his life will be. Is that somethin’ you agree with?

  21. alestar says:

    Ian, that is one strange anaology…LOL!


    XXIV…and counting

  22. Ian Cobb says:

    Far to long!!

    I have never before wanted a summer to be over as much as I do this one.

    It is like wanting to kiss your wife, to find she is always wearing a bag over her head now.

    Let this season begin.

  23. RGM says:

    You succeed very well – you must have a lot of practice “trying” to dumb down.

    Josh Gorges for Captain!

  24. RGM says:

    “2. Got out of Iraq.”

    50,000 Americans in Iraq would disagree with that statement, but by that same token I doubt that you and I share opinions on whether Iraq was a good idea to begin with, so I won’t belabour the point.

    Josh Gorges for Captain

  25. MTLForever says:

    we call this post a fail 🙂 

  26. Dave Stubbs says:

    Re: HIO’s mental-health value: I think our mascot should be Danny DeVito as Martini, his One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest character, playing Monopoly, constantly trying to buy a hotel despite the fact he doesn’t have four houses on the property.

    Dave Stubbs
    Habs Inside/Out
    Sports Columnist/Feature Writer, Montreal Gazette
    • On Twitter:

  27. G-Man says:

    Okay, it’s done. No more wailing about Price on strike or any other of that contract bs. Now, we can focus on his play.

    Prediction: more of the same. After all, it’s the same goalie.

  28. BJ says:

    So now its get down to hockey time. We now have two goalies and a team to support. It should be another fun season. One thing that occurred to me while reading many posts is that HIO has become very therapeutic for a lot of pent up emotions across the world. I wonder if they get subsidized by the WHO (World Health Organization) or Mental Health organizations? There is probably less road rage, family abuse etc. due to HIO being a great forum for the release of a multitude of emotions. Its what you might call a Montreal Canadiens pro-biotic.

  29. W35T5ID3 says:

       …   Darche for captain!!!

    …na im kidding….i say give it to markov …..then eventually when he retires or heaven forbid leave the habs via trade or free agency (but i doubt it) it’ll be time to give it the the real only choice to don the C for the habs….Subban.

  30. HabFanSince72 says:

    We won’t see either Halak in the playoffs.

  31. HabFanSince72 says:

    1. Passed a health care reform bill. They’ve been trying to do this for 30 years. Everyone else failed.

    2. Got out of Iraq.

    3. Remember when people were talking about GM going out of business in 2008? They turned a profit in Q2 this year.

    4. An end to the use of torture.

  32. Top Corner says:

    Thats some smooth talking indeed…….smooooooth

  33. pmaraw says:

    Holy Moly we got a Goalie!!!

  34. andrewberkshire says:


  35. andrewberkshire says:

    Who said anything about Bush? Not me.

  36. bennykchui says:

    Another person who failed in math…

    Price’s record (Career wise) is over .500.

    Check your math before making comments.

  37. GrimJim says:

    Wow nice Tony imitation. Do you do Leno?

  38. habs001 says:

    price will be fine with the habs but lets be frank this team has to play way better than it did last year…in the regular season we were outplayed in about 80% of the games. if we lost game 7 in washington would posters still be so optimistic on this team?. we have a slow d that will get caught plenty of times on breakaways and 2-1 ones.. the key on this team will be ak46 , pouliot and 3rd and 4th line scoring…dont forget camm was scoring at a 52 goal a season pace in the playoffs and gion at 35 goal but without anyone else really contributing we looked like vs the flyers as in many reg season games. the 3rd and 4th line offensive contribution was poor and many of the goals they did score were bad goaltending by the opposition goalies..we also lost a lot of faceoffs in our zone at key times and won to few to start the pp (face off stats should be broken down based on where on the ice they are taken as plecks may have a good overall % but it seems he hardly ever wins a faceoff  at the start of a pp or during a pk in our zone… i believe we have many potential good young players that in 2 years from now we could be serious contenders but right now we have too many players that are really not that good but because they are on the habs we fans overrate them but if they were on other teams we would not be so blind in evaluating their talents or realize they are not as good as they were in their younger days

  39. K-hab25 says:

    Change!! Ya right!! More like business as usual. He’s no different from 99% of them.

  40. K-hab25 says:

    You are Yeats!! I’ve been wondering. Now I feel bad about the names I called you the other day. It’s funny I’m on my 3rd name now too. kjdavid/KJD/K-hab25 *** I lost the first one, because courneyer12 and I had at it out, both of us got booted. The second, because some fun you and I had with some trolls. Alchohol and HIO don’t mix well, the foul mouth construction worker in me comes out. 🙂

  41. Kristopher7 says:

    Really? Yeah, Bush left him a prime country to take care of.

  42. HardHabits says:

    I didn’t say he was going to succeed. The Habs could win the Cup and there’d still be a schism here.

  43. andrewberkshire says:

    NEXT priority? Has he actually fixed anything yet?

  44. Everlasting1 says:

    I do try my best to dumb down for the lot of ya..Halak good, Price baaad.



    Don’t pollute the water.

  45. crabvader says:

    Look at Carey’s resume. Look at his time with Tri-City.

    Notice a bad season, yes. Notice the season after?

    Ah, I guess you wouldn’t do something like that. What a fairweather fan.


  46. SeriousFan09 says:

    Good read, nice to see a Habs article, almost forgot what they looked like.

    Price has the talent to succeed, he just needs to bring what he’s shown before. Go Carey, go Montreal. 2010-11, fight for the Division Title!


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  47. HardHabits says:

    I hear Obama’s next priority is HIO peace.

  48. JIMVINNY says:

    When you’re unable to come up with something that makes sense, you can always be counted on to act like this.  At least you’re consistent.

  49. Everlasting1 says:

    How about turning in, thumb firmly placed in mouth, and cuddling up to your Pricebunny doll.



    Don’t pollute the water.

  50. Curtis O Habs says:

    Give PG & BG credit,  they have iced a good team  2 million $ under the cap.  Who saw that coming?

  51. avatar_58 says:






    Oh sorry, just laughing at the haters and media who got it all wrong. Next time don’t read the rumour mags kids.

  52. Chorske says:

    Well, that’s settled then.

    Hopefully there will be more unity in the Habs locker room than there is here.

  53. fbkj says:

    no idea what you just said, but i like you

  54. HardHabits says:

    I am a right of centre progressive

    About God, I tend to lean towards Deism and believe that each person has a unique relationship with this unnameable, beyond knowledge, beyond description wonder

    reality and existence are proof enough and are the only messenger needed

    IMHHO religion attempts to break this connection that each and every one of has with the unnameable

    religious leaders are charlatans every one of them only out to make a buck and exploit this connection


  55. pointu says:

    Hooray we just paid a goaltender 2.75 million for losing twice as many games last season as he won,who in his career has lost more games then hes won and with no saftey net(Auld).PG is BGs puppet.

  56. JIMVINNY says:

    Which Halak will we see?  The one who played the caps and pens, or the one who blew it against finland, and choked against philly?


  57. Sheldon says:

    Hey, been there done that, twice!

  58. Sheldon says:

    Hey, at the end of the day, what would a reasonable person do? That’s a pretty good guide. As I get older I find myself embracing Thomas Payne, i.e. the World is my country; to do good is my religion. As a Catholic, I might not get me through the pearly gates, but it should be enough to get me into Pergatory. There is only an “up” escalator from that point!

  59. zak says:

    Mtl vs St Louis Stanley Cup

  60. fbkj says:

    love this comment


    sheldon, your a sensible republican right, which to me is the most sensible american political view ever




    ps im uber lib, but i respect non partisan peeps like its nobody’s business


    go habs go <— yeah i said it

  61. Sheldon says:

    At the end of the day, I just want to see the habs hoist another Cup and close the gap on the Yankees. As a Bronx guy I love the guys in pinstripes, but my sport has always been hockey.

  62. Bill J says:

    Me too.

    I look forward to seeing it too 🙂

    I think with the team chemistry built late last season, Price can run with this.  And have a great year.


  63. Sheldon says:

    I just want to see the guy that I watched come out of junior backstopping the Bulldogs to the AHL championship! That Carey Price will get you a long way down the road to the promised land!

  64. Nina76 says:


    all I know is  that Price is back that’s all I care GO CAREY GO !!!!!!!!

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