Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy will replace Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price at the All Star Game.
Carey Price, the Montreal Canadiens netminder who is currently making $10.5 million each year, has dropped out of the NHL All-Star game for similar reasons as Alex Ovechkin; he needs that time to rest his body. That left an opening in net, and because goaltenders were not included in the Last Man In vote, it meant that the league had to select the best goaltender not selected from the Atlantic Division. The goalie that was selected was none other than the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Carey Price is one of the top goalies in the league. He’s the highest paid goalie in NHL history, after he signed an 8 year, $84 million contract extension, that has kicked in for this season.
He currently has a record of 16-12-4, with a .909 SV% (22nd, among goalies with 20+ starts) and a goals against average of 2.71 (17th). In addition, Price has two shutouts so far this season. Price is facing, on average, 29 shots per game, which ranks 18th across all goalies starting 20 or more games. His numbers aren’t all that appealing, but due to the rule that each team must have one representative or more, the league chose Price to represent the Canadiens.
On the other hand, Vasilevskiy is an up-and-coming, young goalie, slowly gaining recognition. The Russian goaltender was a Vezina finalist last season in his first full year as the Lightning starter. In terms of his contract, he makes $3.5 million per year ($7 million less than Price) and his deal doesn’t expire till after the 2019-20 season.
He has gone 16-4-2 this season, winning as many games as Price despite starting 10 fewer games, with a .920 SV% (9th) and a 2.66 goals against average (15th). Vasilevskiy also faces an average of 33.6 shots per game, ranking him 2nd in the league among goalies starting 20 or more games. That being said, Vasilevskiy ranks higher than Price in the two major goaltending stats, while also facing a higher volume of shots, yet still didn’t make the All-Star roster.
With Price now leaving the All-Star game, Vasilevskiy has a chance to prove why he deserved it, marking his second consecutive season taking part in this event. In addition, without Price in net, the Canadiens have no representatives in attendance at the All Star Game. There is a chance that Shea Weber could still play, but he has to win the Last Man vote.
With the potential of no Canadiens representative, it could spark an All Star Game rule change for what players are selected, and if all teams have to be represented?
All stats via Hockey-Reference.com
Contract info via capfriendly.com
Rankings via NHL app
featured image photo credit – Nikos Michals