Montreal Canadiens star goaltender Carey Price made an appearance in the Montreal area in advance of the Habs annual golf tournament that acts as the unofficial kick-off to the season for the club. And at 36 years old, even healthy, he would be nearing the end of his career. Unfortunately, Price’s injuries mean that he knows he will no longer take to the crease again for the only NHL franchise he has ever suited up for again, and he seems to be at peace with this reality.
After being announced to the press as the new ambassador for CFMoto, a Quebec-based vehicle brand at the Canadiens’ training center in Brossard, Price confirmed what has been an open secret amongst the fanbase, that his days in the NHL are behind him.
“This is the most likely scenario, short of a miracle,” he said. I still have a contract and I still have to entertain the idea that I could still play. But the probabilities drop from month to month. Honestly, on a day-to-day basis, it feels really good, I come here towards the start of training camp and I feel like I could still go out there and wreak havoc.” – Carey Price
His responses are just enough to guarantee that he can continue to be placed on the Canadiens LTIR list, ensuring that he continues to get paid his salary. He’s essentially waiting for it to expire before announcing his official retirement, and no one can blame him for wanting the salary he earned on this deal. Some may have felt some spark of hope to see him play again, however, he poured water on that immediately. “When I do certain things on a consistent basis, it’s a very solid reminder that my knee’s not in the position to take the brunt of a full season’s workload,” Price explained. “I still get a tremendous amount of swelling in it.”
Price is under contract with the Canadiens for three more seasons with a cap hit of $10,500,000. Many have wondered if he could be a trade candidate at some point.
“Whatever the team has to do – if they have to move money to make this team better, I’m here to help in any way I can. Everyone knows hockey is a business — money management and cap space is part of that, I’m going to a Montreal Canadien for the rest of my life and I’m very proud of that, so I’m willing to help this team in any aspect.”
His contract, once placed on LTIR will allow the Canadiens to spend the salary cap value ($10.5 million) above the standard salary cap. For now, that helps provide GM Kent Hughes space to maneuver by letting him spend more or take on more salary in a trade. But in the near future, that will no longer be a necessity, meaning that contract will hold value to contending teams looking to spend above the cap.