From the Tri-City Herald, the voice of Kennewick, Paco, and Richland Washington. Carey Price played for the Tri-City Americans of the Western Hockey League from 2002 to 2007, and he was back for a golf tournament.
Price, Canadiens working on new deal
By Annie Fowler, Herald staff writer
RICHLAND — Carey Price was chatting up former Tri-City Americans teammate Dylan Stanley and watching the long drive competition Monday at the ninth annual Olie and Stu’s Desert Bash at Meadow Springs Country Club.
The Montreal Canadiens goaltender was getting in a couple of rounds of golf after a long season that saw Montreal lose in the Eastern Conference finals to the Philadelphia Flyers.
“It was pretty fun,” Price said of the experience. “When you get in the playoffs and get on a run, everyone is pulling on the same rope. I think what made the difference was everyone was enjoying themselves. When you get on a roll like we did last season, everyone was excited. It’s an electrifying city.”
During the regular season, Price shared time in goal with Jaroslav Halak, but by the time the playoffs rolled around, Halak had established himself as the starter and helped lead Montreal to upsets over the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins before running into the Flyers.
When the season ended, both goaltenders were restricted free agents.
The Canadiens opted to keep Price and on June 17, traded Halak to the St. Louis Blues for forwards Lars Eller and Ian Schultz.
“They had to make a decision and they did,” Price said. “I was just riding it out. I’m happy to still be there. Montreal is a great place to play and the fans are great.”
Price, 22, and the Canadiens still were in contract negotiations as of Monday.
“You know how I am, roll as you go,” Price said. “I’m a restricted free agent, it’s pretty much wait and see and come to an agreement that is fair to both sides.”
To fill Halak’s spot, Montreal signed veteran Alex Auld, 29, who split the 2009-10 NHL season with the Dallas Stars and the New York Rangers, playing a total of 24 games.
“It’s going to be a bit of a different look,” Price said. “There’s always been another guy to share the load with. Alex is a pretty good goaltender. I don’t really know him, but I’m looking forward to going back and meeting him.”
Price finished the regular season 13-20-5 with a 2.77 goals against average and a .912 save percentage. He saw action in just four playoff games.