NHL Signing: Montreal Canadiens Sign Carey Price To Six-Year Contract
“I’m very happy,” Bergevin said, just minutes after finalizing the details of the contract. “I think Carey brings what we need moving forward. He’s a top, young goalie in the League. Having him in net for the next six years gives us a chance to be competitive.”
Price, 24, became a restricted free agent July 1, but one day later he becomes the NHL goaltender with the third-highest salary cap hit at $6.5 million, just behind Vezina Trophy finalist Pekka Rinne and Vezina Trophy winner Henrik Lundqvist.
Despite being just 24 years old, Price already has played 271 NHL games and experienced just about the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows that come with playing goal in Montreal. He was anointed the team’s goalie of the future as a rookie in 2007-08, then had his starting job taken from him by Jaroslav Halak in 2009-10, and was booed in the team’s preseason home opener in 2010-11 before going on to the finest season of his young career, with a 38-28-6 record, eight shutouts, a .923 save percentage and 2.35 goals against average. He tied for the League lead in wins, was third in shutouts and in the top 10 in GAA and save percentage.
He was just as good in the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, posting a 2.11 GAA in seven games in a first-round series loss to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins.
Price took a minor step back last season with a 26-28-11 record with a .916 save percentage and 2.43 GAA for a team that finished 15th in the Eastern Conference.
Price often has said that NHL goaltenders don’t hit their prime until the age of 30, which is exactly the age he will be when this contract expires.
“We’re happy with that and they’re happy with that,” Bergevin said on the six-year term of the deal. “Carey’s still a young goalie, so when this is all said and done he’ll still have another contract.”
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