Carey Price, Vancouver Canucks

Canucks Calling: Carey Price, Please Come Home

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My first caveat is that I have heard no rumors about the mega-talented Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price coming home to British Columbia to play for the Vancouver Canucks. Nor do I think such a possibility might happen.

In fact, given the current rebuild the Canucks are working through – which I applaud – I don’t even think, from a team point of view, what I’m suggesting is a good idea.

Goaltender Carey Price
Goaltender Carey Price #31 of the Montreal Canadiens (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Finally, given that Price is such a fixture with the Canadiens and in Montreal, I have every reason to believe he would want to finish his career with the team he currently plays for.

That said, hockey writers are also fans. And, I write this post as a Canucks fan dreaming of possibilities in a world where such dreams are tempered by the business realities that attend and drive corporate life the NHL.

Related: The Time for Canadiens to Ride Price Isn’t This Season

But, I would love to see Carey Price come home to play in British Columbia, where he grew up. Price, a goalie for the Canucks? That would be a very good day that I’d love to see before his NHL career is over. If you’re a Canucks fan, wouldn’t you?

Carey Price’s Family

Carey Price grew up in Anahim Lake, a remote
village in northern British Columbia. He is of Nuxalk and Southern Carrier
Aboriginal heritage. His mother, Lynda, was the first woman elected to the
board of directors for the Union of BC Indian Chiefs.

Like many young Canadians, by two years of age Price was skating on the river next to his home. However, because there was no indoor arena or hockey program in Anahim Lake, at the age of nine he began commuting back and forth to the nearest arena located in Williams Lake. Three times each week, the Price family drove the 640 km round trip (about five hours each way). It helped that Price’s father was a pilot; so, when the weather was good, he flew a small plane so that Price could play.

Carey Price, John Tavares,
Toronto Maple Leafs’ John Tavares scores against Montreal Canadiens Carey Price (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes)

According to Price’s website, he met his wife Angela when he played junior hockey with the Tri-City Americans in Washington state. Together the Prices are involved with several charities in both the Montreal area and throughout Canada.

When Price received the Jean Béliveau Trophy, awarded annually to a Canadiens’ player who has worked extensively with charities and in the Montreal community, he noted, “I think my wife deserves her name on the trophy more than I do, she’s really the catalyst behind a lot of the work.”

Carey Price’s History as a Player

Price’s
first start for the Canadiens was on October 10, 2007. He beat the Pittsburgh
Penguins 3–2. Although he was sent to the Hamilton Bulldogs in January, a month
later the Canadiens traded Cristobal Huet to the Washington Capitals, and the
#1 goalie’s job was his. He’s never looked back.

That season, Price was named to the NHL All-Rookie Team and led the Canadiens to the first overall finish in the Eastern Conference and their first division title since 1991–92. He also led all rookie goaltenders with 24 wins, a .920 save percentage, and three shutouts.

Price has filled the Canadiens’ record book in several goalie categories. During the 2014-15 season, he won 44 games, besting former Canadiens’ goalie legends Jacques Plante and Ken Dryden, who each had won 42 games.

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price
Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)

Price has won the Hart Trophy, the Vezina Trophy, the Ted Lindsay Trophy and the William M. Jennings Trophy — the annual award presented to the goalkeeper(s) who have played at least 25 games with the fewest goals scored against, which he shared with Corey Crawford of the Blackhawks.

Carey Price’s Charity Work

As noted earlier, the Prices engage in a large amount of charity work around the Montreal area. Both husband and wife think of it as giving back to their community. At each home game, they donate a pair of tickets so that a deserving student and that student’s mentor can attend a Canadiens’ game. The tickets also include a meet-and-greet with the goalie. This donation is part of a “Stick with School” program the Prices created.

Related: Canadiens Give Fans Reasons to Believe

When the young Price family moved to Montreal in 2009, they were mentored in community work by the commitment of Harvest Gionta (the wife of former Canadiens’ captain Brian Gionta). As Angela Price noted, Harvest had “three kids and was always able to find the time to make it to every fundraiser.”

Both Carey and Angela Price work with charities they personally connect with. For example, Carey accepted the role of Ambassador to First Nations kids through the Breakfast Club of Canada. In this role, he has overseen the provision of thousands of meals to children in Price’s hometown of Anahim Lake, BC, and throughout Canada.

Price’s Support for First Nations’ Initiatives

Price has always been proud of his own Aboriginal background and supportive of First Nations’ initiatives. At the 2015 NHL Awards in Las Vegas, Price won two most valuable player awards – the NHL Hart Trophy (voted by sports writers) and the Ted Lindsay Award (voted by players).

Claude Giroux, Jeff Petry, Carey Price
Philadelphia Flyers’ Claude Giroux gets a shove from Montreal Canadiens’ Carey Price after a collision with Jeff Petry (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

That season, he also won the Vezina Award for best goaltender. During his speech when he accepted the award, he used the opportunity to talk to First Nations youth about their futures. He encouraged them to become leaders in their communities and to take pride in their heritage.

Related: Price Carries His Indigenous Heritage With Pride

His message: “I encourage First Nations youth to be leaders in their communities. Be proud of your heritage, and don’t be discouraged by the improbable.”

Carey Price: A Class Act

The Canadiens are lucky to have Price as their goalie,
not only because he is a great player but because he is a class act. Price is a
model for how hockey players can give back to their communities.

Related – Canucks News: Gretzky, Pettersson, Cherry, Demko & the Draft

He’s never forgotten his own background and the “improbable” geographical difficulties he and his family overcame so he could become a hockey player. He pays back; and, because he does, others benefit.

Why would I like Carey Price to play for the Canucks? Because he’s a role model of how discipline can turn into success and how personal achievement can be leveraged into an active concern for the next generation. He’d be a wonderful “face” for any hockey team, let alone any organization.

It would be nice to see him return to his former home in British Columbia where, as a youngster, he first learned to play hockey. I know: it’s a dream.

As I say, it isn’t likely Price will suit up any time soon for the Canucks. But, a Canucks fan can dream – can’t he?

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