Signed, sealed, delivered
Armed with a new two-year deal, Price will be the first to admit that last year didn’t go as planned for him in Montreal. That’s why the 23-year-old netminder celebrated the signing of his new contract by doing what he’s done all summer long: training.
Joined by teammates Josh Gorges and Travis Moen in Kelowna, Price took a moment to talk to the media before hitting the ice for a training session with Habs goalie coach Pierre Groulx. After finally crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s, the formerly-restricted free agent can’t wait to get his fourth NHL campaign started.
“I feel great. I’m really excited to be back. It took a little longer than expected, but I’m just happy to have the deal done before heading back to Montreal,” admitted the Anahim Lake, BC native. “This year is a brand new start and I’m looking forward to getting into it.”
Coming off a season that saw him dip to a 13-20-5 record, Price has every intention of regaining the form that saw him capture a Calder Cup in 2006-07 before being named a starter for the NHL All-Star game two years later.
“For me personally, I know I have to play better. I’m not putting the onus on anybody else,” confirmed Price. “It’s something I’m going to have to do and we’re going to have to do it as a team. We’re all going to have to play well in order to win and I personally want to play better.
“Last year was definitely challenging for me,” continued Price, who played just 135 minutes in relief of Jaroslav Halak during the team’s deep playoff run this spring. “It’s never easy not to play, but being able to learn lessons like that at a young age definitely helped. This past season, I learned that ice time isn’t just given to you; it’s earned.”
With those valuable life lessons in the bank and an offseason full of gruelling workouts now under his belt, Price is ready to take back his crease for good.
“I feel really good. I’ve been working out here in Kelowna. I didn’t take a whole lot of time off this summer and I feel really good now,” he explained. “I feel ready to play a lot of games, but I know I’m going to have to earn them all. No. 1 jobs aren’t just given to goalies; they have to be earned.”
Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.com.
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