Canadiens’ Carey Price Destined for Player Development Role

Montreal Canadiens franchise goaltender Carey Price has been on long-term injured reserve (LTIR) for most of the last two calendar years. It is unlikely that the 2014 Olympic gold medalist and 2015 Hart and Vezina Trophy winner will recover from his injuries to be capable to play in an NHL game at his desired level ever again. 

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With his impressive history as a member of the Habs, and a contract paying him $10.5 million against the salary cap for the next three seasons, he will still be a part of the organization for quite some time. Because of this, they can still find him a role that can benefit the franchise. 

Canadiens’ Price Moving On 

Back in January, Canadiens fans learned that the Price family would be selling their Montreal home in the near future and moving to Kelowna, British Columbia. With the season over, the couple’s move out west will now take place in a matter of weeks. 

Goaltender Carey Price
COLUMBUS, OH – MARCH 28: Goaltender Carey Price #31 of the Montreal Canadiens defends the net against the Columbus Blue Jackets on March 28, 2019 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Price has not lost his love of the game, even playing some street hockey with kids in his Montreal suburb. Price’s wife Angela shared a video on her Instagram showing just that with her jokingly stating “He thinks he’s funny lighting up the neighbor girl”. That kind of enthusiasm is contagious, especially from someone that commands respect from all in the game. He is also charismatic, humble, focused, and someone that others want to be around. 

With Montreal likely to pick a goalie or two at the 2023 NHL Entry Draft, it could be a good time to help Price transition from legendary goaltender to the next stage of his life in hockey. 

Goaltending Development Coach  

Price accomplished more than enough as a player to guarantee his nomination into the Hockey Hall of Fame once he officially retires. But despite all of his accomplishments, he was always humble and focused on being “one of the guys” and helping to guide and mentor younger players. It is here that he can continue to make an impact for the Canadiens, but instead of as a player, as a coach. 

Despite going back to his home in Kelowna, he can still work with young prospects on an on-call basis, or make the occasional appearance in Brossard at the Habs’ training facility to continue to help Samuel Montembault with his technique. 

It appears that Price’s coaching helped Montembeault significantly in his preparation for the 2023 World Championship. Montembault not only backstopped Canada to a gold medal, but the 26-year-old finished the tournament as arguably the main reason Canada was able to win. 

Perhaps Price can be convinced to take on a role with the Canadiens to work as a development coach, much like Francis Bouillon has done, by traveling to meet with the goaltenders, spending some limited time with a prospect or player, and helping to improve their technique or mental approach.

Price Has the Characteristics 

Price has many characteristics that point to him being able to become a coach, maybe even a great one. While there are hundreds of aspects of a great coach, Price excels in several of the key ones. 

He exudes positivity. This comes from his love of the game, as seen above in his desire to just play hockey. On or off the ice, he has always been known to create an environment of positive support and radiate a calm energy and approach to all situations. This is key to building a positive learning environment. Especially as each athlete will need to learn to handle the ups and downs of development.  

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Price can leverage his hockey fame as a role model. He can solidify the importance of the prescribed training and nutrition regime for the prospects because he too had to follow similar training, the “been there, done that” style of expertise. His success was based on his discipline, and he can provide that point of view to the younger players. Because of this, he would likely be trusted immediately. His career made him a household name, and his approach is one that all young goaltenders try to replicate. He can use this trust to help them learn that to be consistent, they need to take a methodical approach in their training and preparation, as he did. He can teach them that it isn’t selfish to focus on themselves first in their training, planning, and preparation. By doing so, they are more able to give their team what they need on the ice. 

While he is still under contract to the Canadiens as he completes the final three seasons of his deal on LTIR, he can still provide a positive impact on the organization. Price naturally has several key characteristics to be an excellent goaltending development coach. His work this past spring with Montembeault, his past success as a player, and his demeanor show he can take on this role and become a coach on the Habs’ staff.

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