*This was originally published in Aug. 2021
This year Carey Price’s peers named him the Best Goalie in the NHL. Soon, he’ll be leading his Montreal Canadiens team into the 2021-22 season. One day, he’ll be on his way to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
I want to help fans get to know the Canadiens’ starter a little better. Here are 7 cool things about Price, one of the greatest players in franchise history.
#1: Carey Price Grew up in Northern British Columbia, Far From Almost Everything
Price grew up in Anahim Lake, British Columbia. Like many young Canadian boys and girls, Price took to the ice early. At two years old, he was skating on the river next to his home. But, because there was no indoor arena or hockey program in Anahim Lake, by the time he was nine, he began travelling back and forth to the nearest arena located in Williams Lake.
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Three times a week, the Price family drove the 640 km round trip (about 10 hours return) so Carey could play. Fortunately, it helped that Price’s father was a pilot. When the weather was clear, he flew a small plane to get his son to practice.
2: Price’s Father Was a Goaltender Drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers
Jerry Price, Carey’s dad, was also a goalie and was good enough to be drafted in the eighth round (126th overall) of the 1978 NHL Draft. The elder Price was an Alberta native, whose selection came 27 years before the Canadiens made Carey the fifth-overall pick in 2005.
Jerry noted: “I grew up a Habs fan in Western Canada. It’s such a great honour to see the names of all the legends that have played there. It’s been enormously gratifying to see him succeed in the city.”
#3: Price Met His Wife Playing Junior Hockey in Washington State
When the NHL regular season was suspended on March 12, Price and his family travelled to Kennewick, Washington, where his wife Angela’s family lives. Carey and Angela met when he played junior hockey with the Tri-City Americans.
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By the way, Price had to consider whether he would play in the Canadiens’ play-in series against the Pittsburgh Penguins because Angela is pregnant with their third child. The Prices have two daughters: Liv was born in 2016 and Millie was born in 2018.
#4: Price Was Awarded the Jean Béliveau Trophy for His Charity Work
Carey and Angela are involved in several charities in Montreal and throughout Canada and he was awarded the 2013-14 Jean Béliveau Trophy for his extensive contributions to the Montreal community. When Price received the trophy, he admitted, “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.”
At each Canadiens’ home game, the Prices donate a pair of tickets to a deserving student and their mentor as part of a “Stick with School” program the Prices created. Those tickets also include a meet-and-greet with the goalie.
When the Prices moved to Montreal in 2009, they were mentored in community work by Harvest Gionta (the wife of former Canadiens captain Brian Gionta). As Angela noted, Harvest had “three kids and was always able to find the time to make it to every fundraiser.”
#5: Price Made an Award Haul After the 2014-15 NHL Season
Price had an amazing 2014-15 NHL season, winning four awards. Specifically, he won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player beating out the Washington Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin and the New York Islanders’ John Tavares.
Price also was awarded the Vezina Trophy as the league’s best goaltender, the William M. Jennings Trophy for fewest goals allowed, and the Ted Lindsay Award as the NHL’s most outstanding player as voted on by the NHL Players Association.
#6: Price Is Proud of His First Nations Heritage
Price 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.
When he received the Vezina Award, during his acceptance speech, he addressed First Nations youth about their future. 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.”
#7: Price Does Charity Work Because He Has a Heart for Kids
Price is young Anderson Whitehead’s idol, and his mother, Laura McKay, promised her only son that she would help him meet Price. Sadly, before she could fulfill that promise, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and passed away in November 2018, at 45 years old.
After his mother’s death, Anderson’s aunt arranged for the 11-year-old Ontario boy to meet Price during practice in Toronto in February. Whitehead tearfully asked for an autograph and Price gave him a hug as well. The boy broke down in tears, and their shared moment went viral on social media.
Fans voted that exchange the NHL feel-good moment of the 2019 season. As a result, Whitehead was called to the stage during the NHL Awards ceremony in Las Vegas. At first, Anderson was told Price couldn’t be there, however…
Price’s Story Isn’t Over
Some Canadiens fans were upset that the Habs were included in the 24-team play-in tournament because it might not give them a chance to win the Draft Lottery, but that won’t stop Price from playing to upset the Penguins in their best-of-five qualifying round series.
Price said on Monday that it would take more than just him to defeat the Penguins. “I can sway the odds with outstanding play, but at the end of the day, we’ll all need to play over our heads to win,” he said.
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Price added, “I just go out there and play my game, try not to do too much. We’ll win and lose as a team, and it’s always been like that.”
Price can steal a game here and there, but can he overcome the Penguins’ depth? We’ll see soon enough.
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The Old Prof (Jim Parsons, Sr.) taught for more than 40 years in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta. He’s a Canadian boy, who has two degrees from the University of Kentucky and a doctorate from the University of Texas. He is now retired on Vancouver Island, where he lives with his family. His hobbies include playing with his hockey cards and simply being a sports fan – hockey, the Toronto Raptors, and CFL football (thinks Ricky Ray personifies how a professional athlete should act).
If you wonder why he doesn’t use his real name, it’s because his son – who’s also Jim Parsons – wrote for The Hockey Writers first and asked Jim Sr. to use another name so readers wouldn’t confuse their work.
Because Jim Sr. had worked in China, he adopted the Mandarin word for teacher (老師). The first character lǎo (老) means “old,” and the second character shī (師) means “teacher.” The literal translation of lǎoshī is “old teacher.” That became his pen name. Today, other than writing for The Hockey Writers, he teaches graduate students research design at several Canadian universities.
He looks forward to sharing his insights about the Toronto Maple Leafs and about how sports engages life more fully. His Twitter address is https://twitter.com/TheOldProf