A hockey hero moves on

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price announces the end of his 15-year NHL career

Graphic Myriam Ouazzani

Hopes of Carey Price making his anticipated comeback to the Habs seem to be over, "barring a miracle." The loss weighs heavy on the shoulders of fans like me, as the goaltender defined the organization for so long.

During a press event for CFMoto that announced him as a brand ambassador, Price announced he would not be returning to the NHL due to the torn meniscus injury he suffered in the 2021 playoffs. He leaves the league as one of the greatest goaltenders in the history of the Montreal Canadiens and in the eyes of Montrealers.

I have always been a Montreal Canadiens fan and Price has held the position as my favourite goaltender in hockey for a long time. I resonated a lot with him since we both play the same position—it doesn’t matter if it’s in different sports. My grandpa would even call me Carey Price when cheering me on at my soccer games.

My grandpa was the only person in my family that shared my love for the Canadiens. My parents were always confused as to why I became a Habs fan. My mom cheers for the Ottawa Senators and my dad loves the Toronto Maple Leafs. Although I will never truly know why I became a fan of the Canadiens, I always found their gameplay compelling.

I was devastated when I heard the news of Price’s NHL exit. I was blindsided. I remained optimistic thinking that he was going to return to the team. I don’t know if the Montreal Canadiens are ever going to be the same without him, given his lengthy tenure as their franchise netminder. 

However, he is not officially retired and is expected to remain on the long-term injured reserve until his contract ends in 2026. Price’s last appearance dates back to April 2021 before undergoing surgery to repair his knee.

Price was drafted fifth overall by the Montreal Canadiens in the 2005 NHL draft and has stayed loyal to his team ever since.

Price helped the Canadiens win the Atlantic Division four times and, most importantly, led them to their Stanley Cup Final appearance in 2021. This was the first time the Habs made it to the Stanley Cup Final since 1993. 

He was within reach of the Stanley Cup—often dubbed the hardest trophy to win in sports—but he was left disappointed as the Montreal Canadiens lost the series 4-1 to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

My grandpa and I would talk about Montreal games whenever we could, including this one. We could go on for hours discussing everything hockey-related. It was a tough loss for both us and the city of Montreal.

Although he did not win the Stanley Cup, he leaves the NHL as a winner of the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, Hart Memorial Trophy, Ted Lindsay Award, Vezina Trophy and William M. Jennings Trophy. He has also recorded the most wins as a goaltender in Canadiens history with 361 and most games played as a goaltender in Canadiens history with 712. 

The Canadiens’ goaltender will end his career with a 361-261-79 record, a 2.51 goals-against average, a .917 save percentage and 49 shutouts. 

This ending is bittersweet for Price, but he is proud of his career as he stated on Tuesday, “I’m going to be a Montreal Canadien for the rest of my life.” He joins the long list of Montreal Canadiens legends, alongside goaltenders Jacques Plante, Ken Dryden and Patrick Roy.

I hold the memories of watching Price and the Canadiens close to my heart ever since my grandpa passed away. The goaltender’s absence from the NHL feels like a piece of my childhood is leaving with him because he has become such an important part of my life and my relationship with my grandpa.

Not only will Price’s legacy find a special place in the hallowed halls of the Bell Centre, but in the hearts of the entire fanbase as well.

This article originally appeared in Volume 44, Issue 2, published September 19, 2023.