Carey Price‘s wife said she strongly believed the goalie was going to be selected by the Seattle Kraken in the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft.
“It definitely got to a point where I thought we were for sure headed to Seattle, so I let myself start mentally preparing for it and even talking about it. Just in case it did happen,” Angela Price wrote in her blog this week.
In the post, Angela wrote of her emotions leading up to the expansion draft on July 21, including how Carey waived his no-move clause believing Seattle would not select him because of his knee injury, his contract (five seasons remaining) and his age (34 on Aug. 16).
Price was one of the most accomplished players available to be picked, but Seattle instead chose defenseman Cale Fleury as its one player from Montreal.
Price had knee surgery two days later, and has a hip injury that will not require surgery. He has played his 14 NHL seasons with the Canadiens and was not looking to leave, Angela wrote.
“I really hated that the decision to lift his no-trade was announced before the details on his injury were,” Angela wrote. “His injury was the entire reason we had lifted his no-trade and he was left unprotected. It hurt my heart to read that people thought we wanted out of Montreal. I was so thankful when it came out the next day that Carey was going to need surgery, but at the same time Carey’s agent was calling to say that Seattle didn’t seem too concerned about his injury and him being picked up could really happen.”
Angela wrote that as the expansion draft neared, she started to appreciate the benefits of a move to Seattle but had a hard time envisioning Carey playing for another team. Her hometown of Kennewick, Washington, is about 210 miles southeast of Seattle, and she has family and friends in the area. Carey played junior hockey for Tri-City, a Western Hockey League team based in Kennewick, from 2002-07.
“We continued to discuss how, at the end of the day, it is a business and players get traded away all the time,” Angela wrote. “I understood that, but it still didn’t feel right. I couldn’t wrap my mind around Carey doing that. It was then that I realized although playing in Seattle would make our lives so much easier, our heart, my heart is with the Canadiens organization.”
The Kraken selected goalie Chris Driedger from the Florida Panthers and then on July 28 signed Colorado Avalanche free agent goalie Philipp Grubauer to a six-year, $35.4 million contract ($5.9 million average annual value).
Selected with the No. 5 pick in the 2005 NHL Draft, Price is 360-257-79 with a 2.50 goals-against average, .917 save percentage and 49 shutouts in 707 regular-season games with Montreal. He is 43-45 with a 2.39 GAA, .919 save percentage and eight shutouts in 92 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
Price won the Vezina Trophy voted as the best goalie in the NHL and the Hart Trophy voted as NHL MVP in 2014-15.
He was 25-12-7 with a 2.64 GAA and .901 save percentage last season, then was 13-9 with a 2.28 GAA, .924 save percentage and one shutout in the postseason, reaching the Cup Final for the first time. Montreal lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in five games.
Montreal protected goalie Jake Allen in the expansion draft, and left defenseman Shea Weber unprotected. Afterward, it was revealed Weber will not play this season and his career could be in jeopardy because of multiple injuries.
Price is expected to be able to play when the Canadiens are scheduled to open the season Oct. 13 at the Toronto Maple Leafs.
“With your world dependent on what seemed like a game of chicken was bizarre and something I hope to never experience again,” Angela wrote. “I really feel for those families who experience it once or multiple times throughout their guys’ career.”