Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette recently caught up with Canadiens netminder Carey Price from his summer home in Kelowna, B.C., and quickly realized Price wasn’t in the mood to talk hockey.
The impending RFA was busy…wrangling cattle.
Price drove up to Vernon, B.C., a 50-minute jaunt north of his summer home in Kelowna, callusing his palms to earn about $600 (after his $80 entry fee) in the second annual Louis Estates Lucky 7’s team steer-roping event.
My Friday text-message to Price was returned late afternoon with this reply:
“Little busy lol call you in a bit,” accompanied by a photo of his left hand gripping a green nylon rope and the reins of Fuzz, his Quarter Horse whose mane and alert, pricked ears were sharply focused in his camera-phone snapshot.
After recovering from a late-season concussion and forgoing Team Canada duties at the World Hockey Championships, Price seems to be enjoying his cowboy summer. He told Stubbs that, despite uncertainty surrounding his contract status, he feels no pressure to get anything done soon.
“I’m really not the type of guy who’s going to push everything to get it done faster,” he explained. “We’re trying to build a team here and we want to build it the right way.
“Rushing decisions isn’t the right way to do it.”
Price’s agent, Gerry Johansson, has already begun talks with new Habs GM Marc Bergevin. The real question will be what kind of term Bergevin wants to give the three-time All-Star — at 24, Price is one of the best young goalies in the league, so a lengthy deal might be the way to go.
But, as we’ve seen with the deals given to Rick DiPietro (15 years), Roberto Luongo (12 years) and Ilya Bryzgalov (nine years), making a long-term investment in a goalie can be risky.
Price isn’t worried about that, either.
“I’m pretty confident we’ll get something done,” he said.