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It may be hard to believe, but it was 5 whole years ago that Carey Price debuted for the Habs.
As pointed out by the venerable NHLHistoryGirl on twitter today:
Yes Habs fans, it's been 5 whole years since Carey Price donned an all white mask and skated onto the ice at Mellon arena to play against Michel Therrien's Pittsburgh Penguins.
There was no shortage of media coverage of the event, Price was the Montreal Canadiens' highest draft pick since Petr Svboda, also taken 5th overall, but 21 years prior. And as if there wasn't enough pressure on the young kid from small town British Columbia, he was a goalie in a franchise that lionizes and terrorizes it's goalies.
Before he'd ever played a game, Price was named by many to be the next Patrick Roy. As if Roy's teammate and current Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau wanted to fan the flames, he deemed that Pittsburgh would be the team Carey began his career against, just like Roy.
The organization had a lot riding on Price. The pick wasn't viewed as a smart move at the time, then TSN analyst Pierre McGuire making the off colour remark that it was "off the reservation".
But Price impressed in his first game, showing the poise and technique that led to the Canadiens trading entrenched starter Cristobal Huet to the Capitals at the trade deadline, making Price the starter as a rookie.
There have been ups and downs for Price, culminating in an emotional press conference after the Habs were swept by the Bruins in 2008-09, and losing his starting job to Jaroslav Halak in 2009-10.
But Price persevered. Despite certain segments of the fanbase getting on him at times, Price has never blinked once from his stated goal of being a Montreal Canadien his whole career, and being a great one. Now the 25 year old, out of the development years for a goaltender has signed a 6 year deal with the Habs for a cool $39 million. He's established himself as All Star, and as the face of the franchise who's about to enter the prime of his career.
I, for one, am excited to see the places he can go.