Hearing the RDS announcers—and the entire NHL—going gaga over Odrej Pavelec during the Montreal’s match up against Atlanta; I could not help but remember the fuss about Carey Price during his rookie year.
Was it his impressive 6 ft 3? Was it his unshakable cool? Was it his laid back, yet funny, yet mysterious personality?
It had got to be something. Because boy, were we sold early on that kid. Come to think of it, maybe too early. Yes, we were gaga over him.
Of course his Del Wilson Trophy as the WHL goalie of the year, his World Junior Championship Tournament MVP, and his Calder Cup championship with the Hamilton Bulldogs all in 2007 did help. We have to give credit to this shy BC native who coincidently also became the first goaltender to bring the Calder Cup back to the farm team since Patrick Roy.
Impressive isn’t it?
Here is a kid who is talented like some of us have never seen before. He breaks records, he is promising, and for once; he is a Montreal Canadiens prospect. Got to love that kid!
But it was not all fairytale.
By the time we were ready to pass him the torch, he was burnt.
How? No one really knows; the finger pointing isn’t over yet. But it all started when a too confident General Manager decided to throw him into the lion’s den.
I guess it is like getting engaged. After so many disappointments and heartbreaks, you finally find someone who corresponds to most of your standards. So you throw yourself head first into that relationship with all your energy and heart.
However, such a commitment deserves time. But time is already on Gainey’s back instead of his side.
Time will tell, did we patiently say then; watching rookie mistakes with so much compassion. Two years later, it seems we are repeating ourselves.
Jack Todd had this to say about him in the Gazette a few days ago:
“Think about it: Had Jaroslav Halak played like Price has played going back to the all-star break, he'd be in the AHL right now. If he had behaved as Price has behaved off-ice, he'd would have been traded away.”
The man has got a point.
Indeed, Price’s season start looked promising at first; before going on a downfall like the special units of the team.
Not that he was the only one to blame, but a few saves here and there wouldn’t have hurt.
That being said, despite the Habs being back on the W-side with Jaroslav Halak; if Price starts against the Islanders, I wouldn’t be surprised.
With all the struggles he has gone through; Carey Price apparently still remains, for many fans and for Bob Gainey, the No. 1.
So what was it again about this kid?
I guess it comes back to the commitment itself. Price has been chosen to be the number one goalie of the Montreal Canadiens; and although I have the utmost respect towards Halak and his amazing patience, if Price is the one then he is the one.
Now, get back to me when he will be traded...