Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price put together a career year last season. The 26-year-old puck-stopper started for Canada at the 2014 Winter Olympic games and won a gold medal, was excellent in the regular season, and out-dueled Vezina winner Tuukka Rask in Montreal's second-round series against their arch-rivals, the Boston Bruins.
Price's dream season ended prematurely in the Eastern Conference Final when he was run by New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider. The Canadiens' starter hyper-extended his knee on the play and didn't return in the series, which the Canadiens lost in six games. While the injury ultimately didn't require surgery this summer, Price has yet to really test it out and isn't planning to do so until mid-August.
"I’m doing OK now," Price told the Tri-City Herald last week. "I won’t be skating again until the middle to August so that will be the true test. Right now it feels pretty good."
Price played his junior hockey with the Tri-City Americans and was in town for a charity golf tournament that benefited the Carson Kolzig foundation, which is led by former NHLers Olaf Kolzig and Stu Barnes. The tournament helped raise $180,000 for the foundation, which is dedicated to providing "education and resources" to "individuals with autism spectrum disorders and their families."
Kolzig, a fellow - albeit retired - member of the goaltending fraternity, heaped praise on Price following the tournament:
He has the perfect demeanor to play the hardest position in the toughest city. He wins a gold medal for a team that had the highest expectations going into the Olympics and he delivered. He is a unique kid. Those kinds of traits in a person come along once in a lifetime.
As for Price's injury status, he's not dwelling on the uncertainty, he's just counting his blessings that the damage wasn't more severe.
"Luckily I didn’t need (surgery)," Price told the Herald. "I was lucky and unlucky at the same time. If my leg was two inches shorter at the post I wouldn’t have been hurt at all. If it were two inches the other way, I probably would have had to have reconstructive knee surgery."