Carey Price was not selected by the Seattle Kraken in the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft presented by Upper Deck from the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday.
The 33-year-old goalie was one of the biggest names available to be picked by Seattle, which instead selected Cale Fleury from Montreal's unprotected list.
"I think anytime you hear the name Carey Price, you have to consider it," Kraken general manager Ron Francis said. "And we did, not only as a goaltender. His reputation in the community is outstanding as well. So when you go through your selection, you look at different things, what options might be available and what the cost is. At the end of the day, we decided to go in a different direction. But he's certainly a [heck] of a goaltender."
Fleury, a 22-year-old defenseman, was taken one pick after the Kraken chose goalie Chris Driedger from the Florida Panthers.
Price agreed to waive his no-move clause to be exposed in the expansion draft for the Kraken after helping the Canadiens advance to the 2021 Stanley Cup Final, when they lost in five games to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin said Thursday they weren't worried about losing Price to the Kraken.
"We had a plan B, for sure. Carey and me, we talked about it at length," Bergevin said. "But the risk was minimal for us."
Price played junior hockey for Tri-City of the Western Hockey League from 2002-07. The team is based about 210 miles southeast of Seattle in Kennewick, Washington, the hometown of his wife, Angela.
Selected with the No. 5 pick by Montreal in the 2005 NHL Draft, Price is 360-257-79 with a 2.50 goals-against average, a .917 save percentage and 49 shutouts in 707 regular-season NHL games, all with the Canadiens. He won the Vezina Trophy voted as the best goalie in the NHL and the Hart Trophy voted as NHL MVP in 2014-15.
Price was 13-9 with a 2.28 GAA, a .924 save percentage and one shutout in 22 Stanley Cup Playoff games this season in his first run to the Cup Final.
Driedger is 34-21-9 with a 2.09 GAA, a .929 save percentage and four shutouts in 38 NHL games. The 27-year-old played an NHL career-high 23 games this season.
After it was revealed that Seattle had passed on Price, goalie Joey Daccord from the Ottawa Senators was announced as its next pick. Daccord, who turns 25 on Aug. 19, is 1-4-1 with a 3.50 GAA and .894 save percentage in nine NHL games.
Vitek Vanecek from the Washington Capitals was the third goalie selection announced. The 25-year-old went 21-10-4 with a 2.69 GAA, a .908 save percentage and two shutouts in 37 games (36 starts).
From Atlantic Division teams, in addition to Price, some of the more accomplished players the Kraken passed on included Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask and forwards Taylor Hall and David Krejci, who each can become an unrestricted free agent July 28; Buffalo Sabres forward Jeff Skinner; Lightning forwards Tyler Johnson and Blake Coleman (pending UFA); and Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen and forwards Nick Foligno and Joe Thornton, each a pending UFA.
From Metropolitan Division teams, Seattle passed on Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Dougie Hamilton and goalies Petr Mrazek and James Reimer, each a pending UFA; New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban; Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere and forwards James van Riemsdyk and Jakub Voracek; and Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin (pending UFA).
From Central Divison teams, the Kraken passed on Colorado Avalanche forwards Gabriel Landeskog and Brandon Saad, each a pending UFA; Dallas Stars goalie Ben Bishop; Nashville Predators forwards Matt Duchene and Ryan Johansen; and St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko.
From Pacific Division teams, Seattle passed on Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick and Vancouver Canucks goalie Braden Holtby.