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Carey Price signs eight-year extension with Canadiens

Contract reportedly worth $84 million, average annual value of $10.5 million

by Arpon Basu @ArponBasu / LNH.com Senior Managing Editor

BROSSARD, Quebec -- Carey Price signed an eight-year contract extension Sunday to remain the Montreal Canadiens' goaltender, a position considered to be one of the most pressure-packed in all of sports. 

Financial terms were not released, but TSN reported it is worth $84 million, an average annual value of $10.5 million.

"I never thought about playing anywhere else," Price said Sunday. "It's a great place for me. I have enough experience to deal with anything that being a goaltender for the Canadiens can throw at me. I never thought about putting on another uniform. I just thought it'd be too weird, I guess."

Price turns 30 on Aug. 16 and will be 39 when this contract expires after the 2025-26 NHL season. He will play this season on the final year of a six-year contract that paid him $6.5 million per season. He could have become an unrestricted free agent after this season.

Price has played 509 games in Montreal, third among goalies in Canadiens history. His NHL career began on a sharp upward trajectory from his rookie season in 2007-08, saw a dip in 2009-10 when he lost the starting job to Jaroslav Halak in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and has been climbing again ever since.

Video: The guys discuss Carey Price's contract extension

Price won the Hart Trophy as NHL most valuable player and the Vezina Trophy as top goaltender in 2014-15. Since the start of that season, Price is first in the NHL in save percentage (.929) and goals-against average (2.09) in 140 games.

"I've had a lot of ups and downs here and feel like over these last 10 years I've got enough experience to know how to deal with just about any situation that gets thrown at me," Price said. "I feel of anybody, I feel like I'm most suited to deal with this. It's hard at times, but other times it's the most fun you're going to have in the entire NHL, is playing well in Montreal. There's nothing that compares to it."

Price will become the highest-paid goaltender in the NHL next season, surpassing Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers, whose contract has an average annual value of $8.5 million, according to CapFriendly.com.

Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said he understands he is breaking new ground by allocating that much money to a goaltender but said he feels comfortable doing so because he is giving it to Price.

"Well, nobody has a goaltender like Carey Price in the League. So until they do, they don't know," Bergevin said. "You know what? There's a saying we use: Goalies are not important until you don't have one. Seeing what's going on around the League with teams who are looking for a goaltender, it's really hard to do. So it's a position that's hard to find, and we have in our opinion one of the best in the business, if not the best, so we're going to keep him and make sure he's here for the rest of his career."

The annual average value of $10.5 million will tie Price with Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks for the highest in the NHL. Price said he deserves it based on his body of work.

"Our camp felt that that's where we should be," Price said.

Bergevin said he is not overly concerned about Price's age at the end of his contract, even if he concedes it might have been preferable for the Canadiens to have a shorter term.

"In an ideal world we would have given him less [term], but that's part of the negotiation," Bergevin said. "If you look at goaltenders performing in the playoffs, a guy like Pekka Rinne [of the Nashville Predators] is 35 years old, so a guy like Carey has a lot of good hockey ahead of him."

Price was tied for seventh in the NHL with a .923 save percentage last season, was tied for fifth with a 2.23 GAA and 37 wins, and finished third in voting for the Vezina behind Sergei Bobrovsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets Braden Holtby of the Washington Capitals.

Price (270-175-55) is third in Canadiens history, 19 wins behind Patrick Roy (289, with 66 ties) and 44 behind Jacques Plante (314, with 107 ties). Price is fourth with 39 shutouts.

This contract makes Price a virtual lock to own all of those records, and others, by the time he retires.

"There's no better place to play hockey," Price said. "For me, I'm honored to be able to wear a Canadiens uniform for the rest of my career. I can't really imagine playing for anybody else, to be honest. 

"This is all I've ever known and it's all I ever will know, I hope."

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