USATSI_10022591_154158418_lowresThe Montreal Canadiens made a splash of their own on Sunday, signing goalie Carey Price to an eight-year contract extension worth a reported $84 million.

“I never thought about playing anywhere else,” Price said. “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.”

At this point, it’s safe to say Price is the face of the Canadiens and will be for a long time to come. The Habs know what the 29-year-old means to the franchise and made every effort to lock him up for what could be the remainder of his career. This contract will expire after the 2025-2026 NHL season.

Price has one season to go on his current contract, which was a six-year deal worth an average annual value of $6.5 million.

The Anahim Lake native was selected fifth overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft and has been with Montreal ever since. He made his debut in 2007-2008, winning 24 games with a goals against average of 2.56 and a save percentage of .920. He posted three shutouts in his rookie year.

Since then, Price has put together some masterful seasons.

In 2014-2015, he won 44 games and posted a goals against average of 1.96 with a .933 save percentage and nine shutouts. He picked up the Hart Trophy and the Vezina Trophy as a result of his superhuman efforts.

In 2016-2017, Price won 37 games and had 62 starts. He had a save percentage of .923 and a goals against average of 2.23.

Since the 2015-2016 season, Price has been the best goaltender in the NHL. Period. He is first in the NHL in save percentage since 2015-2016 and first in goals against average in 140 games. And when the new contract kicks in, he’ll become the highest paid goalie in the league. He will also tie Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane as the highest paid player in terms of average annual value.

“Well, nobody has a goaltender like Carey Price in the league. So until they do, they don’t know,” general manager Marc 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.”

Bergevin added that the Habs would’ve liked to have gone for less term on the contract, but such is life. There’s a lot of possibility for Price in the coming years and he’ll continue to light it up in Montreal. He’s already third in Habs franchise history in wins and fourth in shutouts, so it’s almost a given that he’ll break some records.

And for Montreal fans, that’s just fine.

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