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D’Amico: Montreal Canadiens Should Retire Carey Price’s No. 31

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Montreal Canadiens

Whether or not this is the end for Carey Price, he deserves to be the next member of the Montreal Canadiens to have his jersey retired.

The Montreal Canadiens were competitive under the Marc Bergevin era in large part because of Carey Price, and, the moment he wasn’t around or was out with an injury, the very excuse of his absence was enough to absolve those in charge of blame for poor performances. The notion of having another goalie able to replace the ability and aura of Carey Price was considered impossible for the better part of a decade, and was confirmed over the last two years. You cannot say the same of any other player to dawn the bleu-blanc-rouge since the turn of the century, and it will likely be a little while before Montreal sees another player as intrinsically valuable to the success of the team as Carey Price.

In the past, for a number to be raised to the rafters, the honoured player needed Stanley Cups and legendary performances. Carey Price may not have the former but he certainly provided the latter. He did everything there was to do; Vezina Trophy, Hart Trophy, Jennings Trophy, Ted Lindsay Trophy, and, most recently the Bill Masterton. The only slight on Price is that he didn’t bring home a Stanley Cup for the Montreal Canadiens, but the reality is that any time the Canadiens did have a shot at the Cup, it was because of Carey Price. Price took teams destined for a lottery ball and got them into playoff spots, and, the few times he had help in front of him, he led the Habs to multiple series victories.

In the time that Carey Price was playing for the Canadiens, no other player came close. Only one forward hit a point-per-game ratio and none have won an individual award for their on-ice performance. PK Subban may have won a Norris Trophy in a shortened season, and was an electrifying player, but didn’t impact the game as consistently as Price has over the last decade. Even Saku Koivu, who had a generational amount of heart and was an inspiration to millions, did not propel the Canadiens to heights they didn’t deserve to be at by simply being on the ice.

This isn’t meant to disrespect the aforementioned, nor the teams that Marc Bergevin has built over the last decade, but they were all elevated because they were playing in front of Carey Price. No 31. stands above them all past and current Montreal Canadiens of the 21st century as the most recognizable, impactful and elite player to wear the jersey. His Hockey Hall Of Fame induction will likely be a formality, due to his success in the NHL and internationally for Canada. However, it would be the right thing to do to make an exception for a player that was exceptional for as long as he was. Carey Price’s number deserves to be retired, tradition be damned.

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habbernack

Absolutely! But haters will say no.

24Habs

Definitely not a hater, I have several of his jerseys, but his number should not be raised. At least not until several others are first. Shutt & Lemaire immediately come to mind. If he played for any other team there would be no question but the Habs have a higher bar than all others.

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