Price, Canadiens working on new deal

By Annie Fowler, Herald staff writerJuly 20, 2010 

RICHLAND -- Carey Price was chatting up former Tri-City Americans teammate Dylan Stanley and watching the long drive competition Monday at the ninth annual Olie and Stu's Desert Bash at Meadow Springs Country Club.

The Montreal Canadiens goaltender was getting in a couple of rounds of golf after a long season that saw Montreal lose in the Eastern Conference finals to the Philadelphia Flyers.

"It was pretty fun," Price said of the experience. "When you get in the playoffs and get on a run, everyone is pulling on the same rope. I think what made the difference was everyone was enjoying themselves. When you get on a roll like we did last season, everyone was excited. It's an electrifying city."

During the regular season, Price shared time in goal with Jaroslav Halak, but by the time the playoffs rolled around, Halak had established himself as the starter and helped lead Montreal to upsets over the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins before running into the Flyers.

When the season ended, both goaltenders were restricted free agents.

The Canadiens opted to keep Price and on June 17, traded Halak to the St. Louis Blues for forwards Lars Eller and Ian Schultz.

"They had to make a decision and they did," Price said. "I was just riding it out. I'm happy to still be there. Montreal is a great place to play and the fans are great."

Price, 22, and the Canadiens still were in contract negotiations as of Monday.

"You know how I am, roll as you go," Price said. "I'm a restricted free agent, it's pretty much wait and see and come to an agreement that is fair to both sides."

To fill Halak's spot, Montreal signed veteran Alex Auld, 29, who split the 2009-10 NHL season with the Dallas Stars and the New York Rangers, playing a total of 24 games.

"It's going to be a bit of a different look," Price said. "There's always been another guy to share the load with. Alex is a pretty good goaltender. I don't really know him, but I'm looking forward to going back and meeting him."

Price finished the regular season 13-20-5 with a 2.77 goals against average and a .912 save percentage. He saw action in just four playoff games.

-- Former Tri-City Americans goaltender Tyler Weiman signed a one-year contract with the Vancouver Canucks last week, ending an eight-year relationship with the Colorado Avalanche.

"I was a free agent and we didn't really talk to Colorado," said Weiman, who also was playing in the Desert Bash. "I spent eight long years there, it was time for a change. Vancouver came to us with a good offer. Vancouver is great organization and had chances to compete for the (Stanley) Cup the last couple years. It was a pretty easy decision for me."

Weiman, 26, who played the last two seasons for the Lake Erie Monsters of the AHL, likely will play for Vancouver's AHL affiliate Manitoba Moose this season.

"You have to go to camp and earn your spot," Weiman said. "You can only control what you can do. I think of it as being wise and getting better with age. I've had nothing given to me. I've had to earn it."

Over the last six years, Weiman has appeared in 186 AHL games, posting an 84-85-10 record with a 2.77 GAA and a .909 save percentage.

Weiman, who gave way to Price when his WHL career ended with Tri-City, said he still keeps track of the Americans.

"It's great to see the success they've had," Weiman said. "It starts with stable ownership, a good foundation with the team and they are competitive. They are getting to that ultimate goal of the Memorial Cup."

-- Tri-City Americans co-owner Stu Barnes recently signed a one-year contract extension with the Dallas Stars as an assistant coach.

Barnes, who played 4 1/2 seasons for the Stars, has been behind the bench for two seasons.

"I'm looking forward to getting back to it," Barnes said. "It's interesting. When you are playing, you are so focused on getting ready day after day to play. I've learned a ton the last couple of years from being on the other side."

* Annie Fowler: 509-582-1574; afowler@tricityherald.com

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