Pucks were ringing off the boards Wednesday morning at Toyota Arena. They don't have the same musical tone as wedding bells, but by week’s end, Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price will have heard them both.
It’s a busy week for Price, who will marry Kennewick native Angela Webber on Saturday, then leave Sunday for the Canada’s National Men’s Team orientation camp in Calgary. The camp will be used to evaluate players for the upcoming Sochi Olympic games.
“It hasn’t been too bad,” Price said. “Fortunately for me, Angela has been doing a lot of the work. She’s had a lot of help with the wedding so it hasn’t been too bad on me. I can focus on training.
“It’s a really busy week. Fortunately for me, I have a really good future family-in-laws.”
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Price, who turned 26 last week, was sharing time in goal with Tri-City Americans goalie Troy Trombley on Wednesday, stopping everything that came his way.
Price, who tended goal for the Americans from 2003-07, also skated with the team for about a month during the NHL lockout last season.
“Especially this time of year, it worked out,” Price said of skating with his former junior team. “This was the only time of year the wedding could be possible. Bob (Tory, Tri-City general manager) has always taken care of me, allowing me to come out and skate with the guys.
“The guys here are great. It’s nice to see them come back. In junior hockey, they are in and out a lot. They are a great group of kids and they are having a lot of fun out there.”
After Price got off the ice Wednesday, he was heading to the gym for off-ice training. He’s been skating for the last two weeks in Kelowna, British Columbia — his off season home.
“I’m feeling pretty good, but I’m sore,” Price said as he unbuckled his leg pads. “We have a pretty good group of NHLers in Kelowna. There’s been between 15 and 20 high caliber players skating in Kelowna for the last couple of weeks.”
Saturday, Price said about a half-dozen of his Montreal teammates will be in Kennewick for the wedding, including defenseman PK Subban, who will travel with Price to the Olympic training camp Sunday.
“There will be a few guys there, but it’s a busy time of year for all of us,” Price said. “Everyone is doing the same thing I’m doing, getting ready to go to their designated Olympic camps, or they may still be in Europe.”
None of Price’s Montreal teammates will be in the wedding party.
“My wedding party consists of guys I have known my whole life,” Price said, “and a couple here (in the Tri-Cities) that I have known for 10 years.”
Having their wedding in the Tri-Cities has given Price and his bride-to-be a little more privacy than if the nuptials had been in Montreal.
“This is a relaxing place to come,” Price said. “Not the hustle and bustle of Montreal. I can be a good ol’ boy here like everyone else. I really enjoy coming back here. It has everything I like — great golf courses, the bass fishing is awesome and Angela’s family is here.”
Having to report to the Olympic camp cancels any thought of a honeymoon, but that comes with the job.
“We went to Hawaii earlier this summer to Josh Gorge’s wedding,” Price said. “We spent 10 days there. It was somewhat of a honeymoon. We will wind up doing something next year, maybe going to Europe.”
But first, he has a little business to take care of with Team Canada.
“It’s an honor to put on the jersey, and the expectations are high when you put on the maple leaf,” Price said. “It’s fun to be part of that process — to be part of an elite group of hockey players. Most of them I already know. We won’t be skating there. It’s more of an ice breaker and to learn about the process.
“I think they might select the team while we are playing (during the season),” Price continued. “Five days before the Olympics we are playing. At the end of the day, they will be picking the players who are playing the best at that time.”
Price led Canada to a gold medal at the 2007 World Junior Championships in Sweden. He went 6-0 with a 1.14 GAA and a .961 save percentage and was named tournament MVP. He has not represented his country since.