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Sunday hockey notes

Carey Price looks good, but his balky knee won’t allow for a comeback attempt with Canadiens

Carey Price last played for the Canadiens in Game 5 of the 2021 Stanley Cup Final.Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

Carey Price was back this past week in Brossard, Quebec, the practice/training home of the Canadiens, looking fresh, fit, and trim. At a quick glance, one might have thought the veteran goaltender was there to start training camp and make another attempt at a comeback.

But looks can be deceiving.

Price, 36, missed last season because of a chronic knee injury, his most recent NHL action a five-game stint with Les Glorieux in 2021-22. He sold his Montreal-area home over the summer and moved his family to Kelowna, British Columbia, some 2,500 miles northwest of Centre Bell’s glimmering ice sheet.


Despite having three years left on a deal that carries a $10.5 million cap hit, it has become a fait accompli in Montreal that Price’s playing days are kaput. His energy now, he said during a media appearance in Brossard, is simply spent on getting his troublesome knee “fit for life in general.” It was not unexpected news, but nonetheless was a kick to the gut for Habs fans now 30-plus years without a Stanley Cup parade.

Price was in Brossard in a pitchman’s role, extolling the virtues of a line of ATVs rolled out in his name, manufactured by CFMOTO Canada. Much like ex-Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas, as well as presumptive-captain-to-be Brad Marchand, Price is an avid outdoorsman. Though his wheels for hockey may be shot, he can still get his motor runnin’ (albeit not get out on the highway) for CFMOTO.

Price said he can tolerate pain — “Not a big deal, I can deal with feeling uncomfortable.” — repeating the familiar mantra of virtually all hockey players. He said the knee can withstand the rigors of golf and short hikes without any trouble. But slightly more strenuous activity, such as running the bases in a charity softball game, can leave him dealing with a swollen knee for two weeks.


In that light, he added, “A full burden of a season’s load [in net] is not going to cut it.”

FILE - Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price stands in the crease during the second period of Game 2 of the team's NHL hockey Stanley Cup finals series against the Tampa Bay Lightning, June 30, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. Price has won the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, awarded to the NHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication, Friday, June 3. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

Price was only 20 when he assumed the prestigious Ken Dryden chair in the autumn of 2007, partnering his rookie season with Cristobal Huet and a 22-year-old Jaroslav Halak. Price won 20 or more games in seven of his first eight seasons, including a career-high 44 in 2014-15, which brought him his lone Vezina Trophy.

The No. 5 pick in 2005, the draft led by Sidney Crosby following the lockout, Price certainly had the build (6 feet 3 inches, 215 pounds), game, and guile to back a team to a Cup title. His only real chance came in 2021, when the Habs fell to the Lightning, and Andrei Vasilevskiy, in the Cup Final. Vasilevskiy, the MVP (Conn Smythe) winner, allowed only eight goals across five games. The Lightning torched the Habs for 16 goals in the first four games, then clinched the Cup on Vasilevskiy’s 1-0 shutout in Game 5.

Prior to selecting Price, the Canadiens twice placed their bets elsewhere (Andrei Kostitsyn, Cory Urquhart) in the 2003 draft before the Bruins selected Quebec City’s Patrice Bergeron at No. 45. Had they opted for Bergeron with pick No. 10 or 40, the Habs would have had Bergeron and Price side by side in their prime.

The Habs will go forward this season, their net to be sorted out by veteran Jake Allen, 33, who paired with Jordan Binnington for the Blues during their 2019 Cup run, Casey DeSmith (ex- of UNH), and Trois Rivieres homeboy Sam Montembeault. Montreal’s last playoff appearance was the Game 5 loss in 2021.



Senators lock up

their young core

The Senators, now in overtime in tidying up the paperwork for Michael Andlauer to take over as owner, last weekend committed to Jake Sanderson as part of their deep stable of multimillionaire 20-somethings.

Sanderson, whose 2022-23 rookie season consisted of 77 games and 32 points, signed an eight-year extension that carries a $8.05 million cap hit. He is under cost control for the next nine seasons, and the Senators have the unfettered right to deal him at any time through the 2028-29 season, because Sanderson, 21, wouldn’t have qualified for unrestricted free agency until July 1, 2029.

Local hockey fans will remember that Tyler Seguin looked like he was being positioned as a potential Bruin for life upon signing a six-year, $34.5 million extension on Sept. 11, 2012, at age 20. Like Sanderson, Seguin was so many years short of the UFA threshold that the deal left the Bruins with a protracted window, until July 1, 2017, to deal him.

On July 4, 2013, before Seguin’s new contract kicked in, he was on his way to Dallas in the deal that brought back misfit toys Loui Eriksson, Matt Fraser, Joe Morrow, and Reilly Smith (last seen hoisting the Cup with Bruce Cassidy’s Golden Knights).

Sanderson, a mobile, offense-first-and-foremost blue liner, should not be going anywhere but to the Bank of Canada. Nor will the Senators look to wheel their other core rich kids who have signed long term, including forwards Tim Stutzle ($8.35 million AAV), Brady Tkachuk ($8.205 million), and Josh Norris ($7.95 million), and defenseman Thomas Chabot ($8 million).


Combined, those five are under contract for 35 seasons with an aggregate payout of some $280 million. There isn’t another team in the Original 32 that boasts that level of youth, talent, and cost certainty — exciting in itself, but especially so for a fan base grown frustrated by the Senators’ six consecutive postseason DNQs.

Jake Sanderson, whose 2022-23 rookie season consisted of 77 games and 32 points, signed an eight-year extension that carries a $8.05 million cap hit. Paul Vernon/Associated Press

Bourque helping

to shoot down ALS

Over the course of his Hall of Fame career, Ray Bourque squeezed off 6,209 shots on net, a league record surpassed last season when Capitals cannon Alexander Ovechkin fired 294 times, boosting his total to 6,355.

Granted, Bourque is 62 and hasn’t fired a puck in the NHL since June 2001, but your faithful puck chronicler finds it a little surprising that being eclipsed by Ovechkin hasn’t led No. 77 to announce a comeback run.

Not to worry, the legendary defenseman is still shooting, and he is taking aim again at ALS with his second Captain’s Ball gala, to be held Thursday, 6 p.m., at Big Night Live on Causeway Street (just up the sidewalk from the Flying Bobby statue). Black tie is optional. Unless it’s gold-trimmed. Then it’s mandatory, as well as hockey haute couture.

Proceeds will benefit the Peter Frates Family Foundation and the Sean M. Healey & AMG Center for ALS at Mass. General. Bourque’s inaugural Captain’s Ball, held last year, raised some $240,000 to help fight ALS, the neurodegenerative disorder (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease.


Pete Frates, then just diagnosed with ALS, was refereeing a Bruins alumni game when he first met Bourque, starting what became a close friendship between the two, who share a Dec. 28 birthdate.

Eventually, Frates sparked worldwide ALS awareness with his legendary Ice Bucket Challenge that has raised millions for research. Bourque this past week recalled that it was Dr. Merit Cudkowicz, director of the Healey & AMG Center, who told Frates that $1 billion would have to be raised in hopes of one day conquering the disease.

“And Pete’s reaction was, ‘OK, I’m on it.’ Tells you everything you ever needed to know about Pete, right?” recalled Bourque, whose dream is that the hockey world will embrace Frates’s fund-raising spirit. “The Captain’s Ball is to keep Pete’s memory alive, remind people about him, and how much more is needed — in terms of work and money.”

Tickets, $150 each, can be purchased online at The night includes open bar, food, live music by Beach Nights Band, raffles, and a silent auction.

Oh, and both Patrice Bergeron and Rob Gronkowski, a power forward wannabe, will be on hand, too. The Ball’s emcee is Sean McDonough, who alone makes the $150 worth the price.

Tkachuk recalls painful experience

Florida’s Matthew Tkachuk suited up for Game 4 of the Cup Final after fracturing his sternum in Game 3 vs. Vegas. His immense pain, limiting the Panthers winger’s range of motion and overall mobility, was evident to anyone who watched that night.

The Vegas win in Game 4, leading to an insurmountable 3-1 series lead, eventually led Tkachuk to sit out Game 5, a 9-3 Cup-clinching rout in Las Vegas.

Tkachuk this past week, during an “NHL@TheRink” podcast hosted by Dan Rosen, said he needed help to get out of bed following his traditional afternoon nap prior to Game 4. To the rescue: his brother, Brady Tkachuk, the ex-Boston University winger and now Senators captain.

Brady initially thought his older brother was kidding, Until . . .

“I legit can’t get up,” Matthew recalled telling his brother. “I just sneezed and I thought I died.”

Sports well represented at Globe Summit

The popular Globe Summit makes its return Tuesday-Thursday, staged at WBUR CitySpace at 890 Commonwealth Ave., and chock full of sports content.

Globe sportswriter Michael Silverman will moderate a “Building Title Town” panel discussion that will include representatives from the Bruins, Red Sox, Patriots, and Celtics. Team president Cam Neely will be the Bruins’ representative.

Globe columnist Chris Gasper will have a one-on-one chat with former Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker, the new president of the NCAA.

Former Patriot Devin McCourty will be part of a panel discussion on social justice, and Red Sox manager Alex Cora will join a panel on leadership.

The Globe Summit also can be attended online. For information, go to

Third Annual Globe Summit
WATCH: Boston Globe Media CEO Linda Henry previews the third annual Globe Summit: Today’s Innovators. Tomorrow’s Leaders running September 19-21.

Loose pucks

Just back in Calgary and ready for training camp, elite Flames center Elias Lindholm repeated what he told media back home in Sweden days earlier, that he’s open and willing to remain in Stampede country if the money’s right. Easy for him to say, but a tough chore for new general manager Craig Conroy to find the dough, especially now with Jonathan Huberdeau’s eight-year deal ($10.5 million cap hit) about to start. “Now it’s just a negotiation,” Conroy told the Calgary media. It’s always just a negotiation, of course, and what makes this one particularly sticky is that Lindholm, a center in the Bergeron mold, can reach unrestricted free agency next July at age 29 . . . Jaroslav Halak, 38, needs five wins to reach the 300 milestone (295-189-69) but was still without a contract as the weekend approached. The Slovak stopper went 10-9-5 with the Rangers last season as Igor Shesterkin’s backup after one season in Vancouver following his three-year Boston tenure (49 wins as Tuukka Rask’s backup). Buzz around the league in recent days has been that the Blue Jackets might offer Halak a PTO audition. The Rangers signed Jonathan Quick, ex- of UMass and a couple of Kings Cup titles, for a budget-friendly $925,000 to be Shesterkin’s backup this season . . . Keith Kinkaid, the only netminder not named Linus Ullmark or Jeremy Swayman to win a game for the Bruins last season, signed on Wednesday to be the Devils’ first goalie call-up if Vitek Vanecek or Akira Schmid need a breather. Kinkaid spent nine seasons in the Devils organization upon leaving Union College in the spring of 2011. Kinkaid’s two-way deal, which carries a $775,000 cap hit at the NHL level, comes with a $350,000 guarantee if he spends the season in the minors . . . Casey DeSmith, whose last season at the University of New Hampshire was 2013-14, was shipped to Montreal by Pittsburgh on Aug. 6, in a precursor to the Penguins acquiring prolific back liner Erik Karlsson from the Sharks. The Canadiens were eager to take Mike Hoffman’s $4.5 million off the books in the swap that included DeSmith, and equally eager to then send out ex-Penguins blue-liner Jeff Petry (now with his hometown Red Wings). Hoffman was part of the package the Penguins ultimately forwarded to San Jose when landing Karlsson in what was the summer’s biggest deal . . . Back to Ottawa’s rich kids for a moment: Josh Norris and Tim Stutzle would not be in Ottawa if not for the September 2018 deal in which the Senators wheeled Karlsson to the Sharks. Norris, once a first-round pick of San Jose, was bundled directly into the swap. The deal included San Jose’s top pick in the 2020 draft, No. 3 overall, which the Senators used to pick Stutzle. With 177 points in 210 games, Stutzle has proved to be the pick of the 2020 litter, well outpacing No. 1 Alexis Lafreniere (Rangers) and No. 2 Quinton Byfield (Kings) . . . No. 1 draft pick Connor Bedard, positioned as the cornerstone of the Blackhawks’ revival, is hardly the only exciting rookie ready to make his NHL debut. Keep an eye on the wizardly Logan Cooley, the left-shot center who this summer turned pro with Arizona after his 60-point freshman season with the University of Minnesota. Cooley, 5-10/175, might need time to build out his frame for nightly NHL rigors, but his speed and shot are NHL-ready. He finished No. 2 in NCAA scoring to Michigan’s Adam Fantilli (65 points), who now is central to the Blue Jackets’ rebuild . . . The Panthers, who inched their way into the playoff picture in the final hours of the 2022-23 season, will be without key defensemen Aaron Ekblad and Brandon Montour (a Bruins killer in Round 1) for at least the first two months of the new season. Both are rehabbing from offseason shoulder surgery. It’s a huge season ahead for Montour, 29, ex- of Anaheim and Buffalo. He blossomed (16-57–73) under the tutelage of first-year Panthers coach Paul Maurce and is ticketed for July 1 UFA status. The open market could see him double his $3.5 million cap hit, though not likely with the Sunrisers . . . The Blues need a bunch of help, especially up front, which led them Thursday to invite UFA Nick Ritchie to camp on a PTO. Ritchie has some touch around the net on the power play and in shootouts, but otherwise his brief time in Black and Gold (63 games over two seasons) proved remarkably unremarkable. The Bruins acquired Ritchie (brother of another ex-Bostonian, Brett Ritchie) in a one-for-one swap that sent Danton Heinen to the Ducks. Heinen will arrive in Brighton on Wednesday on a PTO invite from the Bruins.

Kevin Paul Dupont can be reached at