The first words out of Pierre McGuire’s mouth after the Canadiens selected Carey Price fifth overall in the 2005 NHL entry draft were “What are they doing?” In his criticism of the choice he accused Canadiens scouting director Trevor Timmons and Canadiens management of being “off the reservation”; an unfortunate choice of words considering Price’s First Nation heritage.
Ten years later, Price has been annointed the NHL’s best player in no fewer than four post season award categories including the Hart Trophy as the league’s most valuable player.
(To be fair, at the time of Price’s draft McGuire felt the Canadiens should have taken the big centreman Anze Kopitar who was finally taken by the Kings 11th overall).
Wednesday night in Las Vegas Price became only the third player in history to take home four of the NHL’s major post season individual awards. Along with the statistically awarded Jennings trophy, Price was awarded the Hart, Vezina and Ted Lindsay trophies. Bobby Orr and Guy Lafleur are the only others to take home four in the same year. Orr won the Hart, Art Ross, Norris and Conn Smythe trophies in 1970. In 1977, Lafleur won the Hart, Art Ross and Lester Pearson awards as well as the Conn Smythe.
Prior to this year, Price had never been honoured with post season recognition. He finished the 2014-2015 with a league leading 44 wins, a goals against average of 1.96 and a .933 save percentage. That save percentage was the third-highest in a single season since the NHL instituted the stat in 1976-77.
He’s the first to lead three categories in the same season since Chicago’s Ed Belfour in 1990-91.
For the record –
….In all categories, the voting for Price was a landslide. For the Hart Trophy he was listed first on 139 of the 157 ballots. Alex Ovechkin, who finished runner up was name first on eight. The league’s general managers vote on the Vezina Trophy and in that he was first on 27 of 30 ballots.
…..Price is the third goaltender to win the Ted Lindsay (formerly Lester Pearson) Award. Hasek twice (’97 & ’98) and Mike Liut (St. Louis) ’81. The only other member of the Canadiens to win it was Guy Lafleur in 1977 and 1978.
….Only three goaltenders have combined the Hart and Vezina trophies in the same year. Dominik Hasek twice. Jacques Plante turned the double in 1962 and Jose Theodore in 2002.
In accepting the Vezina Trophy Price touched on his First Nation roots.
Lady Byng Trophy (sportsmanship) – Jiri Hudler – Calgary Flames
Norris Trophy (top defenseman) – Erik Karlsson – Ottawa Senators
Calder Trophy (rookie of the year)- Aaron Ekblad – Florida Panthers
Frank Selke Trophy (defensive forward)– Patrice Bergeron – Boston Bruins
Masterton Trophy – (Persevereance-dedication) – Devon Dubnyk – Minnesota Wild
Jack Adams Award (Coach) – Bob Hartley – Calgary Flames
Maurice Richard Trophy (Goalscoring)– Alex Ovechkin – Washington Capitals – 53 goals
Art Ross Trophy – (Leading Points) Jamie Benn – Dallas Stars – 87 points.
General Manager of the Year – Steve Yzerman – Tampa Bay Lightning
King Clancy Award (Community Contributions) – Henrik Zetterberg – Detroit Red Wings
Mark Messier Leadership Award – Jonathan Toews – Chicago Blackhawks
NHL Foundation Award – Brent Burns – San Jose Sharks