CALGARY – Carey Price traded his honeymoon for a shot at being on Canada's Olympic team.
The Montreal Canadiens goalie married his long-time girlfriend, Angela Webber, on Saturday only hours before catching a flight to Hockey Canada's orientation camp.
"We had planned the wedding way in advance, before this [camp] was planned and it was fortunate it didn't overlap exactly," Price said. "We did have a couple hours of happiness before I had to take-off."
The cost of insuring the 46 players at the camp was too great for Hockey Canada so no on-ice sessions will be held during the four-day event. And that may a good thing for Price, who was pretty bleary-eyed after landing in Alberta.
"To be honest, I didn't actually go to sleep," Price said when asked how much shuteye he got before the trip, which started with a flight from Pasco, Washington at 6:30am pt. He then connected to Calgary via Salt Lake City eventually landing a little after 1pm mt. Price's wife is from Kennewick, Washington.
"I got some [sleep] on the flight. I got an opportunity to hang out with my family and friends and you only get married once in your life so it's definitely a time to take the opportunity to enjoy it. We definitely had a lot of fun.
"I'm a really happy man right now."
Subban loses dance-off
One wedding story has already become an instant classic and, no surprise, it features P.K. Subban. The reigning Norris Trophy winner, one of several Canadiens invited to the wedding, let his competitive nature get the best of him and ended up in a dance-off.
"My cousin showed him up, shamed him right off the dance floor," a smiling Price noted.
Subban may have gotten the last laugh though. Early Sunday morning he took to Twitter with the following message: "Bet Carey didn't think he would be spending his honeymoon with me! #letsgetiton #Mmmmhm #calgarybound."
The tweet included a picture of Subban smiling in his seat on the plane and Price sleeping in the background.
Shortly after the orientation camp, Price will make a quick pitstop at his off-season home in Kelowna, B.C. before heading to Montreal for the Canadiens annual golf tournament. After that, there will only be a week left before training camp and he would like to use that time to rest and prepare. So there will be no honeymoon for the happy couple.
"We have some plans for next summer to make up for it," he said.
In theory, Price could have begged off the camp. Philadelphia forward Claude Giroux, for example, opted not to attend as he rehabs an injury. But Price believes the camp, despite a lack of on-ice activity, will be useful.
"It's a short-term tournament [at the Olympics] and chemistry is a key so it's a good idea to get to know some of the players that I haven't met already."
And it's not like Price and his now wife haven't gone on a trip recently. He notes they ventured to Hawaii for Josh Gorges' wedding earlier in the summer. So at least they did have one memorable off-season getaway.
A rare opportunity
"I have a very understanding wife, which is the reason why I married her and she understands the situation and, you know, like I said, that's why I married her. She's the perfect girl for me," said Price, who turned 26 earlier this month.
"This is also a rare opportunity for me, for [any] individual, to go to an Olympic event, so she understands that."
And that is something his family is also well aware of. Price admits plenty of his relatives spent time bending his ear on Saturday night about the orientation camp and his prospects for Sochi, which, until a subpar conclusion to the 2012-13 season, looked very good.
A knee injury ended Price's season during the playoffs.
"I'm fine," Price insisted on Sunday. "I spent a lot of time doing rehab this summer making sure it was 100% before I started skating again. I've been skating for the past three weeks and I've had no issues with it."
But even before the injury, Price did not appear to be at his best, posting an .856 save percentage in his final eight starts. His late-season struggles gave more credence to the idea that Canada's biggest question mark heading into Sochi is in net. Although Price doesn't buy that.
"It's more of an opportunity for me personally," Price said. "We have a lot of excellent goaltenders in this country and I don't see it being much of a problem."
The competition to be Canada's starter in goal is seen as wide open. Vancouver's Roberto Luongo, recently re-installed as the Canucks No. 1 netminder, is among the favourites along with Chicago's Corey Crawford, who is fresh off a Stanley Cup win with the Blackhawks. The other goalies at the camp are Washington's Braden Holtby and Phoenix's Mike Smith.
Pittsburgh's Marc-Andre Fleury and Carolina's Cam Ward were not invited, but both have won Stanley Cups in recent years and could play themselves into contention.
"Everybody knows the pressures that come with being in this position," Price said. "We're all professionals and we all know how to handle it. It's not all pressure. It's a lot of fun to put on that jersey as well."
Price has yet to suit up for Canada at the senior level. His last experience with Hockey Canada was in 2007 at the world junior championship. During that event, held on the bigger ice surface in Sweden, Price was named the tournament's top goalie and most valuable player. He'd love nothing more than to repeat that performance on the grandest international stage.
"It's obviously what every goalie dreams of," said Price, who was born in Vancouver, but lists Anahim Lake, B.C. as his hometown. "It's definitely an honour to even be considered in the equation. I've had the opportunity to wear this country's logo before and it's definitely an honour. It's a privilege. It's a lot of fun. When you step on the ice, it definitely gives you chills down the back of your spine."