Montreal Canadiens: How Far Can Carey Price Climb Up All-Time Wins List?

VANCOUVER, BC - JANUARY 20: Carey Price Montreal Canadiens (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BC - JANUARY 20: Carey Price Montreal Canadiens (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images) /

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price has already built an incredible resume during his career with the Habs.

He has won a Hart Trophy, a Vezina Trophy, a William Jennings Award and a Ted Lindsay Award. He helped prop up a flawed Canadiens team for several years and take a team that could hardly score to three division titles and a Stanley Cup semi-final.

Price has also surpassed every other Canadiens great that came before him when it comes to winning games. Jacques Plante held the all time record for wins by a Habs goaltender with 314 for more than 50 years. Patrick Roy was the most recent goalie to challenge that number, but he was traded to the Colorado Avalanche after winning 289 games with the Habs.

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Then, on March 12, 2019 (exactly a year before the NHL would shut down due to Covid-19) Carey Price would win his 315th game and pass Hall of Famer Plante for the record among Canadiens goaltenders. Price continued to pile up wins, and on Saturday night against his hometown (ish) Vancouver Canucks, he won the 350th game of his career.

That puts Price well ahead of all other goalies in the history of the Canadiens, but how far can he climb the NHL’s all time list?

With 350 victories, Price currently ranks 23rd on the all-time wins list. He is 33 years old and just over halfway to Martin Brodeur’s record of 691 wins, so there is no way Price is making it all the way to number one. But he should leapfrog plenty more goaltenders before he ends his terrific career.

Price is signed for five more seasons after this one. The Habs look to have a much better roster now than they have recently, and wins aren’t just a goaltending stat, though you could easily argue a goaltender has the biggest impact on most wins of any individual on a team. The better team in front of him, should lead to a few more wins over the next several years.

In the past three seasons, the Canadiens would have missed the postseason if it weren’t for an expanded playoffs due to Covid-19. Even in those three down years for the team, Price averaged 26 wins per season. This includes a season being cut short due to injury after 46 games and a season being cut short due to a global pandemic.

It’s fairly reasonable to assume Price can average 30 wins per year for the next few season. We will pro-rate that to 20 wins for this season, since it is a 56 game schedule. That means Price should finish this season with about 370 career wins. This would slot him between Tom Barrasso and Andy Moog on the all-time list in 19th place all-time.

A 30 win 2021-22 season would then see Price reach the 400 mark for his career. If he can do that, he would pass John Vanbiesbrouck, Mike Vernon, and Dominik Hasek and make it to 14th all-time.

Another 30 win season in 2022-23 would give him about 430 and put him ahead of Chris Osgood, Glenn Hall, Grant Fuhr and Tony Esposito and have Price 10th on the all-time list at the age of 36.

Let’s say he starts to slow down at this point and Cayden Primeau starts to steal some starts from him. Just to be conservative, let’s say Price wins 20 games in 2023-24. This would give him 450 for his career and would see him pass legends Jacques Plante and Terry Sawchuk.

Price would still have two years left on his enormous contract, so it’s not like he’s going to retire in 2024. If he can manage another 35 wins combined in those last two years of his career, he would reach 485 for his career. That would put him ahead of Curtis Joseph, Henrik Lundqvist and Ed Belfour, and just four wins shy of Roberto Luongo for third on the all-time list.

We would have to keep an eye on Marc-Andre Fleury in all of this as well. He currently has 469 wins and is looking pretty sharp for the Vegas Golden Knights early this season. He could reach 500 before his career is over, which would mean Price would fall just short of Luongo for 4th on the all-time list.

These figures are pretty conservative considering how good the Habs look and that a lot of their top players are young players that could be helping Price win games for many years. Even with some conservative estimates, it looks like Price could reach 5th on the all-time wins list before he retires.

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There is no way he is going to reach Brodeur at 691. He also has very little chance of reaching Patrick Roy who won 551 games in his career. However, Luongo is third right now with 489 wins and if Price can stay healthy and Marc Bergevin can keep the team competitive for the next five seasons, Price could make it 500 wins and retire with the third most in NHL history.