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Carey Rie looking down ice close up
Whenever management trades or pays a beloved player, a chorus of eternal killjoys rises from the dark depths of their accounting offices, groaning that hockey is a business. We saw it when Connor McDavid signed for $12.5 million a season, and we saw it when the Canadiens announced they’d be paying star goaltender Carey Price $10.5 million for the maximum 8-year term. The verdicts are swift and merciless.

The killjoys aren’t wrong, of course. Asset management and the allocation of limited resources are absolutely vital to the success of any organization. Teams that spend foolishly will eventually pay for their poor decisions with failure.

But that’s not really what I want to talk about.

There’s meaning in the game that transcends any reduction to business. This is, perhaps, nowhere truer than in Montreal.

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