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February 19, 2013

Paying The Price: Pat Price

Pat Price was "Mr. Everything" as a junior star, but things changed drastically when he became a pro and the easy money flowed.

Pat played in four seasons with the Saskatoon Blades in the juniors. He was big (6´2"), brash, fast and strong. In his first junior season, he was named the rookie-of-the-year, even though he was just 14 years old. His final season, he won the team scoring title, even though he was a defenseman. He carried the Blades to the Memorial Cup playoffs, was voted as best defenseman in the league and was nominated Athlete-of-the-Year in Saskatoon. He was according to some scouts, the best junior hockey player in the world.

The WHA drafted Price as an underaged junior in 1974. He signed a lucrative contract with the Vancouver Blazers of the WHA worth $1.3 million over five years, which at that time was the biggest rookie contract in professional hockey. That summer (1974), he captained a team of Western Canada junior All-Stars against Team Canada (WHA), and those who saw him said that he was often the best defenseman on either side. He was then chosen to play with team Canada against the Soviets, to represent his country, even though he had never played played one minute of professional hockey.

Pat bought himself a Ferrari and was driving so recklessly that GM Joe Crozier got a call from the local police that Price was risking his life and limb as well as others. Pat was ticketed more than once for speeding over 100 miles per hour. Pat eventually crashed the car but didn't sustain any injuries.

Here's a full look back at the career of Pat Price.

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