In a moment that will surely be remembered for years to come, Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price had a bit of a slip-up during the 2023 NHL Draft. As he took to the stage to announce the team’s first-round pick, he just… couldn’t quite get the name out.
The pick in question? David Reinbacher, an 18-year-old Austrian defenseman, who played in Switzerland and was selected fifth overall by the Canadiens. Reinbacher is only the second Austrian player ever to be selected in the top five of the NHL Draft, following Thomas Vanek in 2003.
Price’s struggle was apparent, and it became clear that he wouldn’t be able to articulate Reinbacher’s name. In a quick save, Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes stepped in, announcing Reinbacher and jokingly quipping, “We planned it like that.”
The incident prompted sports writer Pete Blackburn to tweet, “Carey Price had an opportunity to do the funniest thing possible and he TOOK it.”
Carey Price had an opportunity to do the funniest thing possible and he TOOK it pic.twitter.com/R3mePWeEwg
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) June 28, 2023
While it was an awkward moment for Price, it was not the first time an NHL representative has forgotten a draft pick’s name. Back in the 2006 NHL Draft, Philadelphia Flyers general manager Bobby Clarke briefly forgot that his team had selected Claude Giroux, who went on to captain the Flyers for nearly a decade.
Price took the mistake in stride and even tweeted an apology after the event: “Boy that was embarrassing. Sorry David….. Reinbacher.” The tweet was met with a mix of humor and understanding from the NHL community, acknowledging that even the best can have an off day.
Boy that was embarrassing. Sorry David….. Reinbacher. 🤦🏻♂️😅
— Carey Price (@CP0031) June 29, 2023
In a lighter note, Reinbacher shared a strange question he was asked during the pre-draft process. “It’s World War II and you’re the captain of a boat and you have to bomb an enemy boat, but teammates are swimming in the ocean,” he began. Reinbacher’s response that he would never endanger his teammates was met with insistence that “it’s an order.” Thankfully, his conversation with Montreal was much more pleasant and “normal.”
Reinbacher’s future with the Canadiens is promising. Despite the somewhat embarrassing incident at the draft, his potential as a player and commitment to teamwork shines through. Carey Price, in the meantime, may want to brush up on his pronunciation skills before the next draft.