KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — After 14 seasons as a professional hockey player, 12 seasons in the Southern Professional Hockey League, and six with the Knoxville Ice Bears, 37-year-old Jason Price is still sharpening his blades.
Price is the first player in SPHL history to play in 600 games, he accomplished the feat during a New Years Day game against the Pensacola Ice Flyers.
“I feel good I really do. We put a lot of work into it out here and within each day to be able to do this because it is our job,” said Price. “It’s a blessing to be able to do it and be a part of it.”
A natural competitor, Price is driven by wins, but also by his calling to assist future generations.
“One reason why I stayed at this level too was because you get to have an impact on guys coming into the game that are trying to find their way,” said Price. “They need that guidance I had it when I was first coming out.”
Price not only adds veteran experience to the blue line, he’s also the spark of the team.
“Price will sit on the bench and flip his stick over and kind of peck and bang on it, on the boards before the game starts and periods then he gets pretty emotional when good things happen and guys fight and stick up for their team,” said Ice Bears head coach Jeff Carr. “It doesn’t matter you’re age when you’ve played a ton of games and you’re the one supplying the energy.”
Described by his teammates as the ultimate hockey player, Price continues to impact the game.
“It’s done a lot for me in my life. I’m the person I am today because of it,” said Price.
While he knows retirement is in the near future, the veteran plays with the heart of a rookie.
“You hear older or slow, or washed up and he’s disproving all of that and more of a fan favorite,” said Carr. “He can get the job done, counted on it on, relied, huge for a team. For our league, for our team and for our city.”