Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price will step away from the team and voluntarily enter the NHL and NHL Player Association’s player assistance program, both organizations announced on Thursday.
The former Hart and Vezina Trophy recipient already was set to miss the start of the 2021-22 regular season as he recovers from a non-COVID-19 illness.
Price, 34, had surgery in the offseason to repair a torn meniscus. He is heading into his 15th season with the Canadiens, who lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in five games in the 2021 Stanley Cup Finals.
The Canadiens open the season on Wednesday against the host Toronto Maple Leafs.
Carey Price enters player assistance program
“Today, I’m not thinking about Carey Price the goaltender. I’m thinking about Carey Price the human being,” GM Marc Bergevin said. “I believe better days are ahead for Carey and his family.”
When asked about his relationship with Price he fought back tears and said, “it’s hard.”
Started as a jointly funded effort in 1996, the player assistance program offers support for players and their families dealing with mental health, substance abuse and other issues.
Price owns a 360-257-79 record with 49 shutouts, a .917 save percentage and a 2.50 goals-against average in 707 games since Montreal drafted him No. 5 overall in 2005.
The Habs top goalie will miss at least the next 30 days.
Angela Price posts message on Instagram
Carey Price’s wife went on to Instagram to share a message about her husband.
Part of the privilege of being in the position our family is in, is that we also get a public platform to show how there is and can be a path to light for anyone who is struggling,” she wrote. “No matter what is on the line, we hope we can communicate the importance of putting your mental health first not just by saying it, but by showing up and doing the work to get better.”
“Carey’s showing up for himself and our family and making the absolute best decision possible for us,” she continued. “I will continue to show up for him and our kids and seek out the support that I may need on any given day. And it’s incredibly important to us to show our kids that asking for help, and letting yourself be supported by others is not just ok, but encouraged – anytime, and under any circumstance.”
–Field Level Media