Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price has taken an indefinite leave after joining the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program. NHL public relations made the announcement but did not provide additional details. Marc Bergevin, Canadiens team general manager, declined to give details on the matter while talking to the media on Thursday morning in respect of Carrey’s private life. He, however, declared his unequivocal support on the goaltender. Marc said in French, “Today, I’m not thinking about Carey Price, the goaltender. I’m thinking about Carey Price, the human being.”
Price Applauded for Brave Action
Bergevin admitted that he was shocked on hearing the news that Carey was taking an indefinite leave on Wednesday. He got emotional about his relationship with Carey Price. He, however, commended the brave actions of Price and his teammate Jonathan Drouin who took a similar indefinite leave last spring, saying it’s prudent to recognize you need help and seek it. He urged other players not to hesitate since they had enough resources in place.
He said, “If there’s other players in the NHL who have different issues, whatever that is, I think the NHL and NHLPA are looking at the well-being of their players, and I commend them to do that. I think every general manager is very sensitive to that, and we are here in Montreal.” He further added, “For [Drouin] and Carey and his family … I think we need to support them, we need to respect their privacy, and wish them the best. I believe better days are ahead for Carey and his family.”
Carey has received a commendation for his bravery from friends and teammates. Rogers Sportsnet reporter, Kyle Bukauskas, said in a tweet, “I’m so happy for him. We’ve had so many good times, and we’ve gone through a lot of really hard times. Nobody cares more than he does.”
Carey’s leave could last around 30 days though Bergevin said it “could take longer.” He, Bergevin, is, however, very confident that Price will be back with renewed strength.
‘I Will Continue To Show Up For Him’
Carey’s wife, Angela, applauded her husband and noted the importance of putting your mental health first. She posted on Instagram, “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. 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.” she posted on Thursday.
She further added, “Carey’s showing up for himself and our family and making the absolute best decision possible for us. I will continue to show up for him and our kids and seek out the support I may need on any given day.”
The 34-year-old goaltender did not attend the training camp out of ‘no-COVID related illness.” In the offseason, Price has gone through surgery to repair a torn meniscus. While giving Carey time to put his personal life back together, Canadiens will rely on a tandem of their Florida Panthers acquisition, Jake Allen, 31, who appeared in 29 games in the previous season and goalie Samuel Montembeault.
Carey, 34, is in his 14th NHL season, all spent with Montreal. He has four more years to finish his 8-year, $84 million contract. Price big game performance was a re-cement of his top position in Canada netminder for the forthcoming 2022 Olympics in Beijing.
Price stood out in Canadiens charge to the Stanley Cup Final during last season, where he won 13 out of 22 starts, finishing with a whopping .924 save percentage. Price won Hart Trophy for NHL MVP in the 2014-15 season and is a finalist in Vezina Trophy twice.
The NHL/NHLPA player assistance program is a vital resource center for players and their families in mental health, substance abuse, and other addictions. Several notable players have gone through the program and made impressive performances later. Former Ottawa Senators player Bobby Ryan checked in the program two years ago and came out a renewed player and played for Detroit Red Wings the following season. He is currently an unrestricted free agent.