Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price is seeking help, voluntarily entering the NHL’s player assistance program.
The NHL and NHL Players’ Association said in a release that the 34-year-old star goalie will be away from the team while he takes part in the program. The release did not specify why Price entered the program and said there would be no further comment.
The news came out of the blue. Previously the discussion over Price was whether the native of Anahim Lake, B.C., would recover from off-season surgery to repair a torn meniscus in time to start the season.
Montreal, which made it to the Stanley Cup final earlier this year, opens its 2021-22 campaign next Wednesday at Toronto.
“I didn’t see it coming,” said Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin. “To be up front with you, news came to me yesterday. So yeah, it caught me off-guard, yes.”
WATCH | GM Bergevin gets emotional while talking about Price:
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The news comes a day after Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme said it would be unlikely that Price would be ready to start the season due to an unspecified illness.
Price’s wife notes importance of mental health
Price’s wife Angela cited mental health in an Instagram post showing Price and their three kids.
“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 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 best possible decision for us.”
She added “it’s incredibly important for us to show our kids that asking for help and letting yourself be …….