In case you missed the shocking news earlier today, Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price has taken a leave of absence from the team while voluntarily taking part in the league's player assistance program.
It's unclear when Price will return and what exactly this means, but it's worth noting that in the past players have used the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program to help them with drug and/or alcohol addiction problems.
Here's the official statement from the NHL and the NHLPA regarding Price:
NEW YORK/TORONTO (Oct. 7, 2021) – The National Hockey League (NHL) and the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) announced today that goalie Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens will be away from the team while voluntarily taking part in the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program.
Price himself has not yet spoken to the media but Habs GM Marc Bergevin conducted an emotional press conference where he fought back tears and shared what he could about the situation.
Bergevin effectively said that Price will be gone from the team for a minimum of 30 days but that it "could be longer." More than that though, Bergevin shared some truly heartfelt concerns about price and his family in his comments today.
“Today I’m not thinking of Carey Price the Montreal Canadiens goalie, but Carey Price the human being.”
“I believe better days are ahead for Carey and his family.”
Bergevin even got emotional and choked up when asked how this news has personally affected him and his relationship with Price. "It's hard," is all the veteran GM could muster through tears.
Former Habs goaltending coach and long-time friend of Price Stephane Waite was on RDS (French version of TSN) earlier today where he set the record straight on Price's decision to leave the team.
Here's what Waite had to say (translated from French):
"Hear me right. Carey Price's situation has nothing to do with alcohol, nothing to do with drugs, nothing to do with pills and nothing to do with gambling. Carey is someone. one who takes great care of his body and leads a quiet life with his family. On the other hand, he is very demanding of himself and sometimes it can become difficult to deal with all this pressure to perform. "- Stéphane Waite
Waite also ventured on the possible trigger that led him to his request for help today.
"He told me this summer that he found it extremely difficult to get this far in the playoffs and come so close to the Stanley Cup without winning it. It was a very difficult summer for him, besides his surgery. knee. I texted him today to tell him that I was really proud of him for having the courage to take charge of his sanity like that. I'm sure he'll get through this. test and will come back in great shape. "- Stéphane Waite
Again, we don't know the specifics on any of this and until Price clears the air himself, all we can do is speculate.
Source: RDS · Photo Credit: RDS