Although Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price’s status to return to play has consistently been cautiously optimistic, there was always a sliver in people’s minds wondering if his playing time has ended. Then, during the summer, it was announced that Price had a knee injury that the Canadiens’ general manager Kent Hughes said required surgery. Nevertheless, without specific confirmation, he hoped to return to the ice next season.
Price’s wife, Angela, seemed to confirm that he would not be suiting up for the Canadiens again. She hosted a “Q & A” session on her Instagram stories and received two eye-opening questions. First was, “Are you and the family going back to Montreal next year?” She replied, “It looks like we will be moving to Kelowna after this hockey season / when Liv finishes school. But I feel like we will come back for visits quite a bit.” The second question was, “Will you put your house up for sale at the end of this season?” Again, she replied, “Yes we will. It’s going to be hard to say goodbye to this house and especially our neighbors.” Seeing that he and his family are moving out of Montreal seems like an unofficial farewell, per se.
Price has been through a lot these past few years. The 35-year-old’s last NHL game was April 29, 2022, in a 10-2 win against the Florida Panthers. He had been struggling with injuries that saw him play 30 regular-season games from 2021 to the end of 2022. Despite the adversity, he was able to play during Montreal’s spectacular 2020-21 playoff run when they made it to the Stanley Cup Final. Although they ultimately lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the city finally got to witness him play in the Final, finishing with a 13-9 record, 2.28 GAA, and a .924 Save Percentage in the postseason. Since then, he has only been able to play in five games. Furthermore, he won the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy in June 2022 for “perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.”
In October 2021, Price entered the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program for substance abuse and bravely shared his story in an effort to help others. While focusing on his recovery journey, he also remained focused on healing his knee and returning to form, but when speaking with reporters in October, it didn’t sound promising. He stated, “We’ll have to take it step by step. I don’t have a plan to retire at this moment. Right now, my goal is to just be pain-free from day to day. I’m still having some issues getting up and down stairs and carrying my kids up and down stairs is difficult. So my first priority is just to get my body in a place where I’m pain-free in my day-to-day living and go from there.”
Related: Carey Price Enters NHL Player Assistance Program, Out Min. 30 Days
It’s important to note that we may not hear the word “retirement” from Price, as he still has three years left on his 8-year, $84 million deal. If he officially retires, he would have to forfeit his contract. It seems most likely that Montreal will keep his contract on Long-Term Injured Reserve if he cannot return.
Hearing this news from Price’s wife validates fears that fans have tried to keep on the back burner. Price has been the face of Montreal for the last 15 years and is a future Hall of Famer. Seeing everything he has faced in the last two years makes the news tougher to hear for a great player and person.
Next: Three Takeaways in Senators’ 5-0 Win Over Canadiens
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