The Montreal Canadiens announced that goaltender Carey Price is close to making his return and could join the organization as early as next week. Noting there’s no exact date or timeline on his being back on the roster, Price will exit the player’s assistance program on November 6th.
Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme shared the news during a media avail on Tuesday and noted that the team is excited about the prospect of having Price back. The goaltender underwent knee surgery over the off-season, and when it appeared he would be ready to play again this season, entered the NHL player’s assistance program on Oct. 7. It was one of the bigger losses of many the Canadiens suffered this offseason.
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Price was talked about as a potential add for the Seattle Kraken but his injury situation was one that kept the Kraken from ultimately selecting him in the expansion draft. Many believed the Canadiens dodged a bullet leaving Price exposed. It was then revealed that defenseman Shea Weber would be out for the long haul, likely being forced to retire, while Price was going to be away from the team for at least 30 days. The team also lost Jesperi Kotkaniemi to an offer sheet and Phillip Danult signed with the Los Angeles Kings in free agency.
The result of these losses has seen the Canadiens get off to a sluggish start this year and are not at all the team that made it to the Stanley Cup Final last season.
If and when Price returns, he’ll likely be put in a spot to play games immediately as the combination of Jake Allen and Sam Montembeault have struggled early. The duo has a combined .899 save percentage through ten games and Montembeault has allowed eight goals in his two games.
Whether he returns this weekend or next week, the Canadiens will be excited to have him back. One Twitter user suggested seeing Price walk into the locker room will be like a dog owner coming back from an extended vacation and the dog seeing him for the first time in months.
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