Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price will step away from the team and voluntarily enter the NHL and NHL Player Association’s player assistance program, both organizations announced on Thursday.
The former Hart and Vezina Trophy recipient already was set to miss the start of the 2021-22 regular season as he recovers from a non-COVID-19 illness.
Price, 34, had surgery in the offseason to repair a torn meniscus. He is heading into his 15th season with the Canadiens, who lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in five games in the 2021 Stanley Cup Finals.
NHL: Carey Price enters player assistance program
“Today, I’m not thinking about Carey Price the goaltender. I’m thinking about Carey Price the human being,” GM Marc Bergevin said. “I believe better days are ahead for Carey and his family.”
Started as a jointly funded effort in 1996, the player assistance program offers support for players and their families dealing with mental health, substance abuse and other issues.
Price owns a 360-257-79 record with 49 shutouts, a .917 save percentage and a 2.50 goals-against average in 707 games since Montreal drafted him No. 5 overall in 2005.
The Habs top goalie will miss at least the next 30 days.
NHL Injury News
Los Angeles Kings center Quinton Byfield landed on injured reserve Wednesday, a day after breaking his left ankle.
According to the team, the 19-year-old rookie will be sidelined indefinitely.
Byfield got hurt in the final period of the Kings’ 4-1 home preseason loss to the Coyotes when hit by Arizona’s Christian Fischer. Byfield finished the night with two shots on goal.
Ottawa Senators center Colin White is expected to undergo surgery on his dislocated shoulder and be sidelined four-to-six months, head coach D.J. Smith announced Thursday.
White, 24, sustained the injury after administering a check on Dave Kampf during the first period of the Senators’ preseason game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday. Smith said the following day that White was in line to miss a “significant amount of time.”
Colorado Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar will miss the team’s final two preseason games after testing positive for COVID-19.
Assistant coaches Ray Bennett and Nolan Pratt will serve as co-bench bosses as Colorado plays a home-and-home series against the Dallas Stars. The Avalanche will play in Dallas on Thursday and in Denver on Saturday.
Colorado opens the regular season against the visiting Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday.
The Avalanche also announced they will be without the services of goalie Pavel Francouz for the next 3-4 weeks due to a lower body injury.
He was injured in a preseason game against the Vegas Golden Knights where he got caught up in the net. Francouz missed all of last season after hip surgery.
The 31 year-old netminder last played in the 2019-20 season. Francouz has a career NHL record of 21-9-4-1 with a 2.40 GAA and a .923 SV%.
Evander Kane fake vaccination card probe
San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane has been accused of using a fake vaccination card, Front Office Sports reported.
Under United States federal law, any person that purchases, sells or produces a fake vaccination card can face up to five years in jail.
NHL rules detail that teams and players who fail to comply with COVID-19 protocols will face significant penalties, including “forfeiture of games, fines, and reimbursements of expenses, loss of draft choices, and/or ineligibility for participation in training activities.”
The NHL reportedly is investigating the allegation.
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-Field Level Media contributed to this report