The Montreal Canadiens are one step closer to getting their superstar goaltender back.
Head coach Dominique Ducharme confirmed that Carey Price will be back in Brossard on Monday after being in the league’s joint player assistance program for 30 days.
“Obviously, we haven’t seen him in a month,” Ducharme told reporters after practice this afternoon. “We haven’t talked to him. So he’s going to be coming in and see our therapist, see where he’s at. Then from there we’ll build a plan.”
Before checking in to the league’s program, Price was recovering from off-season knee surgery. He had also been checked out for a hip ailment that did not require surgery.
The Montreal Canadiens appear to be comfortable with taking their time with their $10.5 million dollar goaltender despite their 3-9 record to start the season.
“There’s a build-up for sure,” acknowledged Ducharme in regards to a timetable for Price’s return. “I don’t think it’s a full medical (that he needs to pass) like when (the players) come before the season. But for sure, he’s coming off an injury, a surgery so we’ve got to see where he’s at with that. From there I think it’s (hitting the) gym, then on the ice by himself and then with the goalie coach, with shooters, with the team. So there’s a build-up for sure and the timeline is tough to really go deep and really have a plan, like a date today because we need to see him.”
It doesn’t sound as though fans of the Montreal Canadiens should expect Price back in the next week or so. But his return is a welcome one for a club clearly coping with a leadership void that has seen them fail to win consecutive games yet this year.
Ducharme also acknowledged that like the team did before the playoffs last year, Price could go down to Laval for a conditioning stint before playing with the Habs.
“We’re going to take a look at everything that we can do to get him ready to play. That’s one thing for sure that we can look at.”
Despite some sub-par seasons the last couple of years, Price was the central figure in the Habs run to the Cup Final four months ago. He brought the team to within three wins of Lord Stanley’s mug with a 2.28 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage.