If he’s medically cleared and feels ready to play, Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes would love to see goalie Carey Price get in some game action before the 2021-22 regular season concludes on April 29.
“I think it’s really totally up to his health,” Kent Hughes told TSN at the NHL GM meetings Monday night. “It would be great for the team to have Carey come back, just that boost. …it sounds like there was a real void without Shea Weber, without Corey Perry and without your superstar in Carey Price being part of the locker room and the day to day, so having Carey back would certainly be helpful to our group and give them hope.”
Price hasn’t played in an NHL game since last July when the Montreal Canadiens fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning in five games in the 2021 Stanley Cup Final. Since then, he has had surgery for a torn meniscus and also addressed his mental health by spending a month in the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program for substance use. Since leaving the program and rejoining the team on Nov. 9, it’s been a series of starts and stops for Price in his rehab and attempt to come back and play for the Montreal Canadiens this season. Carey Price finally practised with his teammates two weeks ago but has not been on the ice with them since March 21 due a non-COVID related illness.
Hughes is very cognizant and empathetic of how difficult things have been for Price since he led the Montreal Canadiens on that improbable run to the Stanley Cup Final and is hoping not just for the team but for Price’s mental state that he’s able to return to game action this season.
“Probably most importantly for Carey, I think, when you struggle through this type of an injury and you try to come back, and you get frustrated time and time again, I think it’s going to be a huge weight off his shoulders and give him a little bit of peace of mind to be able to return and play,” Hughes said.