MONTREAL– Carey Price addressed the media on Monday, discussing his ongoing injury situation regarding his knee, as well as his tentative plans for the future.
“I don’t have a plan to retire right at this moment,” said Price. “It’s frustrating, no question. You go from the Stanley Cup Final to sitting here today. It’s not a position I envisioned myself being in not too long ago. It’s been an emotional rollercoaster for myself. My kids and wife have been very supportive.”
Price discussed the possibility of undertaking another surgery, but pointed out that the surgery itself presents certain risks, particularly in regard to his quality of life following the procedure, which involves removing cartilage from one area and adding it to his knee.
The success rate according to Price is roughly 50 percent.
“My rehab hasn’t been successful so far,” he said. “I’ve talked to several people who have had this type of injury. It has taken over a year for them to feel normal. I’m still holding up hope. There’s a possibility I go for another injection. That surgery is a little bit worrisome for me.”
There have been some silver linings to his unfortunate injury, including being able to spend time with his family and his daughter Liv.
“She’s at an age where she understands daddy is a hockey player,” he said. “But the other night we were at the Als game, and she was my little personal assistant handing me footballs to sign for fans.”
Price made a point to thank Canadiens fans for their support.
“Every fan I’ve had an interaction with over the last year and a half has been overwhelmingly positive, so I’m very happy for that.”
As for the playoff run that involved Price carrying his team to the Cup Final, he’s got nothing but great memories, even if it involved a significant amount of pain.
“It was mentally challenging,” said Price. “Playoffs are a grind for anybody and playing hurt is even more so. Once you kinda get into the game, everybody is playing hurt in some way or another. Morning skates were tough. But it was definitely trying. Everybody, by the time you make it to the final, is playing with something. I was just trying to stay focused on the goal. It was such a goal-orientated time that you are focused on one goal, you’re willing to put anything else aside. But it takes a toll on you. It’s a physical game, but that’s why we play, it’s part of the journey.
“It was basically, bite a stick and suck it up, and get out there,” he chuckled.
Price has no regrets about the path he’s undertaken.
“If I had to do it over again, would I do it? You bet I would,” he said.
Carey Price has a cap hit of $10.5M on the books for another three seasons following the 2022-2023 season. During this time, the 35-year-old is set to earn over $31M in salary.
The common practice in the NHL for players who have career-ending injuries is for them to be placed on Long-Term Injury Reserve (LTIR) until the end of their deal, to not penalize the players out of their earned contract. At the same time, it often provides the club with the ability to go over the cap if they’re close to the upper limit and gain some LTIR relief space, which is what the Canadiens are currently doing with Price’s contract.
To outright retire is likely out of the cards, but, if Carey Price ultimately does not return to play for the Montreal Canadiens, his contract, which is insured, will be in a similar situation to that of Shea Weber’s.
The Vegas Golden Knights acquired Weber’s contract, knowing they were going to be going over the salary cap consistently due to their cap structure. Should Price never return to the NHL, the Canadiens could use that foresight to make a similar move to their deal with Vegas and could finally get out from the confines of LTIR, which they have used for three straight seasons now.
(Contract information via CapFriendly)