MONTREAL – Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carrie Price is voluntarily entering the NHL’s player assistance program for an unspecified reason.

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The NHL/NHLPA Players Association made the announcement Thursday morning ahead of a news conference hosted by General Manager Mark Bergevin.

“It’s been tough,” Bergevin said trying to hold back his tears when asked how he was dealing with the news, given his nine-year relationship with Price.

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It is expected that the star goalkeeper will remain in the assist program for at least 30 days. The program can be extended further.

The emotionally distraught GM praised Price, as well as pushing Jonathan Drouin to step back to deal with his struggles. Drouin is rejoining the team after taking a five-month break for personal reasons, which he said were due to a battle with anxiety and insomnia.

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Bergwin said he was “caught” after he learned of Price’s decision on Wednesday.

“If there are other players in the NHL who have different issues, whatever it may be, I think the NHL and the NHLPA are really looking out for the well-being of their players, and I commend them for doing so.” They said.

“[Jonathan Drouin], and Carrie and her family, you know, they have three kids and their wife, so I think we need to support them, we need to respect their privacy and wish them the best.”

“I believe that better days are ahead for Carrie and her family.”

Head coach Dominic Ducharme indicated a day earlier that he did not expect Price to join his teammates in practice before the season begins.

Price is recovering from knee surgery after an operation on July 23.

‘Putting your mental health first’

Price’s wife, Angela Price, posted on her Instagram account on Thursday about the importance of “putting her mental health first” and said the goalkeeper was “showing up for herself and her family.”

“It is incredibly important for us to show our children that asking for help, and giving ourselves the support of others is not okay, but encouraged – anytime, and under any circumstances,” her post reads. .

“I love you and I’m so proud of you for having the courage to ask for help,” Price’s sister Kayla Price wrote after sharing Angela Price’s post on her own Instagram Stories.

The Hubs will officially begin their season on October 13 against the Maple Leafs in Toronto.

The team, Bergevin insisted, is in good shape despite temporarily losing Price and Webber, who are ruled out for the season due to injuries.

“Together [Weber] Having lived here for five years, I think he left a legacy among his peers. How to be a good supporter, how to put your team ahead of anything else,” Bergevin said.

“Carrie will be back, I believe, and we have people who are already through the grind. So, yes, we have leadership in this group and I think they will rise to the occasion once again “