Canadiens’ goaltender Carey Price made his first public statement on Tuesday after voluntarily entering the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program on Oct. 7.
“Over the last few years I have let myself get to a very dark place and I didn’t have the tools to cope with that struggle,” Price wrote on Instagram. “Last month I made the decision to enter a residential treatment facility for substance abuse.”
He added that “things had reached a point” where he needed to prioritize his health for both himself and his family.
“Asking for help when you need is what we encourage our kids to do, and it is what I needed to do,” Price stated.
MORE: Carey Price enters NHL/NHLPA player assistance program
Price additionally explained that he is working through several years of neglecting his own health and that his timetable to return to the Canadiens is unclear.
“All I can do is take it day by day,” Price wrote. “With that comes uncertainty with when I will return to play.”
While he re-joined the Canadiens this week, Price has yet to take part in on-ice sessions. Coach Dominique Ducharme confirmed that Price will be making his official return through a multi-step process. Following the team’s practice on Tuesday morning, Ducharme told the Montreal Gazette that Price is “doing good.”
“Carey was in (the Bell Sports Complex), he’s still in,” Ducharme said. “It was good for me to see him and see how he’s doing and for the guys, too, to see their teammate back. We have a good group of guys and they care about each other. So having him back I think just on the personal side the guys feel pretty good about seeing him and seeing that he’s doing good.”
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Jake Allen will continue to start between the pipes for the Canadiens as Price makes his return.
“We talked about when he first left our group, we were happy for him that he was going to be able to get the help he needed,” forward Brendan Gallagher told reporters Monday. “Now that he’s back, we’re doing what we can do to help him.
“Like anyone, he’s going to be excited to get back to the rink. We’re looking forward to it as a group.”
Although it’s unclear when Price will start again, he asks that his privacy remains respected throughout the process.
“Your support and respect of this so far has been a critical piece of my recovery,” he concluded.