MONTREAL – Carey Price does not know if he will be able to play hockey again and he approaches the next few weeks of rehabilitation with great concern.
« You never know, the possibility is always there, » the Montreal Canadiens star goaltender said of retirement on Sunday. “The next few weeks will be crucial to see how my knee will react and that worries me. The answers, I will have them soon. »
How does he estimate his chances of success?
» I do not know. I don’t have a percentage and I’m not a fortune teller,” he replied.
Earlier in the day, in an interview with the daily La Presse, the general manager of CH Kent Hughes had indicated that we did not know if Price could play again one day.
A third attempt
In any case, a lot of water had flowed under the bridge since the last time Price spoke to reporters, after the Stanley Cup final on July 7, 2021.
The 34-year-old goalie underwent knee surgery a few weeks later on July 23, and it was rumored at the time that he would be ready for the start of the regular season on October 13. Instead, he entered the NHL’s aid program on October 7. He remained there for about a month, before returning to the bosom of the CH. Since that time, he has tried to return to the game, but he suffered two setbacks. He has just started a third try on the ice and the coming weeks will be crucial in order to establish whether he can play again.
Price said he’s willing to try anything because he’s definitely not ready to hang his massive leggings on the retirement nail.
« I’ve been the Canadiens goaltender for a decade, it’s a big part of my identity, » he said of his desire to continue. Last season ended on a very disappointing note. I want to come back and try again to go all the way. This is my great source of motivation. »
Price even added that he won’t be put off by a possible third setback.
« If it doesn’t work again, the only solution will be to start all over again, » he said.
He still wonders if he will be able to return to the top of his game.
“Will I be able to return to the level before? It crosses your mind, there is always a doubt. The team has an exceptional nursing staff. I have confidence in the process and I hope that I can return to the level before. »
In Montreal, nowhere else
The native of Anahim Lake, British Columbia, said playing for the Canadiens is where he wants to continue his career.
“The plan is not to leave,” he answered the question. The family is very happy here, it’s our home. There’s a reason I had a no-move clause included in my contract. At the moment, I have no plans to ask to go anywhere else. »
Last July, Price had however waived the no-movement clause in order to be made available for the Seattle Kraken in the expansion draft. We then spoke among Canadians of a very calculated risk. The Kraken didn’t choose him either.
Price had started the videoconference by assuring that he was doing well, despite the pitfalls and the season of misery for the Habs.
“I’m fine, even if the situation is frustrating for everyone, including me. It’s been a long, very frustrating last year. I can assure you that everyone tries to do their best. It’s hard to be on the sidelines and see your teammates not having success. Their level of motivation should not be questioned. »
On a personal level, Price said he had a very difficult decision to make in October.
“I was at the point where I really needed help. It wasn’t easy, but it was a decision I had to make and it was successful. I greatly appreciate all the help received. »
Price said he was very grateful to the fans, as well as his teammates and of course his family for the unwavering support they gave him.
« It’s been quite a journey, but it would have been more winding if I hadn’t had everyone’s support, » he concluded.