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Canadiens' Carey Price to rejoin team after entering player assistance program

Canadiens' Carey Price to rejoin team after entering player assistance program
Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price, shown Jan. 24, 2013, voluntarily entered the NHL's player assistance program in early October. File Photo by Mark Goldman/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 5 (UPI) -- Montreal Canadiens star goaltender Carey Price is preparing to return to the team after a brief stint in the NHL's player assistance program.

Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme said Friday that Price will rejoin the club Monday. The superstar goalie will then meet with athletic therapists and create a plan moving forward.

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Price voluntarily entered the league's player assistance program Oct. 7. The program -- jointly run by the NHL and the NHL Players Association -- helps players and their families with mental health, substance abuse and other serious matters.

The team didn't provide an official reason for Price's entry into the program, but his wife, Angela, cited mental health in an Instagram post when it was announced the goalie would miss the start of the 2021-22 season.

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Price also was recovering from off-season knee surgery when the Canadiens' training camp began.

"He's coming off a surgery, so we've got to see where he's at with that," Ducharme told reporters Friday. "And then from there I think it's gym, then on the ice by himself, then with the goalie coach, with shooters, with the team.

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"So there's a buildup for sure, and the timeline, it's tough to go deep and really have a plan. ... We're going to take a look at everything we can do to get him ready to play."

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The 34-year-old Price has a career record of 360-257-79 over 707 career games (695 starts) with the Canadiens. The former Vezina Trophy winner has a 2.50 goals-against average with a .917 save percentage and 49 shutouts.

Last season, Price was instrumental in Montreal's run to the Stanley Cup Final, where the Canadiens lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in five games.

The Canadiens (3-9-0) are scheduled to host the Vegas Golden Knights (5-5-0) on Saturday. Montreal then plays the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday and the Calgary Flames on Thursday.

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