Thursday morning the National Hockey League (NHL) issued a statement that Carey Price will be away from the Montreal Canadiens while voluntarily taking part in the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program.
Following the issuance of the statement Canadiens’ GM Marc Bergevin addressed the media at the Habs’ complex in Brossard.
For Bergevin, the news caught him off guard. “No I didn’t see it coming,” Marc Bergevin said. “To be upfront the news came to me yesterday and yes it caught me off guard.”
The important thing for Bergevin and the Canadiens’ organization is that Price takes care of himself, just like Jonathan Drouin did. "The elephant in the room, sometimes we don't say anything and it's very personal," Bergevin said. "But I salute [them] and I'm glad they did. If there are other players in the NHL who have different issues, whatever that is, I think the NHL and the NHLPA are really looking at the well- being of the players and I commend them [for] doing that. I think every general manager is very sensitive to that and we are here in Montreal and for 'Jo' (Drouin) and Carey and his family I think we need to support them. We need to respect their privacy and wish him the best. I believe better days are ahead for Carey and his family."
With the season opener against the Maple Leafs a week away, Bergevin is confident in the goaltending situation to start the campaign. Jake Allen, Sam Montembeault who was claimed on waivers from the Florida Panthers and Cayden Primeau, who played in six games with Montreal last season are all ready for duty with Allen most likely to be tapped as the number one netminder. "I think picking up Samuel off waivers gives us today a safety valve," he said. "I'm glad we did, other teams would have seen the need. I don't think anybody's moving goaltenders to replace Carey Price but we feel with Jake, who has done a tremendous job last year, and Sam came to camp, at least for now until he’s back, I think I feel comfortable to be able to start the season with these guys on our roster."
Price's wife Angela shared a message on Instagram shortly after the NHL made the announcement. "Part of the privilege of being in the position our family is in, is that we also get a public platform to show how there is and can be a path to light for anyone who is struggling," she wrote. "No matter what is on the line, we hope we can communicate the importance of putting your mental health first not just by saying it, but by showing up and doing the work to get better. Carey's showing up for himself and our family and making the absolute best decision possible for us. I will continue to show up for him and our kids and seek out the support that I may need on any given day. And it's incredibly important to us to show our kids that asking for help and letting yourself being supported by other is not just OK, but encouraged anytime, and under any circumstance."