It seems like Carey Price might actually retire.
On Thursday, Montreal Canadiens GM Kent Hughes announced Price has been placed on the long-term injured reserve, a move that made it possible for the Habs to free up enough cap space to acquire centre Sean Monahan in a trade with the Calgary Flames.
Similar to how former captain Shea Weber was placed on the long-term injured reserve before he called it a career, hockey fans are understanding this could mark the end of the line of the Canadiens’ all-time win leader.
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Hughes admitted that Price is “unlikely to play for the Montreal Canadiens this season,” but didn’t mention anything about any possible retirement. But, Price only played five games during the 2021-22 NHL season, dealing with both a knee injury and mental health issues.
“This summer he went through the process of a shot to the knee seeing if that would help,” Hughes said. “It did not, and at this point, we don’t expect Carey to be available for the start of this season. Quite frankly, I don’t know that there’s a path for Carey to return this season through the rehab process.”
Hughes says the front office is in a “grey area” with Price in terms of knowing whether he’d be able to play or not, admitting it’s “not a determination that we can make.” The GM says the news about the goalie’s knee is “pretty discouraging in the sense that there hasn’t been any improvement.”
This is the latest setback for the 35-year-old since having knee surgery in July 2021.
At the time of last summer’s surgery, Price was thought to need 12 weeks to recover, but he was forced to restart his rehabilitation in January following a pause in activities as a COVID-19 preventative measure, during which he contracted the virus.
That restart came after Price missed a month while in the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program, which he entered in October for substance use.
In only five starts last year, Price went 1-4-0 with a 3.63 goals-against average for a last-place Montreal Canadiens club.
On April 29, Price made his final start of the season — and possibly his career — with a 10-2 win against the Florida Panthers, making 37 saves in what was his 700th NHL start. The following day, Price said he was seeking a second opinion on his knee and that he was aware he may have played his last game.
The Vancouver-native was selected with the fifth overall pick in the 2005 NHL Draft and has since become the Canadiens’ all-time wins leader (361-261-79), and made it to one Stanley Cup Final in 2021, losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning in five games.
Hockey fans are reacting to the Price news by calling it a “Greek tragedy,” some citing he’s the best goaltender to never win a Stanley Cup. Others are throwing shade at former Habs GM Marc Bergevin for “wasting Price’s prime.”
How ironic is it that the Canadiens, who could never give Carey Price enough run support when it mattered most, scored 10 goals in what will very likely be his final NHL game.
— HabsLinks (@HabsLinks) August 18, 2022
Carey Price’s career has been a beautiful Greek tragedy. I don’t know how else to say it. It’s obvious he’s great, and above it all, I have love & respect for the league’s greats. His journey thru it all has been a rough one, but he’s a top drawer guy & an ambassador of the game.
— Mikey D, The Driveway Deadlifter 🤙🏼🏴☠️ (@MikeyD_OandBP) August 18, 2022
Carey Price will go down in history as the greatest goaltender to never win the Cup, but he’s won literally everything else. He’s easily a 1st ballot HOFer being a Champion since junior hockey thru to the Olympics. His jersey will hang in the rafters of the Bell Centre one day.
— Jacob 🥅 (@paddle_down) August 18, 2022
How tf did Bergevin screw up 10 years of prime Carey Price?
— Slafkovsky4Calder (@Joey_Bnqz27) August 18, 2022
Nobody really knew this was the end. He deserved a proper send off and he’ll get one, but isn’t it so Carey Price that in the back of his mind he probably realized this was it and just skated off the ice unceremoniously. https://t.co/fBtdof7Qeh
— HabsLinks (@HabsLinks) August 18, 2022
Working my way through this longform on Carey Price, and folks, it’s depressing how his prime was wasted badly.
— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) August 12, 2022
I’m not emotionally stable enough to handle the Carey Price news
— Anne (@AnneLaur) August 18, 2022
It’s incredible to think that Carey Price has been a Montreal Canadien since I was in the first grade…
Him retiring without a Cup is a tough pill to swallow.
— al (@al_sciola) August 18, 2022
If Carey Price has played his last NHL game, it really sucks that this is how he is going out.
— Nick Richard (@_NickRichard) August 18, 2022
Marc Bergevin deserves to be tried for his crimes against Carey Price.
— march (@ffsmarch) August 18, 2022
Shoutout to Marc Bergevin for wasting Carey Price’s prime 👏
— Patrick Tallon (@PatrickETallon) August 18, 2022
Montreal wins the cup in 2014 if Kreider doesn’t try to assasinate Price.
— The Habitant (@the_habitant) August 10, 2022
Carey Price, in what was probably his final game, led the Habs onto the ice on May 1st against FLA. pic.twitter.com/wJvqJw4eM6
— robert agouri 🇨🇦 (@ragouri) August 18, 2022
Just trying to lighten the mood.
If it’s the end for Carey Price PLEASE make him become a country singer or runway model so we can still fangirl and fanboy over him. 🤠😜 #HockeyTwitter
— Mikey Mike (@MikeyBoyCanada) August 18, 2022