As much as I hate the Habs — and believe me, I do — I can’t hate the humanity that their players at times exhibit. Last year when Corey Perry’s knee unavoidably collided with John Tavares head during the Leafs – Habs first-round and when he took the beating that was delivered to him by Nick Foligno, I felt for him. Just once, I let down that wall and saw that Perry was broken up that his knee injured the Leafs captain. It affected him on a personal level because not only was he not trying to play dirty, he ended up harming one of his pals. Then the Habs made it all the way to the final in what resulted in a kind of feel good story about underdogs battling the giant. Of course, Canadiens GM decided to remind people of one of the reasons why this franchise is so crappy, by drafting a player involved in sexual assault…in the FIRST ROUND.
A couple of days ago, the Canadiens announced that Carey Price would not be ready to start the season. Yesterday, they followed up with a statement that Price will voluntarily take part in the NHL/ NHLPA Player Assistance Program and will be away from the team while he undergoes the program. The program is for those players who need counseling for either mental health or drug and alcohol problems. Each NHL city has specific counselors at the ready. The last high-profile player to complete this was Bobby Ryan back in 2019-20, who sought treatment for alcohol abuse.
The great thing about this program is that it allows players to address their issues while taking a leave of absence from their team, allowing the player to take care of himself and his family without worrying about job performance on the ice. It’s a rare program in the NHL and the major league sports that focuses on the health of the player without stigmatizing them and their problems.
As for Carey Price, he’ll get the care that he needs for what sounds like a mental health issue. Instead of focusing on the negative, his wife Angela put out a statement on Instagram about how lucky they are to be able to use their platform to promote mental health and how Carey is putting his MH first so that the whole family can heal, while teaching their children a lesson in being strong can mean asking for help.
Good luck to Carey and the Price family on their journey of recovery.