The Canadiens award prioritizes a pain-free life on a daily basis and does not plan to retire

MONTREAL – Carey Price’s outlook on his health has changed, but he has no plans to retire just yet.

With a lingering knee injury that sidelined him for all but five games in the 2021-22 season, the Montreal Canadiens franchise goaltender is set for another season on the roster. long-term injuries. Speaking to the media on Monday, Price said he was focusing on his daily life and not ending his 15-year career in the National Hockey League.

“We will have to take it step by step. I have no intention of retiring at this time,” he said. “Right now my focus is just not to feel any pain day to day. I still have problems going up and down stairs and it’s difficult going up and down stairs with my kids.

“So my first priority is just to get my body to a place where I’m pain-free in my day-to-day life and go from there.”

Price, 35, had a second opinion about his knee injury in Pittsburgh late last season and it was suggested that he undergo further surgery.

The recommendation left Price uncomfortable and a risk to his overall quality of life. The keeper added he was ‘not a fan’ of the idea and called the procedure ‘intrusive’.

“The surgery is called OATS,” Price said. “Basically, they take a plug of cartilage and bone from a lower part of your knee and place it in the damaged cartilage area. It’s pretty serious and the success rate is over 50% and from a pessimistic point of view it’s like, “Well, there’s a 50% chance it won’t work or a 30% chance Or other.”

“It’s something, unless I have an urgent need to go through my life, that I might consider at that time, but right now I’m watching my young children and playing with them day to day. the day is the most important thing to me.”

For now, Price sees the next step as continuing the rehab he’s already been through. A long and tedious process that has not yet been completed.

“That was the most frustrating part, but I’ve talked to several people who have had this type of injury and it took them over a year to start feeling normal,” Price said. “So I still have hope. There is a possibility of another injection but we will have to see. We just have to keep trying to fix a problem, but this operation is a bit worrying for me.

There is no more room for Price’s name in the Canadiens locker room at the Bell Centre. It’s a telling change for Habs veterans like Brendan Gallagher, who has lived through the ups and downs of the team’s recent history alongside Price.

“It’s different looking down and not having it here. He was really the focal point of this team, of this organization for so many years,” Gallagher said. “It’s different but I’m just lucky to have spent the years that I spent with him and he made me look good many nights. I would never say that to his face but I would. owe one or two.

Price considers himself to be in a “grey area” when it comes to making the team. He was presented to a standing ovation at the Bell Center as a non-playing Canadian on the season opener on Oct. 12. The fifth pick in the 2005 NHL Draft said he always tries to find a balance between staying close to the team as an injured player and respecting his teammates’ space.

“Any injured guy will tell you that’s a weird position,” Price said. “You feel like part of the team, but you don’t feel like part of the team.

“I don’t want to be there every day and drain resources day by day. These guys come here and they work hard every day. They see coaches every day and I don’t want to hinder their progress. I’m not going to be part of that process here this season, so I feel like I’m on the way. I’ll be there, I miss being with the guys.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on October 24, 2022.


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Christy J. Olson