Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price appears to have come to grips with the reality that his playing days are almost certainly behind him.
“Barring a miracle,” Price said Tuesday, according to TSN. “I’m still under contract and I still hold on hope to the fact that maybe I could play again, but the probabilities are falling by the month.”
Price missed the entire 2022-23 campaign after making only five appearances the year prior. He underwent knee surgery in the summer of 2021 after leading the Habs’ march to the Stanley Cup Final.
His knee has recovered to where he can live comfortably day-to-day, but Price admitted it can’t handle the physical demands of an NHL season.
“The honest thing is right now, it’s just not going to happen,” Price told The Athletic’s Arpon Basu. “To take the stress of the goaltending position, (the knee) is not where it needs to be. So for now, I’m just going to continue to try and rehab my knee to a position where it’s fit for life in general.”
Price said last October that he didn’t have plans to retire. The 36-year-old is under contract for three more seasons at $10.5 million per year but is likely to spend the remainder of the deal on long-term injured reserve.
He mentioned he’s open to the idea of joining the Canadiens’ front office in some capacity down the road.
“I’m probably not going to be in a full-time role soon; I’ve got a young family that I want to see grow up. I want to be present for that,” he said. “But I’m definitely keeping that option open in the future when they’re at an age that they don’t want to hang out with dad anymore.”
Montreal drafted Price fifth overall in 2005, and he went on to establish franchise records in games played by a goaltender (712) and wins (361). Price owns a lifetime .917 save percentage, and won the Vezina and Hart Trophy in 2015.
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