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Carey Price approaching return to Montreal: Ducharme

Click to play video: 'Montreal Canadiens confirm Carey Price’s return is imminent'
Montreal Canadiens confirm Carey Price’s return is imminent
WATCH: Montreal Canadiens coach Dominique Ducharme announced on Tuesday that Carey Price will soon return to the team. The 34-year-old goalie has been taking part in the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program since Oct. 7. Dan Spector reports. – Nov 2, 2021

There has certainly not been much good news out of the Montreal Canadiens so far this season, but there is some on Tuesday.

Coach Dominique Ducharme announced Carey Price will soon return to the team.

“We don’t have confirmation yet, but we’re expecting him to be in the city soon. We don’t have the exact date,” Ducharme told reporters in French on Tuesday.

The Habs’ all-world goalie has been away from the team since early October, when the NHL and NHL Players’ Association announced Price had voluntarily entered the league’s player assistance program.

The assistance program lasts a minimum of 30 days, meaning Price could rejoin the team as early as this weekend. The initiative helps players and their families get counselling for mental health struggles, substance abuse and other issues. The reason for Price’s entry into the program is not known.

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“That’s the beauty of the assistance program,” said Global News hockey analyst Brian Wilde. “No questions asked, no public discourse, just when you feel better, come back and play hockey. So we know that it’s his own choice to do that and he’s feeling better, and that’s just fantastic. I’m so happy for him.”

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Even though Price could be with his teammates soon, he will still need time to get into game shape.

“He will need to practise for sure, so I can’t imagine it being anything inside 10 to 14 days really makes sense,” Wilde predicts.

Even with Price in the lineup, the Canadiens may not be able to turn their catastrophic start to the season around and make the playoffs.

“You know, as great as Carey is, he can’t score, and neither can they,” Wilde said. “They’re in trouble until they learn how to score.”

The players still believe they can start putting some wins together.

“We feel confident as a group. We’ve got the team it takes to win a lot of games and we’re good,” said defenceman Brett Kulak.

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Regardless of wins and losses, Price’s imminent return has many breathing a sigh of relief.

“I’m so happy that he’s feeling better to come back and play hockey,” said Wilde.

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