Canadiens goaltender Carey Price ‘many steps’ away from playing again

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Montreal head coach Dominique Ducharme told reporters Friday that star goaltender Carey Price would return to the Canadiens Monday after he missed the start of the season and entered the NHL/NHL Players’ Association player assistance program on Oct. 7. 

Price underwent offseason knee surgery before last month’s development, and Ducharme said Monday that the 34-year-old isn’t all that close to facing opponents in meaningful games. 

“I haven’t met him yet. I need to see him. I’ll see him tomorrow,” Ducharme explained, per the NHL’s website. “He wants to come back and play, but there’s other things to manage. We talked about the injury that he was coming back from, getting back in shape, and playing shape, too. There’s many steps to be taken, but he wants to play. He wants to be part of our group. He wants to help out.” 

Price is set to see teammates for the first time since he entered the program on Tuesday. Neither Price nor the Canadiens have given an official explanation for why he entered the program, but his wife cited mental health via an Instagram post in October.