The last time Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price saw NHL action was Nov. 25. The next time he sees a similar level of competition, he’ll be facing off against some of the world’s top talent at the best-on-best World Cup of Hockey.
Price, 28, had a troubling 2015-16 season that saw him able to suit up for only 12 games all campaign and plagued by injuries. Before the first month of the season was through, Price had suffered his first lower-body injury of the season, and less than a week after his mid-November return, Price was back on the shelf, this time for good with what was later revealed to be an MCL sprain.
“The MCL provides support to the inside of the knee and is essential for stability and knee function,” Dr. Vincent Lacroix, the Canadiens’ head physician, said at the time Price was shelved for the year. “Acute, isolated MCL injuries are managed without surgery. Rehabilitation treatments lead to full functional recovery. The recovery process can be long in the case of an elite netminder such as Carey, due to the high demand placed on this anatomical structure by modern goaltending techniques.”
However, even with the injury, Price was named to Canada’s initial 16-man World Cup roster and Canadian GM Doug Armstrong said the team’s understanding was that Price would be healthy before the tournament began. Appearing on TSN’s That’s Hockey Tuesday, Price confirmed not only that he would be healthy, but that he already is.
“I’m at 100 percent,” Price told Geno Reda. “I’ve been working pretty hard since I’ve been injured.”
It’s nice to hear Price himself deliver the good news, too, because for months leading up to the Canadiens shutting him down there were conflicting reports about the netminder’s health. Montreal finally stopped the speculation on April 6, just days before the season ended.
As for the World Cup, Price said he’s looking forward to being able to suit up and represent his country once again.
“I’m sure it’s going to be a great experience,” Price told Reda. “Having played for Team Canada on several occasions, I know it’s always fun to get together with your fellow countrymen and guys you don’t always get to play with on a regular basis. I’m sure it’s going to be a fun tournament.”
Over the course of his career, Price had played at one Olympics and one World Junior Championship representing Canada. He has never lost a game in international competition, and at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Price went 5-0-0 with a 0.59 goals-against average, .972 save percentage and two shutouts.