Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price on Tuesday issued an emotional statement regarding his mental health after he returned to the team following time in the NHL/NHLPA’s player assistance program.
On Instagram, Price — writing in both English and French — revealed he entered residential treatment to overcome substance abuse and acknowledged that he was in “a very dark place” after “neglecting my own mental health.”
Here is the statement in full:
“Over the last few years I have let myself get to a very dark place and I didn’t have the tools to cope with that struggle. Last month I made the decision to enter a residential treatment facility for substance use. Things had reached a point that I realized I needed to prioritize my health for both myself and for my family. Asking for help when you need it is what we encourage our kids to do, and it was what I needed to do.
“I am working through years of neglecting my own mental health which will take some time to repair; all I can do is take it day by day. With that comes some uncertainty with when I will return to play.
“I appreciate all of the overwhelming support and well wishes. I please ask that the media and our hockey community continue to respect our privacy at this time. Your support and respect of this so far has been a critical piece to my recovery.”
Price voluntarily entered the player assistance program on Oct. 7 after head coach Dominique Ducharme said the 34-year-old was “not doing well right now.” He was set to enter his 15th season in the league after undergoing offseason knee surgery.
According to ESPN’s Kristen Shilton, Price spent time with the team Tuesday. But Ducharme — as Price said in his statement — did not provide any insight as to when Price might return for the Canadiens.
“He wants to come back and play, but there’s other things to manage,” Ducharme said, via Shilton. “We talked about the injury he was coming back from and getting back in playing shape. So 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.”
The Canadiens are 3-10-0 and in last place in the Atlantic Division.