Will Carey Price ever play for the Habs again?

Published February 18, 2022 at 11:59

The Montreal Canadiens and their dedicated fan base finally had reason to celebrate last night as they defeated the St. Louis Blues 3-2 in overtime. It was the first in Martin St. Louis' career behind the bench, a come-from-behind win that had young star Cole Caufield's influence all over it.

When it comes to star players in Montreal, the biggest is Carey Price. He almost single-handedly led the Habs to the Stanley Cup Finals last year and holds the storied franchise's record for wins by a goaltender with 360.

Price has yet to play this season. What started out as being sidelined due to injury then became a very public admission that Price had voluntarily entered and was participating in the NHL /NHLPA Assistance Program.

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price will be voluntarily stepping away from the team to take part in the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program. This program assists players with their mental health, substance abuse, and other matters not related to the game. NHL/NHLPA announce Carey Price will be away from the team to voluntarily take part in the Player Assistance Program

- Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) October 7, 2021

On Sunday January 30, Price spoke to the media and addressed his situation:

On Tuesday of this week, the Canadiens stated that Price will not be skating this week, but will be working out in the gym at the Bell Sports Complex as he continues to rehab from off-season knee surgery. Now, there are reports of the Canadiens showing interest in Washington Capitals 'goaltender Ilya Samsonov:

Samsonov is a restricted free agent at season's end and while he's split duties with Vitek Vanecek this year, he's widely considered a starting goalie in the League and likely to be Washington's go-to 'tender for the playoffs. Or maybe he won't be? Would Washington be in talks with another team if he was? And why are the Canadiens interested in the first place? This season's a wash. They just traded for Andrew Hammond. Samuel Montembeault has played well enough for what the Habs are trying to accomplish for the remainder of the season. Very curious, indeed.

Is there something Price-related happening behind the scenes that we are not privy to? Is Montreal's interest in Samsonov an indication that Carey Price may not be returning to the Habs or perhaps not to the NHL at all? Is his injury and/or his mental health challenges (or a combination of the two) enough for him to step away from the game permanently? What's your take?
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