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G Carey Price to rejoin Montreal Canadiens

November 5, 2021 GMT
FILE - Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) plays against the Vegas Golden Knights during Game 2 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series in Las Vegas, in this Wednesday, June 16, 2021, file photo. Canadiens goaltender Carey Price has voluntarily entered the NHL/NHL Players’ Association joint player assistance program, a stunning announcement Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, less than a week before the season begins and just three months after he backstopped Montreal to the Stanley Cup Final. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)
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FILE - Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) plays against the Vegas Golden Knights during Game 2 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series in Las Vegas, in this Wednesday, June 16, 2021, file photo. Canadiens goaltender Carey Price has voluntarily entered the NHL/NHL Players’ Association joint player assistance program, a stunning announcement Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, less than a week before the season begins and just three months after he backstopped Montreal to the Stanley Cup Final. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)
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FILE - Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) plays against the Vegas Golden Knights during Game 2 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series in Las Vegas, in this Wednesday, June 16, 2021, file photo. Canadiens goaltender Carey Price has voluntarily entered the NHL/NHL Players’ Association joint player assistance program, a stunning announcement Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, less than a week before the season begins and just three months after he backstopped Montreal to the Stanley Cup Final. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

MONTREAL (AP) — Carey Price is preparing to return to the Montreal Canadiens.

The superstar goalie will rejoin the team on Monday, according to Montreal coach Dominique Ducharme. Price will meet with athletic therapists and develop a plan moving forward, Ducharme said Friday.

Price voluntarily entered the NHL’s player assistance program on Oct. 7.

The assistance program, jointly run by the league and the NHL Players’ Association, helps players and their families with mental health, substance abuse and other matters.

No official reason was given as to why Price entered the program, but his wife, Angela, cited mental health in an Instagram post when the news first broke that he would miss the start of the season.

Price also was recovering from offseason knee surgery when training camp began.

“He’s coming off a surgery, so we’ve got to see where he’s at with that,” Ducharme said. “And then from there I think it’s gym, then on the ice by himself, then with the goalie coach, with shooters, with the team.

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“So there’s a buildup for sure, and the timeline, it’s tough to go deep and really have a plan.”

Ducharme said it’s possible Price might have a conditioning stint with the American Hockey League’s Laval Rocket before returning to action with the Canadiens. Price played briefly with the Rocket late last season after recovering from a concussion.

“We’re going to take a look at everything we can do to get him ready to play,” Ducharme said.

Price has a career record of 360-257-79, with a 2.50 goals-against average, .917 save percentage and 49 shutouts.

The 34-year-old Price was instrumental in Montreal’s run to the Stanley Cup Final last season, where it lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in five games.

The Canadiens host the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday.

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