When Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price was announced at tonight’s home opener, the standing ovation he received from the crowd was about the least surprising bit of news this evening. Price, who is one of, if not the best goaltender of his generation, has been a staple in the Canadiens lineup since his debut in 2007-08. His recent injury woes have forced him to take a step back from the game in order to try to return to full health not only on the ice, but off of it. Whether he is able to come back and play in the NHL again remains to be seen, but for now Montreal will have to proceed with Price on the sidelines.
Recently, The Athletic’s Arpon Basu had a chance to speak with Price about his health and where he stands right now. Unfortunately, the update was far from ideal. As Price said, “[a]gain, my knee still isn’t doing great. Like, I’m still not walking up a set of stairs pain-free yet. I still don’t feel like my knee’s in a place where I’m going to be able to play hockey.” Price’s own words seem to indicate that for now, the focus isn’t necessarily on hockey, but a quality of life at the moment. Price added that he’s also focusing on being able to do things in the future such as skate and play sports with his children (recall Washington Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom discussing similar issues a couple of months ago). Interestingly, Price said those are things he wants to do “when I’m, you know, officially done,” language Basu points to as perhaps significant given the line between Price being ’officially done’ and where he is now is a very thin one.
- The Columbus Blue Jackets announced forward Patrik Laine left tonight’s game at the Carolina Hurricanes with an upper-body injury and will not return. The forward appeared to be in some discomfort after being sandwiched along the boards by Hurricanes defenseman Brett Pesce. Laine had already contributed a goal in tonight’s contest prior to leaving, the only Blue Jackets tally at the time of writing.
- According to CapFriendly, the New York Islanders have loaned forward Richard Panik to Lausanne HC of Switzerland’s National League. Panik, 31, had been with the Islanders organization since he was acquired from the Detroit Red Wings in the deal that sent Nick Leddy to Detroit in the summer of 2021. Outside of a brief four game stretch on Long Island, the team had buried Panik and his $2.75MM salary in the AHL last season, which he otherwise split between the Bridgeport Islanders and Chicago Wolves. While on loan, Panik’s buried cap hit of $250,000 (Detroit retained $1.375MM in the deal, $1.125MM is buried) will continue to count against the Islanders cap. By going to Lausanne, the veteran forward should have a chance at more consistent minutes far closer to home and should give the Islanders more opportunities to get younger players into the Bridgeport lineup.
- The Edmonton Oilers will be without forwards Kailer Yamamoto and Warren Foegele for tonight’s opening night matchup against the Vancouver Canucks. It’s unclear what injuries either player is suffering from. However, because Edmonton began the season with just 21 players on its roster for cap compliance purposes, they will only be able to dress 17 skaters – all that are left on the roster after Yamamoto and Foegele. Sportsnet’s Bob Stauffer was the first to report.