Canadians: It’s time to take stock

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BROSSARD, Que. – The future of goaltender Carey Price remains in a gray area in the eyes of Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes as the key player braces for another challenge.

After undergoing knee surgery last summer, Price returned to the game on April 15 and has played five games this season. The 34-year-old goalkeeper met the specialist who operated on him in New York earlier this week, but Hughes said it’s too early to confirm whether Price will be 100% back next fall or if his career is over .

“If he works out in the gym, it’s not a problem. It’s really when he’s playing that there’s a problem, Hughes explained during a season-ending review at the Bell Sports Complex. The question is if his knee can return to a point where Carey can play a full season. We don’t have that answer yet. »

Price explained that his knee continued to swell and he was unable to play at a level he felt was acceptable.

“There are certain things a goaltender is asked to do that I find difficult to do,” Price said.

“I need to ask questions and make appointments over the summer to get a head start for next season,” he added.

Price noted that under the current conditions, he doesn’t think he can come back and make 50-60 starts at the net for the Habs next season.

“He’ll have a medical at the end of the season and then we’ll talk to our doctors,” Hughes said. We hope it will become clearer later on whether Carey can really get back on form or whether he has to play despite being unwell. The rehearsal was brief, and it continued to annoy him. He clearly wasn’t 100%. Will the injury one day prevent him from playing again? I don’t have that answer. »

Price therefore intends to get another opinion and he claimed that it is even possible that he will have surgery again. Giving up isn’t an option, though Price admits last year has been difficult.

And if the Canadiens’ 10-2 win over the Florida Panthers at the Bell Center on Friday was Price’s last game of his career, the concerned principal said he was fine with it.

“It was an extraordinary day. I slept very well. It was an A+ day. If that was the end, that was a nice way to end it,” he said simply.

Price has four seasons left on his contract, which will impact the Habs’ $10.5 million payroll.

If Price is ever able to extend his career, he can’t think of any uniform other than that of the Canadiens, who picked him fifth overall in the 2005 draft.

“The future of the team is so bright,” said Price. The team has spectacular youngsters. They bring so much energy. I hope to be part of it. »

A mutual interest

Hughes said it was too early to speak about the future of interim head coach Martin St-Louis. However, he did mention that he would be sitting down with St-Louis to discuss “in the near future”.

Both parties have expressed a common interest in extending the partnership, which began on February 9 following Dominique Ducharme’s sacking.

“He’s a fantastic communicator, but you also need intelligence to be a coach these days, emotional intelligence,” Hughes said. I hear him talk about the players and I see he understands how to get the best out of each one.

“It’s not just about systems or concepts, but also about managing all available information. »

Hughes said he would happily offer St. Louis a three-year deal, while the latter did not want to negotiate in front of the cameras.

The Canadians ended their season 32nd and last in the NHL with a record of 22-49-1. This is the worst season for the Montreal franchise since the 1939-1940 season.

The team posted a 14-19-4 record under St-Louis.

A new captain

Hughes has also been asked to shed light on the status of captain Shea Weber, who was absent from the ceremonies surrounding the death of Guy Lafleur last weekend.

After indicating that Weber will be present at Lafleur’s funeral on Tuesday, Hughes specifically noted that Weber has declined to meet with members of the media “because he is uncomfortable answering questions without revealing too much about his wound.” “.

“Shea’s situation is complex. There are issues at the insurance level and at the league level. There are things he can’t talk about,” Hughes explained.

The general manager of the Habs made it clear in the same breath that it is “very unlikely that he (Weber) will be able to return to gaming operations one day”.

Hughes also reiterated his intention to appoint a new captain before the start of the next campaign.

“I couldn’t play a full season with the current condition of my knee”

“Shea doesn’t deserve the criticism he’s receiving”

Decisions based on youth development

“I love hockey, I’m happy to be in the league! »

“I don’t know what kind of coach I’ll be next year”

“I hope to play with Carey for a few more seasons! »

“There are several players in this dressing room who are leaders”

“It is possible that my family will return to Montreal”

Rest for Suzuki and Caufield

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