Carey Price will return to the Canadiens on Monday after spending the last month in the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program.
Price voluntarily entered the program on October 7 and had to spend a minimum of 30 days away from the team.
He was initially sidelined throughout training camp after undergoing knee surgery during the offseason. He was also left unprotected in the expansion draft but was not selected by the Seattle Kraken.
While Price will be back with the Habs, there is no timetable for when he’ll play again. He’s yet to play this season and will need time to get his conditioning up to speed, which could mean a stint with AHL Laval.
“He’s coming off a surgery, so we’ve got to see where he’s at with that,” said Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme. “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. So there’s a buildup for sure, and the timeline, it’s tough to go deep and really have a plan.”
The Canadiens are off to a 3-9-0 start with Jake Allen handling most of the workload (10 starts) with Sam Montembeault (3). Montreal’s early season issues are more to do with their struggling offense than a goaltending duo that’s been okay. They have the fifth-worst 5-on-5 goals scored (15) and and third-worst expected goals for percentage (40.5%), per Natural Stat Trick.
Montreal is already without Shea Weber, who may never play again, and dealing with slow starts to the season for a number of players. Getting Price back at some point soon should be a boost to the rest of the team.
“We’re going to take a look at everything we can do to get him ready to play,” Ducharme said.
Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.
OTTAWA, Ontario — Ottawa Senators goaltender Cam Talbot is expected to be out five to seven weeks with what the team called an upper-body injury.
The Senators initially called Talbot day to day with what they hoped was a minor injury. Instead he’s now expected to miss at least the first month of the NHL season.
Ottawa claimed goalie Magnus Hellberg off waivers from the Seattle Kraken upon announcing Talbot’s expected absence. Hellberg, who played for Sweden at the Beijing Olympics could split time with countryman Anton Forsberg while Talbot is out.
The Senators acquired Talbot from Minnesota during the offseason to make him their starter after the Wild opted against bringing him back along with Marc-Andre Fleury. Talbot, 35, had a 2.76 goals-against average and .911 save percentage this season.
Losing Talbot is a blow to the Senators, who also acquired winger Alex DeBrincat from Chicago and signed longtime Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux as part of a move toward contending and ending their playoff drought.
CHICAGO — Blackhawks forward Boris Katchouk will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a left ankle sprain, the team announced.
The 24-year-old Katchouk played almost 12 minutes during a 3-0 preseason loss to Detroit on Saturday night. He was acquired in a multiplayer trade with Tampa Bay in March.
The Blackhawks open the season on Oct. 12 at Colorado.
The team also said forward Jujhar Khaira is day to day with a right ankle injury.
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was taken off the Honda Center ice on a stretcher after he crashed into the end boards in the first period of Anaheim’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks.
The Finnish defenseman was conscious and alert with full movement in his extremities at UCI Medical Center, the Ducks said.
The frightening incident occurred midway through the opening period when Vaakanainen smashed into the boards at a dangerous speed behind the Sharks’ net. Vaakanainen appeared to be concentrating on the pass he had just made to Derek Grant, who scored the Ducks’ opening goal on the assist.
Vaakanainen’s teammates came onto the ice and gathered around him as he was taken away on the stretcher.
The Ducks acquired the 23-year-old Vaakanainen from Boston last March in the deal that sent longtime Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm to the Bruins. After recording two assists in 14 games for the Ducks last season, Vaakanainen is attempting to win a top-six role on Anaheim’s defense this fall.
TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning and team owner Jeff Vinik are donating $2 million toward Hurricane Ian relief efforts.
The NHL team announced that $1 million each will be donated by the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation and the Vinik Family Foundation.
“This is a tragic situation for many families and communities across the state of Florida, but especially so in the southwest region of the state,” Vinik said in a statement released by the team. “In times like these the most important thing we can do is support one another, and we hope this donation will help families recover and rebuild in the months to come.”
Ian made landfall Wednesday on Florida’s Gulf Coast, south of the Tampa Bay area. The Lightning postponed two home preseason games and moved the club’s training camp to Nashville, Tennessee, during the storm.