UPDATE 1/8: The NHL has announced that Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy will be Price’s replacement.
The NHL All-Star Game will be without another star player as Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price is pulling out of the weekend in San Jose to rest up after overcoming a “nagging injury.”
He’s the second player to announce that they’re staying home to rest following Alex Ovechkin decision last week. And like the Washington Capitals forward, Price will be suspended one game either before or after the All-Star break.
“We took the time to discuss the situation with Carey and the medical group earlier today, and we all agreed that the best decision for him would be to rest and recuperate during the upcoming All-Star Break. Carey has had a nagging injury for some time, and we want to make sure to have him healthy and rested for the second half of the season. Carey is honored to once again have been named to the NHL All-Star Game, and he is on board with the Club’s decision.”
The 31-year-old Price missed Montreal’s final three games of 2018 with a lower-body injury (which also allowed him to spend extra time with his new baby girl and wife). Before that, he said he had been playing through the injury for seven weeks; so you can see why the Canadiens wanted him to not take any chances in the 3-on-3 tournament later this month.
Shea Weber is the Canadiens’ representative in the Last Men In vote, so if he misses out, and barring any injury replacements, the team will not have a player heading to San Jose for the event.
As the Metropolitan Division looks to name a replacement captain in Ovechkin’s absence, the Atlantic Division now needs another goaltender to join Jimmy Howard on the roster.
Who are the best options? The top three are Andrei Vasilevskiy, Carter Hutton and Jaroslav Halak. Frederik Andersen will be considered for his stellar first half, but he’s been dealing with a groin injury and the Toronto Maple Leafs would sure prefer him to avoid aggravating it in an event that isn’t kind to netminders.
The 2019 NHL All-Star Skills Competition will take place on Friday, Jan. 25 (9 p.m. ET, NBCSN) and the 2019 NHL All-Star Game will be on Saturday, Jan. 26 (8 p.m. ET, NBC).