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Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price enters player assistance program

Jul 7, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) makes a save against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period in game five of the 2021 Stanley Cup Final at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 7, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) makes a save against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period in game five of the 2021 Stanley Cup Final at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price will step away from the team and voluntarily enter the NHL and NHL Player Association’s player assistance program, both organizations announced on Thursday.

The former Hart and Vezina Trophy recipient already was set to miss the start of the 2021-22 regular season as he recovers from a non-COVID-19 illness.

Price, 34, had surgery in the offseason to repair a torn meniscus. He is heading into his 15th season with the Canadiens, who lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in five games in the 2021 Stanley Cup Finals.

Started as a jointly funded effort in 1996, the player assistance program offers support for players and their families dealing with mental health, substance abuse and other issues.

Price owns a 360-257-79 record with 49 shutouts, a .917 save percentage and a 2.50 goals-against average in 707 games since Montreal drafted him No. 5 overall in 2005.

The Canadiens open the season on Wednesday against the host Toronto Maple Leafs.

–Field Level Media