Canadiens’ Carey Price reveals recent struggles with alcoholism

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Montreal Canadiens superstar goalie Carey Price has finally shed some light on the issues that led him to seek help and walk away from hockey last season.

In an interview with The Athletic’s Arpon Basu, Price discussed his struggle with alcoholism that led him to enter the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program just over a year ago.

“I think after we lost in the finals (2021) and got closer to a goal and had surgery, and knowing that I’m right on the 18th hole (of my career) here, I wasn’t a happy person, I was ‘ Not being a good father. He was drinking a lot,” Price said. “I got to a point where I was like, ‘I’m not even having fun doing this.'” Like, ‘what am I doing?’ I felt like I was reaching a point in my life where I had to make a decision.”

That moment came in early October, when the 35-year-old decided he had to make a change and seek help.

“It would have been October 3, and when I woke up I was in a pretty bad place,” he told Basu. “And I was like, you know what? This is not working for me, it’s not working for my family.”

By the following Thursday, October 7, Price had voluntarily checked into a residential rehab facility.

Basu gave Price the opportunity to avoid the subject in his interview, but the Vancouver native was eager to talk about it.

“I think for the most part, I see it in high-stress sports and positions, there’s a lot of pressure on athletes these days, I think even more so with social media, media attention, you’re always under the microscope,” he said. . . “And I think no matter how good you are at dealing with it, it’s still a weight on your mind, the pressure to perform.

“It’s not easy to do that day in and day out. Yes, it’s a fun job, but you’re still doing a job and you have to perform at your highest level every day. It’s something you strive to do as an athlete.” you enjoy doing it, but it’s not particularly easy to do, especially when things aren’t going well.

The 2015 Hart and Vezina Trophy winner had to adjust to a new lifestyle and take on new challenges in the months following his rehab.

“Once I left the facility, it’s a new thing, you’re excited about it. But the next six months, I felt like it was on my mind a lot, I was thinking about it a lot,” Price said. “I don’t want to say I was ready to jump off the bandwagon, but I can see why the success rate isn’t that great. But I look at my kids every day and not be wasting any more mornings of my life and be able to wake up on a Sunday morning morning and cooking pancakes for my children is something very rewarding for me.

Price also understands the importance of speaking publicly about his alcoholism and the impact that conversation can have on First Nations communities in particular, a group he holds dear as a descendant of the Ulkatcho First Nation.

“Substance abuse has been a very big problem in First Nations communities. I’ve had friends and family die from it,” he said. “So, I could have done this in private. No one would have known. But at the end of the day, I wanted to be able to show that it’s okay to ask for help.”

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Price shed light on his current injury status and uncertain future as a player.

“We’re going to have to take it one step at a time. I don’t have a plan to retire right now,” Price said. “Right now my goal is just to be pain free day in and day out. I still have some trouble going up and down stairs and carrying my kids up and down stairs is hard. So my first priority is just to get my body free.” of pain in everyday life.

“There’s that outward hope that a miracle will happen, that maybe I’ll be able to play again at some point.”

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