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Canadiens’ Carey Price returning to Montreal to rejoin teammates

MONTREAL — Carey Price is on his way back to Montreal, according to his wife, Angela, who confirmed as much in two posts on her personal Instagram account over the last 24 hours.

On Sunday, Angela Price wrote, “What seemed like a never ending quarantine has now gone by way too fast. When Carey heads back to Montreal we will stay put in Washington state with my family praying that him and all the players and staff stay safe.”

She followed that post up with this one on Monday:

It was last Thursday afternoon that the 32-year-old goaltender mentioned, on a conference call with Canadiens reporters, that he was making arrangements to return to Montreal.

“I’m starting to make plans,” Price said. “I would like to have a few more answers to some questions. There’s a lot going on, a lot of things trying to get solved right now. But I would like to come back soon to start preparing as best as I can for a possible return to play.”

Price also expressed his trepidation about the NHL’s plans to kick off training camps July 10 and begin a 24-team tournament for the Stanley Cup by month’s end.

“I have I think about an equal amount of optimism or pessimism,” the Anahim Lake, B.C., native said. “It’s a very unusual situation. I want the opportunity to be able to play for a Stanley Cup, but I want to be able to continue living life normally. A lot of cases haven’t panned out, for a lot of people, very well. I’ve had friends’ family members who have passed away from COVID-19 and it’s nothing to balk at.”

It was back on Mar. 11 that the NHL paused its season indefinitely due to concerns about the coronavirus.

The league and the NHLPA agreed on a return-to-play format on May 22, and informal workouts at team facilities, as part of Phase 2 of that plan, have been underway since June 8.

Last week, the NHL changed the restrictions in Phase 2 to allow for as many as 12 players to be on the ice at the same time, so several dispersed members of the various teams have returned from home to their playing cities and several others are making travel arrangements.

As of Monday, Price, who went 27-26-6 and had a .909 save percentage in 58 games this season, was the only member of the Canadiens confirmed to be on his way back to Montreal. It is expected he’ll join Jonathan Drouin, Paul Byron, Charles Hudon, Laurent Dauphin and Michael McNiven at the team’s south-shore training facility in short order.

Those players have been practising there together since June 16.

More Canadiens players are expected to be returning to Montreal later this week, and The Athletic reported last Friday that Jesperi Kotkaniemi will be among them.

The Finnish centre, who was drafted third overall by the Canadiens in 2018, is healed from the spleen injury he suffered back on Mar. 6 and is expecting to compete for a position on the roster, according to The Athletic’s report.

The official roster size for each team involved in the return-to-play is expected to consist of at least 28 players.

If play resumes, the Canadiens will play a three-to-five game series against the Pittsburgh Penguins for a chance to participate in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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Written by Sportsnet

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