Carey Price speaks out.
On Tuesday, the Montreal Canadiens goaltender shared his Instagram post for the first time since Oct. 7, when he voluntarily entered the NHL's player aid program.
Price stated that "Over the past few years, my self-destructive tendencies have led me to a very dark place" and that he didn't have the skills to deal with it. "Last month, I made the decision that I would enter residential treatment for substance abuse. It was clear that my health and the well-being of my family were at stake. It is something we teach our children to do. I had to do it.
"I am currently going through years of neglecting myself mental health. It will take time for it to be repaired. All I can do is keep taking it day by day. There is uncertainty about when I will be able to return to playing.
"I am grateful for all your support and well wishes. Please ask the media and the hockey community to continue to respect our privacy during this difficult time. I am grateful for your support and understanding.
The NHL Players' Association runs the assistance program. It helps players with their mental health, substance abuse, and other issues.
Price returned to Montreal on Sunday after a 30-day treatment. Price met with trainers there and was tested for an offseason knee operation that prevented him from taking part in the Canadiens training camp.
Price was reunited Tuesday with his teammates, and Dominique Ducharme, Canadiens' head coach, commented on what it meant for Price to be back in the Canadiens fold.
Ducharme stated, "It was great for me to see his and see how he's doing." "It was also good for the guys to see their teammate again. The guys have a group that cares about one another, so seeing him back on the personal side makes the guys feel good.
Ducharme stated Monday that Price's progress from the knee operation was being well-received by the Canadiens' team. Ducharme was not ready to give a timeline for Price's return, as Price stated Tuesday.
Ducharme stated that he wants to play again, but there are other things to take care of. "We discussed the injury that he was returning from and how to get back into playing form. There are many things to do. He wants to play, he want to be part our group, and he wants help."
Without Price, the Canadiens have had a difficult start to the season. Montreal is currently at 3-10-0 in the Atlantic Division, after making it to the Stanley Cup Final last spring.
However, everyone within the Canadiens team has made it clear that Price is not their priority.
Brendan Gallagher said Monday that they had discussed the matter when he left our group. He was happy that he would be able first to get the help he needed. "Now that he is back, we are doing our best to help him."