Canadiens diary: don’t expect to see Carey Price before Christmas


Defenseman Joel Edmundson suffers a setback to recover from a back injury, but he won’t need surgery.

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If Canadiens fans were hoping for Carey Price to return as a Christmas present, they can cross this one off their wishlists.

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“Once again, it’s day to day with him,” said Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme after practice Monday in Brossard when asked about Price. “At this point right now, December 6th, he’s unlikely to be back before Christmas probably. When is he going to be on the ice with his equipment? Hard to say. But we don’t think we’ll see it until Christmas.

Price skated with a training staff member without goalie gear as he continues to recover from off-season surgery for a meniscus tear in his knee, followed by 30 days in the Assistant Program NHL / AJLNH players while dealing with addiction problems.

After Price joined the Canadiens on Nov. 9 following his time in the Player Support Program, Ducharme said there would be four stages for the goalie before he could replay. The first was a job in the gym to get back in shape, followed by skating with a member of the coaching staff before working with goaltending coach Eric Raymond and finally training with his teammates. Ducharme added that there’s a good chance Price will play at least one game with the AHL’s Laval Rocket before playing for the Canadiens again.

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“We know the four stages, but there is no timeline for each of them, so that’s the problem,” Ducharme said. “It’s hard to put that on the dates.”

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Still no Edmundson

Defenseman Joel Edmundson has yet to play a game this season due to a back injury he has suffered since starting training camp.

Edmundson had started training with his teammates again last month and looked set to return, but has since suffered another setback and is at least a few weeks away from playing. Ducharme added that Edmundson is starting over from zero in his recovery and no longer skates. The good news is that doctors have ruled out surgery.

“It wasn’t because of a workout or a gym session or anything,” Ducharme said of Edmundson’s backhand. “He came back and then showed up to the rink and he wasn’t good. So he took a step back and met the doctors. He took it all a step further and decided he didn’t need surgery. So he almost leaves by going back to where he started.

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Walking injured

Defenseman Jeff Petry, who did not make the trip to Nashville for Saturday’s game against the Predators, missed practice Monday, taking a day of therapy. Joel Armia has also taken a day of therapy and the two are uncertain whether they will play Tuesday night at the Bell Center against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Tyler Toffoli has not worked out due to an upper body injury and Ducharme has said the forward could be out for a few weeks with his condition being further assessed in the coming days.

The Canadiens called the Laval Rocket forward Laurent Dauphin to the AHL and he was on the ice for practice Monday, as was defenseman Kale Clague, who was claimed on waivers from the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.

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Dauphin is about to make his Habs debut

Ducharme said there’s a good chance Dauphin will make his debut for the Canadiens on Tuesday night at the Bell Center.

The 26-year-old forward has totaled 11-5-16 in 18 games this season with the Rocket. The Arizona Coyotes selected Dauphin in the second round (39th overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft. In 35 career games with the Coyotes, Dauphin has totaled 3-1-4. The Canadiens acquired him from the Nashville Predators on Jan. 7, 2020 in exchange for Mike McCarron.

“I had a good start and I tried to build on that, go to the net and score goals,” said Dauphin of his performance at Laval this season. “Right now, I feel confident. I just got off to a good start and tried to ride the wave.

“I think I bring speed, a work ethic and even though I’m not a big guy I try to play big and be pretty tough with the pucks,” added the 6-footer. 1 inch and 189 pounds. “So I’m going to go to the net and try to play a full game. “

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The lines

Here’s how the forward and defensive line pairs looked in practice:

Hoffman – Suzuki – Drouin
Lehkonen – Dvorak – Evans
Perreault – Poehling – Caufield
Pezzetta – Paquette – Dolphin

Chiarot – Savard
Romanov – Wideman
Kulak – Clague
Norlinder

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Power play units

Clague, Chris Wideman, and Ben Chiarot took turns providing an update on the two power play units in training.

Here’s how the two units were put together:

Clague / Wideman / Chiarot
Drouin – Dvorak – Hoffman
Perreault

Clague / Wideman / Chiarot
Caufield-Evans-Suzuki
Poehling

Leaflets set fire to Vigneault, Therrien

The Philadelphia Flyers fired head coach Alain Vigneault on Monday after eight straight losses, including a 7-1 loss to the Lightning on Sunday.

Assistant coach Michel Therrien was also fired.

“Right now we’ve lost our way,” said Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher of the Flyers, who are 8-10-4 and sit seventh in the Metro Division.

Vigneault was head coach of the Canadiens from 1997 to 2000, while Therrien was head coach of the Canadiens twice, from 2000 to 2003 and from 2012 to 2017.

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For those wondering if Vigneault could get a second chance to coach the Canadiens in the future – which Claude Julien did as well – it seems unlikely. Jeff Gorton, the Canadiens’ new executive vice-president of hockey operations, was general manager of the New York Rangers when he fired Vigneault in 2018 after finishing last in the Metropolitan Division with a 34-39-9 record.

And after?

The Canadiens have a morning practice scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Tuesday in Brossard before facing the Lightning at the Bell Center (7 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM). The Chicago Blackhawks will be at the Bell Center Thursday (7 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM) before the Canadiens head to St. Louis to face the Blues on Saturday (7 p.m., SNE, CITY, TVA Sports , TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM).

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  1. Bob Gainey won five Stanley Cups during his 16-year playing career with the Canadiens and later became general manager from 2003-2010.

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  2. “Maybe it could be an agent, it could be someone who was just a player,” said Jeff Gorton of who could be the Canadiens' next general manager.  “It could be someone, but someone different from me.  I was not a player, I was not an agent.

    Who is Kent Hughes? Agent born in Montreal linked to the position of general manager of the Canadiens

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