In the wake of Carey Price‘s decision to step away from hockey and seek assistance, there has been widespread support for the star goalie of the Montreal Canadiens — and marks what appears to be a shift in addressing mental health in the world of professional and amateur sports.
Dr. Gordon Bloom, a professor of sports psychology at McGill University, said it is a change from the old narrative that athletes must “always suck it up, be a tough guy” even when they need help or don’t feel well.
“I think it’s going to send a message that will reverberate from the NHL all the way down to minor hockey,” he told Global News.
Price is voluntarily entering the NHL’s player assistance program, though few details were provided about what was behind the decision. The 34-year-old has not spoken publicly since the news was announced, but his wife penned a supportive message, citing mental health as the reason for Price’s temporary absence from the net.
Habs’ general manager Marc Bergevin told reporters Thursday he was caught off guard, but he encouraged others to seek aid when necessary. “Better days are ahead for Carey,” he added.
After teammate Jonathan Drouin took time away last season and now with Price seeking assistance, Bloom compared the evolving perspectives around mental health to how conversations changed about concussions in the NHL.
How Carey Price is paving the way for other athletes
The fact that sports leagues and governing bodies now also offer assistance programs has made it easier for athletes to be comfortable revealing they are experiencing something that needs to be addressed, Bloom explained.
“In the past, they were afraid to say it — because of the stigma, the negative stigma that was associated with saying you’re struggling, you’re not tough, your mental health is weak,” Bloom said.
“We’re really trying to change that narrative and we’re well on our way.”
Price has been known for his stoic demeanor over his long career with the Habs. He has racked up Vezina, Jennings, Ted Lindsay and Hart Memorial trophies. He has also helped carry Canada to Olympic gold.
It’s a positive step forward in discussing mental health if Price — who is considered one of the best goaltenders in modern-day hockey — is able to hit pause, said Bloom.
“It doesn’t come much bigger, more pressure-packed than that and he’s saying ‘I need to step away,’” Bloom said.
‘We just wish him the best’
Habs players only had messages of support for Price amid his sudden departure.
“Our families are close and it’s tough when you really judge a book by its cover,” said defencemen Jeff Petry.
“He’s a guy that comes in every day and you think everything’s OK and it’s unfortunate that it got to a point. We just wish him the best.”
Goaltender Jake Allen, who will likely step in for Price as the new season gets underway, said he already reached out to Price directly.
The team is supportive of “Carey Price, the human being,” Allan told reporters after a pre-season game against Ottawa Senators.
“The hockey player can wait as long as it takes to get whatever he needs to get his feet back under him,” Allan said. “That’s all we’re caring about in this locker room.”
“Hockey is secondary in this aspect.”
Price’s decision has made waves in the NHL too, with Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares describing him as a “world-class netminder” and saying he wishes Price nothing but the best.
Former goalie Corey Hirsch also chimed in, saying he was “extremely proud” of Price.
“I hope more players feel safer to get help,” Hirsch wrote on Twitter. “I thank everyone on here that is showing Carey love and support. That’s how we will create change.”
If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 9-1-1 for immediate help.
Crisis Services Canada’s toll-free helpline provides 24-7 support at 1-833-456-4566. Residents of Quebec can call 1-866-277-3553.
—With files from Global News’ Dan Spector and The Canadian Press
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Alouettes trade for QB Trevor Harris – CFL.ca
MONTREAL — The Montreal Alouettes announced on Sunday that the team has acquired veteran quarterback Trevor Harris from the Edmonton Elks in exchange for American defensive end Antonio Simmons.
In six games this season, Harris completed 135 of 192 passes, collecting 1,568 yards, adding six majors.
Harris (six-foot-three, 212 pounds) is in his ninth season in the CFL after playing in Toronto, Ottawa and Edmonton. In 139 career games, he completed 1990 passes for 23,750 yards, adding 126 touchdown passes. The 35-year-old quarterback has hoisted the Grey Cup twice (2012, Toronto; 2016, Ottawa). The Waldo, OH native was selected on the East Division All-Star Team in 2016. The former Edinboro University Fighting Scots suited up for the Jacksonvile Jaguars in 2010 and the Buffalo Bills in 2011.
“Trevor is a veteran who knows the league well and what it takes to win”, said Montreal Alouettes General Manager Danny Maciocia. “We are pleased to have been able to complete this transaction. We are confident that Trevor will work well with our quarterbacks. We thank Antonio for his services and wish him well.”
In 23 career games with the Alouettes, Simmons made 52 defensive tackles, five quarterback sacks and forced a fumble.
Simmons is currently in his second CFL season and joins the Elks after originally signing with Montreal in May of 2019.
The Georgia Tech product played all 18 regular season games for the Als in 2019, recording 45 defensive tackles, three sacks, and a forced fumble. In five games this season, Simmons has registered seven defensive tackles and two sacks.
A native of Jacksonville, Florida, Simmons played four years (2014-17) at Georgia Tech, collecting 83 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, and seven quarterback sacks. He spent time in 2018 with both the Denver Broncos and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Flames D Andersson fined $5K for roughing Oilers F Yamamoto – TSN
Calgary Flames defenseman Rasmus Andersson has been fined $5,000 for roughing Edmonton Oilers forward Kailer Yamamoto.
Andersson was fined the maximum allowable under the collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and the Players’ Association.
The money goes to the players’ emergency assistance fund.
Andersson was assessed minor penalties for both roughing and elbowing at 14:33 of the first period Saturday in Edmonton.
The Flames lost their season-opener 5-2 to the Oilers.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 17, 2021.
Report: Maple Leafs to ease up on dress code restrictions for game days – Sportsnet.ca
The Toronto Maple Leafs are apparently planning to loosen up on dress code restrictions for players on game day.
Players are required to wear jackets, ties and dress pants to and from the arena, as outlined in the CBA, however, teams can ease up on the mandate if they choose.
The Arizona Coyotes were the only team that opted to do so entering the season, but the Maple Leafs now plan to follow suit, according to Lance Hornby of The Toronto Sun.
The decision comes just a few days after ESPN published an article on Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews, who has shown a flair for unique fashion while away from the arena, discussing his displeasure with the NHL’s strict dress code.
“I don’t mind wearing a suit, but it gets old pretty quick,” Matthews said. “I think it’d be fun to wear different things and be able to express yourself, similar to what the NBA does or even the NFL a little bit.”
The 24-year-old Matthews, who led the NHL with 41 goals in 52 games last season, missed the first three games of the season while recovering from wrist surgery and is expected to make his 2021-22 debut Monday night against the New York Rangers on Sportsnet.
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