With training camp on the horizon, Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin used the team's annual golf tournament in Laval-Sur-Le-Lac, Quebec, on Tuesday to summarize his team's medical condition.
The best news: Starting goaltender Carey Price and forward Lars Eller, each of whom were knocked out of the Canadiens' loss to the Ottawa Senators in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, are ready for the start of this season. Price suffered a knee injury late in Game 4 and Eller was sidelined with a concussion and facial fractures in Game 1.
HABS ANNUAL GOLF TOURNAMENT
Carey Price and several other Montreal Canadiens talked about the upcoming season at the team's annual golf tournament.
"Brian Gionta will be ready, if not at the start of the season, then soon afterwards," Bergevin said of the team captain who tore a left biceps tendon during the series against Ottawa. "Lars Eller is doing well and will play at the start of the season. George Parros [rotator-cuff surgery] will not, but he's also close to a return. Carey Price is 100 percent healthy."
One player who won't be ready to start the season is defenseman Alexei Emelin. Bergevin confirmed he won't be able to play for another couple of months following knee surgery in May.
Bergevin also related a discussion he had with Price about last season, when the 26-year-old goaltender lost seven of his last 10 decisions and struggled in the playoffs before his injury.
"I had an excellent discussion with Carey. We'll surround him well and he'll have a good season this year," said Bergevin, who praised the work of new goaltending coach Stephane Waite, with whom he previously worked in Chicago. "His reputation is established. What he did in Chicago with two different goaltenders, winning two Cups; that speaks for itself."
Price said, "Me and Stephane talked a few months ago. Hopefully we can build a solid relationship."
The Canadiens are trying to build on a season that saw them rise from last place in the Eastern Conference to first in the Northeast Division before being upset by Ottawa in the first round. Coach Michel Therrien told the team's website he's seeking to build on last season's accomplishments.
"We're starting camp with an open mind. I have a good idea of where I'm going, but we always leave room to adapt," Therrien said. "I approach this season with a lot of enthusiasm. We built up a good base last year, a good work ethic. The season was a learning experience which went well. It was a step in the right direction."