A good age for retirement

A fine age for retirement

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Carey Price is not officially retired – for contractual reasons – but his message is clear, and in my head it has been since the last game of last season, the 29&nbsp ;April at the Bell Center against the Florida Panthers. 

All the better if he was able to play five games in April after going through a whole range of emotions during a long absence. He was able to finish in style with a victory against the Panthers and we saw him immortalize the moment by taking photos with his family. It was unusual and revealing. I told you about it. 

On Monday, we learned a little more about his state of health. We can believe in miracles and hope for a return to the game next season at 36, but what would Price have to gain? He had a great career including a participation in the Stanley Cup Final in 2021 and this is the memory we want to keep of him. 

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I don't want to see him hang on and come back to the game at 70% of his ability at 36-37 years old. The reality is, at 35, he needs to hang up his leggings. And you know what ? His injury is serious, but he is also a victim of normal wear and tear for a goalkeeper. It's a good time to stop. 

His former adviser Stéphane Waite said how “magané” he was. and we understand better today. Price talked about his knees, but also his hips and back.

Personally, I am 46 years old and there are mornings when I feel like I am 70. When I take my daughter in my arms, I sometimes feel pain in my back and hips, but I can live with that.

Goalkeeping is hard on the body, but I wouldn't change anything about my career, just like Price wouldn't change anything about his. There is a price to pay to play in the National League, to be paid well and to secure the future of our families. We all accept it. 

The surgery proposed to Price is major, risky, without guarantee and could even worsen his condition. I understand being reluctant. If he was 27 or 28, with several good seasons ahead of him, I think he would be more receptive to the idea of ​​going back under the knife. But honestly, he has nothing to gain by hanging on.  

Among the greats 

He doesn't have to play until he's 40. He is already one of the three, four or five best goaltenders in Canadian history. He is one of the best of his time with Marc-André Fleury, Henrik Lundqvist, Roberto Luongo and Pekka Rinne. He has nothing left to prove. 

And who says how long he will stay healthy if he returns to the game? When the injuries start in your thirties, it doesn't let go. 

Mentally ready 

The good news is that Price seems calm. He's starting to enjoy life outside of hockey and I think mentally he's ready for retirement. I can understand that.

My last season there was a lockout. When we returned to the game in January 2013, something had changed in me. I had started to appreciate life outside the hockey bubble and it was very difficult to restart the machine. I think Price is mentally there.

At the end of the day, your body is always giving you signs and you have to listen to it. Price knows where he is and he can say: mission accomplished! I don't want him to become like a boxer who made that famous fight too many. It would tarnish his image. 

It's a good time to retire, but he can't tell yet. 

– Comments collected by Gilles Moffet

Entrefilets 

A good example

We learned that Carey Price had an alcohol addiction and it was very brave of him to come forward. He was well advised and he set a good example by seeking help, as well as admitting it publicly. If he can save one person, he can say mission accomplished. Addiction issues are a scourge and it was touching to hear her say that it had killed some of her loved ones.  

A human problem  

Price has shown that human issues afflict people from all walks of life and it's no easier for a professional athlete to deal with his addiction issues than it is for a starcinema, an electrician or the guy who buys $1000 tickets in the front row of the Bell Centre. On this point, everyone is equal. And let’s not forget that the loved ones of these people also suffer from it. Let's be on the lookout to help yourself or our loved ones. 

Training machines

Playing in the NHL in your thirties is a bonus and those who are still in it in their late thirties, or even in their forties, are usually training machines, like Chris Chelios< /strong> or Jaromir Jagr. Chelios was riding a stationary bike in a sauna. I saw Jagr at a hotel pool in Las Vegas around 7am and he was doing exercises in the pool with weights.

The diehard Phil Kessel 

Speaking of training, the so-called hot dog and donut eater, Phil Kessel, is the new NHL record holder for most consecutive games. He was a bit lucky, sure, but Sidney Crosby once told me that Kessel was still among the best in fitness testing at the Penguins. You don't set an endurance record without taking care of your body.