Carey Price Stéphane Waite substance use drugs alcohol

Ex-Habs goalie coach shocked by Carey Price substance use revelation

“Even his teammates, even the ones who were closest to him, never noticed anything. I was certain that it was not an addiction problem. It was a total surprise.”

In interviews with 98,5 Sports yesterday, former Habs goalie coach Stéphane Waite expressed his shock over Tuesday night’s statement about substance use from Carey Price. After being away from the Montreal Canadiens for a month seeking mental health treatment, Price admitted that he has been struggling with an addiction for years.

Waite, who had worked closely with Price for eight years (until March of 2021) exchanged texts with his former trainee on Oct. 7, the day that his entry into the NHL players assistance program was announced. Based on the content of these texts, the fact that he had never seen Price impaired in any way (at work or at group social outings) as well as Price’s rigorous fitness discipline and strict diet, Waite stated then that there was no way it was an issue of addiction to illegal drugs, medication or alcohol.

“It’s a shock. I never saw this coming. I worked with him for eight years, I was at the arena from early morning to early afternoon, and I never perceived anything — drugs, alcohol, medication. He always worked hard and focused on his training. Even his teammates, even the ones who were closest to him, never noticed anything. I was certain that it was not an addiction problem. It was a total surprise.”

Carey Price said that he has been struggling for years with mental health issues related to substance use, something that was never perceived by Stéphane Waite or his Habs teammates.

Waite said he has no idea what substance or substances Price has an issue with, noting that NHL players have mandatory blood tests performed by independent labs every few months, which would have caught anything illicit in his system.

He also stated that Price is a family man who’s not particularly interested in partying, and would barely consume any alcohol at group functions. He is, however, prone to frustration and bad moods at work.

“He often had mood swings. He had bad moods and sometimes he didn’t know why, but I always saw this as part of his personality. Sometimes he needed to be cheered up and reminded to have fun — I’d tell him ‘Life is good, you play hockey for a living, you’re well paid, you have a nice family,’ and that would make him smile again.

“Now he’s clearly taken control of the situation and he’ll emerge better from this. It will definitely help him advance in his career and maybe appreciate his life more.”

Ex-Habs goalie coach Stéphane Waite shocked by Carey Price substance use revelation

Along with following the after-care process prescribed by the NHL players assistance program, Price is currently working towards rejoining the Habs on the ice. As the team’s coach Dominique Ducharme said yesterday, he’s starting with the first in a four-step physical training process at the Canadiens practice facilities in Brossard. This will involve solo work, physio following the knee surgery he had in August, work with his current goalie coach and regular practice with the team.

If you or someone you know is struggling or in distress, call Info-Social at 811 to be directly transferred to a social worker. You can also call Wellness Together Canada at 1-866-585-0445 to speak with a counsellor free of charge, or text WELLNESS to 741741.

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