Training in Montreal comes with a bright spotlight that Ducharme is still getting used to, but he can certainly empathize with Carey Price.

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Playing goalkeeper for the Canadiens is one of the most pressured positions for a professional athlete.

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Coaching Canadiens is one of the most pressured jobs in professional sports.

Carey Price has been a goalkeeper for the Canadiens for the past 14 years and has experienced many ups and downs during that time. On Thursday, the NHL and NHLPA announced in a joint statement that the 34-year-old goalkeeper voluntarily entered the league’s player assistance program.

It is not known exactly what led to Price’s decision, but there is no question that the pressure of being the Canadiens goalkeeper and constant focus of attention must take its toll over the years, even though Price has managed very good position.

Coaching the Canadiens also comes with a very bright spotlight and is something Dominique Ducharme is still getting used to as he heads into his first full season at work after replacing Claude Julien last February.

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When asked on Thursday how he deals with that pressure, Ducharme said he puts more pressure on himself than anyone else.

“I’m not watching a lot of television, to be honest, or radio,” Ducharme said when asked how he shut off all the outside noise surrounding the Canadiens. “It’s my iPhone playing. I have a pretty big playlist so I can drive a long way. Besides that, when I get out of here, I try to spend time with my girlfriend, my kids, my friends and I try to do something else. Because if you don’t …

“As a coach, he’s always there, anyway, you’re always thinking about what’s coming next and what you’re going to do and practice, games, lines and whatever,” Ducharme added. “In a moment, you need to find ways to do something else, stop thinking for a bit.”

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Price will be in the player assistance program for a minimum of 30 days while he takes care of the issues that concern him.

“For us, it’s important to win games, for sure,” Ducharme said. “That is the main reason we are here. But we are working as a group and (they are) human and we really care about them. So when I talk about hockey or other situations, I have said it before, we are not against them. It is not us against them. We are all in the same boat, we all want the same thing, and they are aware of that, they understand it.

“I think we created that chemistry, that association that they have their role, I have my role, the assistant coaches have their role and everyone has their role and we will do the best we can and we will put it together,” added the coach. “Nobody is against anybody and I think they feel comfortable coming to see us. So I think if you look at that case or the case (of Jonathan Drouin), they reached out to us. They know we will help you. “

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Drouin left the Canadiens near the end of last season to deal with anxiety and insomnia issues, and he missed the last 12 games of the regular season and the entire playoff run until the Stanley Cup final. He rejoined the team for training camp and says he is now healthy, both physically and mentally, and looks good on the ice.

Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin pointed out that Montreal is a hockey market where “when everything goes well, everything is fine”, but when things go bad it can be worse than in other NHL cities.

Ducharme said the locker room was very quiet Thursday morning when he told the players about Price’s situation before they hit the ice for practice.

“When something like this happens, you can feel it in the group,” Ducharme said. “At the same time, adversity makes you stronger and stronger. I think we tried it last year. It seems that it will not go away. Keep throwing us challenges. We will only respond.

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“I feel like there is one thing our players are really aware of that they can come see me at any time,” Ducharme added. “They can come see Marc at any time. They can come to see the therapists at any time. They can see an assistant coach. We have shown it and they know that we always support them in every situation ”.

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Bergevin said the NHL and NHLPA are doing everything they can to help players like Price and Drouin when they find themselves in difficult situations that they can no longer handle. Bergevin added that the player must first be willing to admit there is a problem and ask for help.

“I think all the GMs, all the owners, they want the guys to come out if they need help,” Bergevin said. “Find it and move on and have a life because your hockey career lasts many years, but you have the rest of your life, your children, your family, that’s the most important thing.

“They know we have people around,” added the general manager. “But if I ask you if you have a problem and you don’t want to face it, you don’t want to admit it, there’s nothing we can do.”

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Reference-montrealgazette.com

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