The Montreal Canadiens have claimed veteran goalie Antti Niemi off waivers from the Panthers Tuesday morning The move signals Carey Price’s injury status is more uncertain than it has been lead on to be. Montreal will be Niemi’s third organization this season, as he started in Pittsburgh before being waived to Florida. His 3-0 record with a 6.74 goals against average is less than stellar, but the Canadiens are desperate with both Price and Montoya out with injuries.
This will be the thirty four year old Niemi’s chance to prove he still belongs in the NHL, as he will get a good amount of playing time until the goalie situation in Montreal improves. Price gave an update on his injury this morning as well, which coincided with the waiver wire pickup.
“[Fans] don’t have to be concerned. It’s just taken a little bit longer than expected just because of the nature of my position, so I just want to make sure I’m 100 percent and can do my job to the best of my ability when I come back. So I’m going to make sure to take my time with it and it won’t be very long.” Price said in an interview with SportsNet’s Mike Johnston.
Price has been absent from the lineup for twelve days now, when he suffered his lower body injury pre-game before the Canadiens loss to the Wild. He proceeded to play through the injury that night which seems to have worsened the issue. As an elite goalie, he is critical to the team’s success and needs to make sure he can be healthy in the long run if the team wants to make a push for the playoffs. The team hopes to find a stop gap in the meantime with Niemi as they head into a stretch of three games in six days. Niemi will not start in net as the team faces the Blue Jackets Tuesday night. The rookie Charlie Lindgren will get the nod in between the pipes.
The injury came in warmup before the game in Minnesota, went to bed that night thinking it wasn’t too serious, then woke up the next morning and realized there was an issue #Habs
— Kyle Bukauskas (@SNkylebukauskas) November 14, 2017
Price seems farther off than he has been leading on, as he will take a few days off the ice to try and let the injury heal. His injury was unknown to Montreal general manager Marc Bergevin pregame against the wild, but he is not aiming to rush Carey Price back.