In more than 50 years of career with the Montreal Canadiens, Dr. David Mulder has seen almost everything, the book he published testifies to it wonderfully. In his opinion, Carey Price will be able to continue his career for a few seasons and he understands that Jonathan Drouin wishes to obtain a second medical opinion.
Despite the fabulous evolution in sports medicine that Dr. Mulder witnessed and contributed to, Price’s fitness has stagnated, as he described in a recent article on rds.ca.
“It was very difficult for him, getting back into shape from his knee surgery took so much longer than everyone expected. But he is progressing and he is quite a warrior, he is working very hard to get back to the top. His goal has always been to get there as soon as possible and I hope he will get there”, submitted Dr. Mulder who joined the Canadian Junior in 1963 and the Canadiens in 1969.
At 83, he still holds the position of chief medical officer of the Canadiens and he got involved in this file.
“We met him initially with his injury and he wanted to go to New York for the operation which sometimes happens. Players are encouraged to have surgery in Montreal because it’s easier to supervise, but he went to see a very well-established group there. Then, we followed his fitness very closely from a program carried out by our therapists. He had to deal with several setbacks”, he explained.
Evaluating the portrait at the time of the interview, conducted Thursday, Dr. Mulder continues to believe that Price will be able to play a few more seasons.
“I think so, he is making good progress. Many goalkeepers have to be content with a fairly short career, but I expect him to be back”, he said.
We now know that Price’s file is not limited to the sporting aspect. Dr. Mulder has been involved with athletes whose injuries have had big implications in their personal lives. The retelling of the stories of Saku Koivu and Trent McCleary is fabulous to read in Hockey Doc, Fifty years of medical anecdotes with the Club de hockey Canadien which is now available in French.
“We helped him as best we could, except that the NHL assistance program collects this type of file for support. But I have always been there to help him with any personal issue,” said the man whose ultimate compliment was to be described as the “Jean Béliveau of sports medicine” by Ron MacLean.
Over the past few days, Jonathan Drouin has expressed his desire to obtain a second medical opinion. The attacker wishes to avoid an operation on his right wrist while the Canadian’s medical team considers it to be the best option.
“We always welcome such a request, maybe another specialist will have a better idea than us. But we are rather convinced that he should be operated. It’s not a major operation, he should be ready for next season and we always respect the player’s opinion, ”reacted Dr. Mulder who plans to get him back in shape for two to three months.
Drouin will spend the last year of his contract next season and he would like to prove that he deserves to stay in Montreal by taking advantage of the advice of Martin St-Louis. A business component is thus added to the equation.
“It’s always the hardest thing. Recently, we lost Ben (Chiarot) and Artturi (Lehkonen). We had gotten used to looking after them, taking care of them. We understand that it was necessary for the good of the club, but this is what I find the most difficult over the years. It is not easy for the friendships forged. At least, we manage to keep in touch with the majority of players, whether it’s PK Subban or the others”, said the man who dreamed of playing in the NHL during his childhood in Saskatchewan.