Canadiens shut down Carey Price, P.K. Subban

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price had hoped to come back at least for one game before the season ended, but that won't be the case.

The Canadiens announced Wednesday that last season's Hart and Vezina trophy winner and defenseman P.K. Subban, have been shut down with two games remaining in their season.

The team also revealed the specifics of Price's injury: a sprained MCL in his right knee, which he suffered in a game against the New York Rangers in November.

"The MCL provides support to the inside of the knee and is essential for stability and knee function," Habs head physician Vincent Lacroix said in a statement. "Acute, isolated MCL injuries are managed without surgery. Rehabilitation treatments lead to full functional recovery.

"The recovery process can be long in the case of an elite netminder such as Carey, due to the high demand placed on this anatomical structure by modern goaltending techniques. Although Carey has made excellent progress and is very close to being able to return to competition, he has not presently been cleared to do so. He is expected to make a full recovery over the offseason. This injury was not the same as the one he suffered earlier this season [on Oct. 29 at Edmonton], nor in previous years.''

Price felt he had made real progress recently and was close to returning.

"Really close," Price told assembled media in Montreal. "Especially over the last two weeks I felt like my progression has really speeded up. We can't really say for sure but I'd say probably a couple more weeks and I would have been back in game action.''

Price said the decision was made between himself, general manager Marc Bergevin and the team doctor and said all three were on the same page.

"Since the start of this injury, I said I wouldn't come back until I was 100 percent and comfortable being in there, having absolutely no doubts in my mind," Price said. "We just ran out of time at the end of the season. I was really close. But at this point of the year with nothing on the line, it made more sense to end it right now."

Subban was taken off the ice on a stretcher March 10 after being hit in the head by a teammate during a scary crash in the corner. The team said he suffered a minor neck injury.

Price and Team Canada might have felt a little better about things had he been able to play at least a game before the season ended, as his next action will be for his country in the September World Cup of Hockey.

At this point, there's no plan for Price to pull out. Team Canada named him to the roster last month.

"We named Carey with the understanding he will be 100 percent come the World Cup. Nothing has changed in that thought process,'' Team Canada general manager Doug Armstrong told ESPN.com via text message shortly after the Habs' announcement on Price.

Price said he believes he'll be ready for the World Cup.

"Well, before the World Cup starts, I will have been skating for a month and a half,'' Price said. "So I think I'll be pretty prepared by then.''

Without Price in their lineup, the Habs crashed and burned this season, missing the playoffs for the first time in four years.