Canada’s goaltending picture for the 2022 Beijing Olympics on the men’s side looked pretty foggy a year ago, then it was crystal clear as recently as July, and now it’s back to opaque. It all comes down to Carey Price’s status.

Before the 2021-22 Stanley Cup playoffs, Price was fresh off his third subpar regular season in a four-year stretch, and Marc-Andre Fleury had delivered what ended up being a Vezina Trophy season. That left the door open to a competition for Canada’s No. 1 job in 2022. By the time the Montreal Canadiens’ miraculous run to the 2021 final concluded, however, Price had erased any doubt that the Olympic starter’s chair still belonged to him. But now, with Price having entered the NHL player assistance program indefinitely, it’s anyone’s guess if he’ll be back in the NHL this season, let alone ready for the Winter Games.

While awaiting news on Price, Canada received an exemption and was permitted to submit six goaltenders among its list of Olympic candidates by the Oct. 15 deadline while the other 11 nations submitted five.

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