Q&A: Talking privacy and game days with Price and Bernier’s ‘Hockey Wives’

Carey Price brought his A-game once again as the Habs netminder stopped a ridiculous 49 shots to lead Montreal to a 9-0 start.

Since the first season of Hockey Wives wrapped, Angela Price and Martine Forget have each had incidents with media — social and otherwise — that have forced serious conversations with their respective partners, Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price and Toronto Maple Leafs‘ Jonathan Bernier.

Yet both women — the No. 1’s in the lives of Canada’s most scrutinized No. 1’s — have signed on for the second season of the W Network’s popular docuseries, which illuminates the joys and challenges facing NHL players’ families.

With Season 2 debuting Wednesday night, we sat down with Price and Forget to talk about game days, the wives’ lounge, and when it’s time for fans and reporters to back off.

SPORTSNET.CA: Angela, you’re new to the cast. As a viewer, what were your thoughts on Season 1?

ANGELA PRICE: When you hear the pitch for their show, you automatically think of Real Housewives or other reality shows. I didn’t understand the difference between a reality show and a docuseries, so I was pleasantly surprised when Season 1 aired and how they truly represented what the life of a hockey wife is and didn’t throw forced drama into it.

Some might think there is enough of a spotlight on your families already. What advantage is there to doing the show?

AP: When you leave your home city [Tri-Cities, Washington] and home country to follow these guys, you have to give up a lot of yourself and who you are. A lot of times you give up your dreams. You get lost. You get lost following their world and their projects. Your whole world revolves around them. It’s nice to have something for yourself again, somewhere you can have a voice and you’re just not behind your husband.

MARTINE FORGET: And staying busy, too.

AP: I’ve already taken every single class at Concordia [University] that I have interest in. I’ve picked up hobbies, I’ve helped out at charity events. I’m trying to make the best of this situation and do everything I can, but I feel like I’m running out of options here. This came up, and it felt like a good opportunity.

“A lot of times you give up your dreams. You get lost,” says Angela Price. “Your whole world revolves around them. It’s nice to have something for yourself again.”

Did you approach the W Network after seeing the success of Season 1?

AP: No. They approached me, and it did take a while to get me on board because I wasn’t gung-ho about giving up my privacy at first. But you really get to pick and choose when the cameras are there, so I didn’t have to give up my privacy.

How did you feel, Martine, about Season 1? Were you concerned how the editing process might twist reality?

MF: English is not my first language. Talking with my friends, it’s fine, but talking on TV where everybody can see, I was afraid everybody would judge me: Why is she doing this show? She doesn’t even speak English. People sometimes are mean. I was also worried how I’d look. But it was fun seeing what every girl’s doing every day. And I was excited to watch to see what other girls’ lives are like. I’m less stressed doing the second season.

“If you’re going to talk about what’s going on in my uterus on Twitter, any response I have is fair game.” — Angela Price

How did Jonathan and Carey react when you told them you were bringing another camera into their lives?

MF: Because hockey doesn’t go well—last season didn’t go well and this season hasn’t gone better—it’s hard. [Jonathan] just wants to think about hockey and focus on hockey. He doesn’t want to be on TV. He doesn’t want to do it. He’s going to be on TV and a part of it, but not as much as me. I’m going to be full-time. You know when something in your life or at work doesn’t go well? You’re just so sad and mad, you don’t care about anything else. You just want to be your best. You’re trying so hard, but it’s just not happening. It’s hard for him.

AP: Carey had never seen the show, so he had no idea. His first fear was that it would be like a reality show, but we talked it over and really set the boundaries: No, the cameras are not going to be in the home with us. No, they’re not going to catch private conversations between us. Because the show was OK with us making those boundaries, he didn’t mind at all. Anything to support me, he’s pretty great with that.

And you started a blog recently, too. Why?

AP: I started a blogging a couple years ago with a girl from back home, and we’ve had a lot fun doing it. We grew it pretty well, and it got to the point where it was more about products and fashion. I wanted something more personal, about me and Carey, because that’s what I know best. So I started my own blog to share with fans and follow other hockey wives. I’ll take pictures of all of our shoots, so fans can see behind the scenes. People are interested in that.

MF: Do you talk about Carey on the blog?

AP: I talk about family. So if me and Carey are travelling, if we went on a rafting trip, there’s pictures of us rafting. I don’t talk about hockey. It’s our life, our family.

Congratulations, by the way. I know the news of your pregnancy didn’t come out on your terms, but you stood up for yourself on the blog. Can you explain what happened?

AP: Me and Carey were not at the point where we’d had that doctor’s appointment where they tell you all is good, that baby’s heartbeat is good, before it got leaked to the media. So when it leaked to the media, I obviously was upset. Heaven forbid something didn’t go right, I’d have to explain to everybody, “Well, I was pregnant, but now I’m not.” That was my first frustration.

Then, when a big-time reporter tweeted it out, the reporter knew we were planning on announcing it the next day. He tweeted it out the night before instead of waiting for us to announce it. It was after a game. My phone just blows up with Twitter and phone calls and texts from family members. Everyone’s talking about my pregnancy when we hadn’t told people. Carey comes home, and I’m crying. We’re trying to talk: “Do we even announce it ourselves?”

I was so pissed that we were even having that conversation, that they took that moment and excitement away from us, I went to my blog to get out my frustrations and bring light on the situation. I think there’s a problem with privacy and boundaries with the players and their families. That’s a problem with a lot of wives, not just me and Carey. I’m in a position where I felt comfortable to talk about it, so I did.

“People feel entitled to the guys’ lives off the ice, and it’s insane.” — Angela Price 

Did you hesitate, or was it straight to the keyboard?

AP: No. That night I was like, “Yeah, we’re still going to take a picture and put it out there, and I’m going to give the media a piece of my mind.” There was no question.

MF: That’s good.

AP: I wasn’t scared, and I don’t feel bad about it. I know it was harsh, but if you’re going to talk about what’s going on in my uterus on Twitter, any response I have is fair game. Some of the fans were very supportive. Others seem to think Carey and I don’t deserve privacy.

MF: Ugh.

Has your privacy been invaded, Martine?

MF: Some people in hockey think they should know everything about you.

AP: People feel entitled to the guys’ lives off the ice, and it’s insane. You hear stories from girls in Montreal, where they’re giving birth and the [players] are being asked for pictures and autographs by the hospital staff. People need to realize we’re human too, and we’re trying to cherish those moments too. So it was really important for me to try to make people understand that.

MF: You did. Good job.

You took that angry response post down from your blog, right?

AP: I did. There was a lot of negativity, name-calling and bullying towards, first off, the reporters, and I was getting some too. My purpose of the post was not to create hate; it was to bring awareness: Hey, guys, you need to be more sensitive. But I think online bullying is a big issue, and I think I encouraged it with that post, and I didn’t mean to. So I did take it down. [Note: And the reporter published a written apology.]

I laughed about it like, “It’s so funny!” Jonathan’s like, “It’s not funny.” — Martine Forget on her accidental rumour-stirring Instagram

Martine, you put an Instagram post of your son, Tyler, in the summer that fans read a lot into. What did you learn from that experience?

MF: [laughs, shakes head] To not answer questions anymore. It was a little, simple question: “Why did you take out the logo?” and I wrote, “It’s for a reason, but I cannot tell anyone now.” Just this made it like [stretches arms] that big. Jonathan’s getting traded! Jonathan’s going to Montreal! I’m like, “What?” I didn’t see [the reaction], but when Jonathan came back from the gym, he’s like, “What did you do?”

It was feeding time. I’m like, “What did I do? Nothing. I just woke up and I’m with the baby.”

He’s like, “Did you answer a question on Instagram?”

“Yes, but very simple.”

He’s like, “Look on the Instagram.”

And [other wives] called me like, “Oh, my God!” It was crazy.

Did you guys laugh it off?

MF: I laughed about it like, “It’s so funny!” Jonathan’s like, “It’s not funny.” He’s like, “We don’t need attention. We don’t need that stuff.” He doesn’t like to be front page: Jonathan Bernier’s fiancée did this. Crazy. He’s like, “We don’t need this. Even if they ask you questions, don’t.”

AP: It’s hard to [ignore fans].

MF: Yeah, because I’m just answering to be nice.

AP: You never know how people will take what you write.

So you must feel now that you have to get your guard up around certain people, myself included. Did you have your guard up during filming?

MF: When you say something among friends, they think it’s funny because they know you, but when you say it in front of a camera with thousands of people watching, they might be [judgmental] like, “She said that?” But friends and family know you’re joking. And being funny in French and being funny in English is different, so I do have to think about what I say. Something said on camera could follow me for the rest of my life.

Do Jonathan and Carey act different on a game day versus an off-day?

MF: Not for me. He doesn’t have to eat the same thing. He just naps in the afternoon. Before we had the baby, he would just lie on the couch and relax in the afternoon. Now he’s playing with the baby and trying to help me a bit. But he doesn’t have to drive the same car—not that we have 10 cars [laughs]—or take the same route or eat the same thing. I know some players…

Carey is superstitious.

AP: Not superstitious. It’s routine. He does the same thing every game day: eats the same thing, gets up at the same time, always drives by himself to the rink, doesn’t like to carpool. He’s getting in game mode from the second he wakes up that morning. You just kinda back off and don’t approach him unless he approaches me on game days.

Do you attend most games?

AP: The majority of home games.

MF: Even when the baby was just a couple months old, I was going. I can walk to the ACC, so I could walk home if I need to.

“You just kinda back off and don’t approach him unless he approaches me on game days.” — Angela Price

The culture of the wives’ room at the games struck me as interesting in Season 1. There seemed to be a pecking order in some rooms based on their husbands’ status on the team. How would you describe your early experiences in an NHL wives’ room?

MF: I know there are some rooms where girls aren’t as welcoming, but in Toronto everyone was so nice, I was like, “There’s something wrong. That’s not what I heard about hockey life.” Sometimes you don’t get along with all the girls and some won’t talk to you. It’s hard when you move to a new city and meet all the families, but I was lucky with Toronto. Elisha [Cuthbert, Dion Phaneuf’s better half] made it very easy. She called me the summer before I got there to welcome me. She’s amazing.

AP: I’m lucky that Montreal’s the only team we’ve been to. Visiting Montreal when I was young, I never went I the wives’ lounge. It was scary, and we were just dating – it wasn’t too serious. When I moved to Montreal, I lucked out because the whole team was traded and I was walking in with 18 other new girls. I haven’t had any issues, and there’s no hierarchy in our wives’ lounge. Early on, we had some older women who led a great example of how to befriend new girls regardless who they’re dating. You don’t see drama there, which is nice.

What is Carey going to be like as a father?

AP: He’s been looking forward to it for a long time. Some of our friends have kids, and he’s so cute playing with them. He’s already talking trips they’re going to take. He wants to take the kids hiking. He’s going to be a great dad, no doubt.

And what’s Jonathan like as a new dad?

MF: I was so stressed when I was pregnant. He’s younger. He said, “You know I’m not going to be home often because I play hockey. When there’s game night, I’m napping in the afternoon.” I started crying. I was so stressed. We’re adding a baby in a couple months. But once we had the baby, he started helping with everything. It’s so natural. He’s changing diapers and helping me with cooking. He used to do… not nothing but almost. Now he’s amazing.

On top of that, you have your modeling career. How do you manage it all?

MF: I’m so busy. I write everything down. Now I need to schedule going to get groceries. Everything must be scheduled. The baby has to eat at 5:30, not 7.

Angela, what made you want to get involved with the Breakfast Club?

AP: It was the perfect fit because we’re really focused on health and nutrition. Food isn’t always easy to come by where Carey grew up, so it was a no-brainer. We started by bringing it to his hometown. That went so well, we came on as ambassadors and help throughout Canada. It’s been great. I do a lot of behind-the-scenes work for them. Carey can just show up and show his face when needed.

You’re so involved in these communities you never grew up in. What do you most miss about the States?

AP: My family. I don’t mind not being in the States at all. I love Montreal, but it’s hard. I have a sister and two nephews I’m extremely close with. My parents I’m close with. If I could bring them all to Montreal, I would stay forever.

MF: Just buy a big house.

AP: [laughs] I could do that. I don’t know if Carey would be on board.

Which real-life scene are you most excited to see play out on TV this year?

MF: The wedding planning.

AP: I’m so excited to see the Brandon Prust trade and how MP handled it. That’s such a big thing in the hockey world.

MF: But it’s going to be sad.

AP: Yeah, but it’s so amazing that MP [Maripier Morin] let the cameras in on that emotional, hard time in your life. I’m excited to see how she handled it, and to see fans [realize], “Wow, this is really hell.”

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