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Marc Bergevin is satisfied with his teams first-half performance and wasnt tipping his hand on any possible moves as the Montreal Canadiens play out the stretch before next months Olympic break. The Habs general manager maintained that the teams success over the last three months are due in large part to special teams and the play of goaltender Carey Price. The Canadiens star goaltender struggled in the latter part of last season and Bergevin brought in former Chicago Blackhawks colleague Stephane Waite as goaltending coach to help get him back on the right track. "Carey has been our most valuable player this year," he told reporters during the teams morning skate in Philadelphia. "All the credit goes to him for his comeback. Hes come to work whenever he goes on the ice. He is playing great hockey and is one of the reasons why we are in our current position." Price and teammate P.K. Subban were both named to Canadas Olympic mens hockey team on Tuesday, joining six other Canadiens representing their countries in Sochi. Bergevin would not comment on the status of contract negotiations with Subban (a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer), but had plenty of praise for the young blueliner. "I dont want to discuss (the talks) publicly," he said. "Two years ago, he (Subban) was sometimes a healthy scratch. His progression has been huge and hes not finished." Bergevin also addressed questions regarding veteran forward Daniel Briere, who has struggled in his first season with the Canadiens. Briere, whos been the subject of trade speculation over the last week, has impressed both the GM and head coach Michel Therrien with his recent play - including a three-point performance against Ottawa on Saturday. "I never got wind of it," said Bergevin when asked of any possible rift between Briere and Therrien. "Daniel has faced difficulties, but hes on the right track. Hes played much better hockey for some time." And if Briere needs to look anywhere for some added inspiration, he doesnt need to look further than his own dressing room. "David Desharnais has had a difficult start to the season," said Bergevin. "And hes been one of our top players now for a long time." Bergevin, who had a first-hand look at some of the teams prospects at the World Junior Hockey Championship in Sweden, also likes he sees for the future, particularly forward Jacob De la Rose whom he hopes will play in North America next season. "On the whole, our prospects performed well," he said. "All six players got a lot of ice time. I was especially impressed with (Jacob De la Rose), who is a big guy who did very well for Sweden. Also, Martin Reway, whos a lot smaller physically, had a great deal of success as well. They had key roles on their teams on such an important stage. The future looks promising for our kids." 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"We created some things," said Gaborik, who logged 16:38 of ice time.NEW YORK, N.Y. - Once mumps invades a professional sports dressing room, it finds a fertile breeding ground and the NHL is finding that it is not easy to get rid of.Multiple players on multiple teams from coast to coast have come down with the mumps, an illness more typically associated with children.It started in Anaheim and plagued the Ducks, who had three players affected. The Minnesota Wild was next, with five victims. Tanner Glass of the New York Rangers then came down with it, and as recently as Wednesday, the New Jersey Devils had two players turn up sick.It is certainly an outbreak that was unexpected and has caused unwanted disruption at the team level, but it is not something we have any significant control over, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said. As long as our clubs are doing what they need to do to minimize risk of contraction, we are hopeful that the wave of cases will run their course and life will return to normal.The Ducks hosted the Wild in mid-October, New Jersey and the Rangers played each other a few days later and Minnesota visited the Rangers not long after that before facing the Devils in mid-November. But it was not clear whether the teams shared the virus with each other or picked it up in other ways.You see the hits that they have, and sometimes the spraying of saliva, said Dr. Judith Aberg, chief of the infectious diseases division at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital. I think they are high risk. I am surprised we havent actually seen this before.The illness isnt just hitting hockey players, of course. Students on college campuses have also recently fallen victim in another close environment that promotes spreading of the very contagious virus.It is relatively uncommon since the vaccine was licensed in the early 1960s, but this year weve actually had more cases, Aberg said. In 2013, we had less than 500 cases, and already this year were looking at about 1,000 cases in the United States. One person is expected to infect 10 others.Millions are vaccinated at a young age, but Aberg said the immunity can wane with age and 10 to 20 per cent of individuals who have been vaccinated may not have full protection.The NHL and the players association have provided information to teams and players on ways to protect themselves against the mumpss.dddddddddddd Vaccination decisions for any disease are made by club medical staffs and the players themselves.The Rangers quickly moved to give boosters to players, and other teams have done the same. The Ducks cleaned and sterilized their entire operation following the outbreak that hit Corey Perry and others. Everyone was encouraged to get re-vaccinated and most did.Some affected players have already returned to the ice, and all should recover without lasting effects.Each season at training camp, players are encouraged to provide their vaccination records. Childhood vaccine programs are fairly universal and accessible worldwide, although arent mandatory in every country, the NHLPA said.The NHLPA has been actively educating the players regarding the recent outbreak, while providing best practices on how to avoid contracting and spreading mumps, players association spokesman Jonathan Weatherdon said.Many of the recommendations about locker room and bench behaviour are similar to the standard precautions the NHL provides regarding the flu, which is similarly transmitted.Simple coughing and sneezing and getting those respiratory droplets on each other can cause the spread of mumps, Aberg said. The problem is that it is contagious before you have symptoms. Thats where it gets tricky because you dont know youre going to come down with the mumps, and youre contagious. Then you are contagious for five days or so after you have symptoms.The illness even felled Minnesota ironman defenceman Ryan Suter, the rare American-born player to be affected.Every Wild player was offered a booster shot last month when the virus surfaced. Suter decided not to take it, and paid the price. He was the fifth Minnesota player — all defencemen whose cubicles are next to each other — to come down with the mumps.Suter, who hadnt missed a game since joining the Wild in 2012, led the NHL in ice time each of the last two seasons.I probably wash my hands more than anybody, he said. I go out of the way to make sure Im a clean guy. So for me to get it, it stunk. I always tell these guys, Youve got to be mentally strong and youll never get sick. So theyre all giving me a hard time.___AP Sports Writers Greg Beacham in Anaheim, Calif., and Dave Campbell in St. Paul, Minn., contributed to this report. ' ' '

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