Dominique Ducharme reiterated what Marc Bergiveen said over the summer: No one will ever replace Shea Webber as captain of the Montreal Canadiens. However, there will be additional assistants.
One of them will be Nick Suzuki. At the age of 22, the striker will become one of the youngest players in Habs history to wear this leadership symbol.
“It is important to involve young people in our leadership group. We saw the way he behaves in the important moments,” Ducharme said by way of clarification.
During his press conference, the Canadiens head coach specified that Brendan Gallagher would be the only one in the group to see this message embroidered on his jersey in 82 games on the regular calendar.
It is unknown if the role of assistant will fall to Suzuki in Montreal or away from the Bell Center. We will likely know when the Al Kindi administration will make the official announcement of the lucky ones.
Last season, Jeff Petrie, Paul Byron, and Corey Perry joined Gallagher in his role as co-pilot. But Perry is now wearing a Lightning jersey and Byron will miss part of the season with hip surgery.
“Being part of the group of leaders will not change who I am. Be a role model, giving everything I can in matches and training. Being a young player, I have to choose when to speak up,” said Antarian.
Webber won’t be able to jump on the ice with his teammates during his 82-game season. But his shadow will hover over the team.
By acquiring PK Subban in return, Bergevin argued that he wanted to instill a certain culture within the organization. It seems he got it right.
“He is an incredible leader. He shows the same respect to everyone, be it the equipment attendees, teammates, coaches, or the media. I have learned a lot from him and will use that learning throughout my career.”
With Toffoli and Coffield
It’s not just in the leader’s role that Suzuki sees an increase in his responsibilities. The departure of Philip Danault gave him the first place role in the team.
“I want to kill more penalties, I want to play against the best lines of other teams. I have a little experience in this aspect, but I want people to be able to trust me in this role, which Suzuki listed. I want to take the next step in a circle Showdown. I’ve worked a lot on that aspect of the game.”
It was only the first day of boot camp, so it was well worth it. However, Suzuki has been paired with Tyler Toffoli and Cole Caufield.
“We put them together because they have a certain cohesion,” Ducharme explained at the end of the training session. We find that Suzuki and Coffield really do have great chemistry. Suzuki and Tovoli showed the same thing. Together, the three did well in the playoffs.”
“It was nice to be in the same trio. We get along well together. And not just on the ice. I hope we can stay together throughout the camp and even during the season,” Suzuki said.
Darwin moves well
With a harvest of 44 and 41 points, Tovoli and Suzuki were the two most productive Canadian strikers last season. In the playoffs, Coffield joined them as the team’s top scorer. Therefore, expectations are likely to be high.
“We expect us to produce offensively. I put that pressure on myself, and I don’t need to take it from someone else. I can’t wait to take on that challenge this season,” Coffield said.
Among the other trios that will be interesting to follow in the coming days, note one composed of Jonathan Drouin, Christian Dvorak and Josh Anderson.
“I loved what I saw from Joe. He had a good level of energy, the coach of the Canadians analyzed. He was moving well. When he is that’s how we see his skills show up. I want him to continue like this.”
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