In March 2022, the Canadiens hired 37-year-old Adam Nicholas as their director of hockey development.
It wasn’t long before Nicholas, the former Maple Leafs organizational advisor, made his mark. Over the weeks we have been able to discover a coach who focuses on the human approach, on regular communication with the CH players.
We’ve often seen Nicholas working one-on-one with the club’s skaters, including Juraj Slavkovsky, as the importance of protecting yourself well in the corners of the rink was on the list during a session a few weeks ago.
From the outside, the hockey guy seems to be very patient and open-minded. Actually, it probably is. But every man has his limits, as they say.
Wednesday, during an optional training that brought together the majority of the young players in the squad, Nicolas went crazy.
In charge of a two-on-two drill encouraging the puck’s protection, the coach, visibly dissatisfied with the intensity deployed, suddenly stepped in.
“You’re soft!” he exclaimed, after showing the four players involved in the sequence (Raphael Harvey Benard, Chris Weidman, Jesse Ylönen, and Justin Baron) the kind of effort he’d been waiting for. Watch the anger mentioned in the main video.
During his traditional “JiC” interview, our informant Renaud Lavoie commented on the events.
Adam made that tackle while Martin St. Louis and all the other coaches were on the ice! I know a lot of them, from directors to hockey development, but Nicholas is good and above all very demanding.