Nick Suzuki will be a good captain for the Montreal Canadiens.
At least that’s what Michel Therrien said during his contribution to the program “La Poche Bleue le midi” on Tuesday.
“I saw Nick Suzuki develop a little bit when he started in the NHL. I think it’s a very good date and it was a good time to announce it. I hear a lot of good things about his maturity and behavior. When we played the Flyers against the Canadiens in the Toronto bubble, he was their best player. I think it’s a great decision by the Canadians.”
The former coach was fortunate to experience several such appointments in his career. Max Pacioretty’s had been particularly important to him.
“In the case of Pacioretty, we wanted to avoid distractions. Everyone talked about it in the summer because we didn’t have a captain last year. We were criticized by fans and the media at the time because we didn’t have a captain. Before the first day we had a dinner where we brought all the players together. We ended up having everyone who was there the year before and who knew the dressing room vote in a secret ballot. Max Pacioretty had won 98% or 97%. Only two guys voted for PK Subban.”
During that announcement, a tasty anecdote also happened.
‘Marc Bergevin had Max Pacioretty’s address. He stayed in Brossard. I didn’t have his address, but I followed Marc. We land in front of the house. A gentleman opens the door and he recognizes us immediately. We ask to speak to Max Pacioretty, but we didn’t have the right address. The guy was surprised when he saw us with the sweater. When we finally found the right house, it was really a nice moment. He was very emotional with his wife and children. That was really a special moment.”
Therrien was also the one who got the chance to appoint Sidney Crosby as the Penguins’ captain. The Quebecer recalls that the young prodigy had shown great maturity at the time.
“Not many people know this, but when I came to Pittsburgh, my first captain was Mario Lemieux. I coached Mario Lemieux for one game, his last in the NHL. I have some nice pictures of it. After that I wanted to give the team back to the young people. I wanted us to go from Mario Lemieux to Sidney Crosby. I couldn’t imagine making Crosby wait four or five years even if we had good veterans like Mark Recchi. I spoke to him at the end of the season and told him to think about it in the summer. He replied that he didn’t feel ready yet. He didn’t yet believe he had earned the respect of his teammates and other NHL players. It shows his maturity. He finished the following season as the NHL scoring champion when he could have played with the Rimouski Oceanic. After that I spoke to him again and he told me he was ready.
Check out the segment in question in the video above.
Avid beer trailblazer. Friendly student. Tv geek. Coffee junkie. Total writer. Hipster-friendly internet practitioner. Pop culture fanatic.