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Summer of Kent Hughes: Nick Suzuki is excited about Sean Monahan’s return to Montreal

I’m a fan. Yes, of Nick Suzuki.

But even more of a fan of Katherine Harvey-Pinard. The La Presse journalist is in a constant state of limbo (figuratively speaking, of course!) between her brother, Rafaël Harvey-Pinard, and her work as a sports journalist covering the Montreal Canadiens, among others.

My hat’s off to him, really!

Earlier today, she penned a paper in which she revealed the highlights of an interview she was lucky enough to have with the Canadiens’ captain. At just 24 years of age, he’s under enormous pressure every night when he takes to the ice. He has to perform and be an exceptional leader of men. No easy task, I’m sure. But we all agree that, so far, if it’s not a perfect record, it’s not far off. In fact, I can’t really see any fault with his record. Basically, I’m just saving myself a little escape hatch in case I’ve missed something through his captaincy.

The pressure may be enormous when he jumps onto the icy surface, but it still doesn’t seem to be enough for him.

The ambassador of the Asista Foundation for the past year wants to do even more, and not be confined to his job as a field hockey player.

It’s a real credit to him!

Here’s how he puts it:

“I want to go out into the community and let people see me, get to know me away from the rink. Helping kids and people in need is important to me.” – Nick Suzuki

But beyond the role of Tricolore captain, what caught my attention in this article was the segment in which the former first-round pick of the Vegas Golden Knights talks about the personnel moves made by Kent Hughes over the summer.

Leadership is not a problem for him, but he regrets the departure of Joel Edmundson, now with the Washington Capitals.

Some guys are going to have to step up, and new leaders are going to emerge,” notes No. 14. That’s how it works when you lose guys like him.” – Nick Suzuki

On the other hand, he says he’s happy to have Sean Monahan back. The former Calgary Flames star has seen it all in his career, and his experience won’t go amiss when it comes to supporting number fourteen until other youngsters take up more space in the dressing room.

The question now is whether Monny will play more than last season’s 25 games. Leadership is all well and good, but from the top of the catwalk with a long-term injury, it undermines the impact you can have.

Fortunately, it would seem, according to Bob Hartley, that the sixth overall pick of the 2013 auction would be in his best shape in a very long time. Indeed, his former head coach in Calgary claims to have chatted with him in recent days, and the 28-year-old veteran is said to have made this revelation.

This in itself is excellent news, as much for leadership in the room as for the team’s on-ice allure.

If he were to repeat last season’s performance of 17 points in 25 games, he’d have an output of around 56 points. In a team that only had one scorer over the 60 mark last season (guess who!), that could make a big difference.

I hope the CH’s new therapist can work miracles, because the Habs can’t afford to be plagued by injuries again. To progress, you have to play, and avoiding the infirmary is a great way to do that. I’m surprised to be able to express so much truth in so few words. Haha

All this to say that a healthy Sean Monahan means a better team on the ice and stronger leadership to create the organizational culture that Martin St-Louis, Kent Hughes and Jeff Gorton dream of.

In gusto

– I wonder if the NHL will publish photos of all player agency camps? To ask the question is to answer it. #Sponsorship

– Normally, the league’s veterans turn 20. He’ll be taking his first steps on the circuit. Bravo !

– Speaking of junior field hockey, the Sherbrooke Phoenix is changing radio broadcasters.

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