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Johnathan Kovacevic: French lessons out of respect for Quebec culture
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

When you ask a Canadiens fan who his favorite player is, it would be surprising to hear Johnathan Kovacevic as an answer. Still, it’s impossible to dislike this player, as much for his performances on the ice as for his work off it.

In a recent interview with’s Jean-François Chaumont, Kovacevic revealed that he takes regular French lessons via videoconference.

We’ve often seen English-speaking Canadiens players say a few words in French. Carey Price and P.K. Subban, to name but a few, have often offered warm “merci beaucoup Montréal” greetings that have drawn huge cheers at the Bell Centre.

This time, Kovacevic takes the story a step further. He’s not learning French to become a fan favourite, but out of respect for Quebec culture and the French-speaking people.

An Anglophone living in Montreal can get by just fine without speaking a drop of French. However, Kovacevic is aware that there are many people in Quebec who speak only French, and he wants to be able to speak to them as a mark of respect, having now lived in the Belle Province for two years.

Chaumont even revealed that Kovacevic was able to hold a small conversation with him for about five minutes, which is superb. However, he still doesn’t feel comfortable enough to speak to the media in French. TV interviews can certainly be more stressful.

It’s nice to see, and understandably so. Kovacevic received his first real chance in the NHL in Montreal in 2022, when the Winnipeg Jets waived him after only four games in the big league.

In addition to his respect for Quebec culture, Kovacevic is also learning French to keep his brain active. He may be playing hockey for a living, but let’s not forget that he played for three years at Merrimack College in Massachusetts before joining the professional ranks.

Kovacevic told Jean-Françcois Chaumont that he completed his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering while playing with the Jets’ school team, the Manitoba Moose.

This intelligence seems to help him play better hockey, as he understands the game well even if he’s not one of the best players on his team.

We shouldn’t forget that, even though he often plays on the third pair of defensemen, he’s the Habs’ number-one player in a particular category. He’s the team’s best player, with a +9 record.

Kovacevic is an excellent defenseman and his record shows it. In six seasons of professional hockey, he has always had a positive record at the end of each of his campaigns.

There’s a lot of traffic on the Habs’ blue line, and he’s often the one who has to bail out and spend a game in the stands. However, a player like Kovacevic deserves to remain in a regular line-up, as he brings a great deal of stability to a team.

In gusto

– Crosby will certainly be part of Team Canada.

– A fresh start.

– It’s off to a good start.

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