Big statement from Jonathan Drouin about the Canadiens, even taking a shot at the former management along the way

Published July 8, 2023 at 10:49
On July 1st, we learned that Jonathan Drouin would not be returning to the Canadiens as he made the move to join the powerhouse Colorado Avalanche in free agency.

While it was unlikely to see the 28-year-old Quebec native return to Montreal, it wasn't due to the difficult times he experienced with the organization.

On the contrary, when commenting on his departure from Montreal, the former number 27 of the Canadiens became quite emotional when reflecting on the six years he spent with the team.

"A few days before [the start of free agency], we made the decision not to come back to the Canadiens. Kent Hughes and Jeff Gorton were really nice to me, but I needed a fresh start. Montreal has been tough in recent years. I've experienced a lot of ups and downs. I needed a fresh start somewhere else."

Jonathan's revelation is interesting because it suggests that Kent Hughes hadn't closed the door on his potential return to the team. According to Drouin, the decision was ultimately made towards the end of June.

Despite the challenging moments, the pressure, and the palpable animosity from some fans towards him, he had only good things to say about Montreal. At the same time, he mentioned that he would recommend any Quebecer to join the Canadiens. Drouin also subtly took a swipe at the former management.

"I've had some great moments in Montreal, it's not all negative. I've met some great people, and I've grown as a person."

"I would never tell a Quebecer not to go to Montreal. Even after six years, I still had butterflies when I stepped onto the ice at the Bell Centre. Those are things that will never change. The passion of the fans will always be there. Yes, there is pressure, but if you can handle it, it's a great place to play. Especially now, with the staff in place. It's going to be a team that will be really good in the future."

We are genuinely happy for him that he will be reunited with an old friend in Nathan MacKinnon in Colorado, with whom he had great success in Halifax. We wish him success, but above all, we hope he rediscovers the joy of playing hockey.

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