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Canadiens Suzuki On Captaincy Decision, Leadership Style



Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens have finally announced their new leadership group, with Nick Suzuki named 31st captain in team history.

Right from the get-go at the Montreal Canadiens’ annual golf tournament, head coach Martin St. Louis announced that the 23-year-old Nick Suzuki was to be the club’s captain moving forward, the youngest in franchise history. For Suzuki, who addressed the media in French after being announced as the new captain, this was a decision he did not take lightly.

“I was talking to Marty about it around the draft. I took a month or two to think about it,” said Suzuki about his thought process before accepting the captaincy offer. “I think I was ready for it. I had a meeting with Kent and Geoff the other day and told them I was ready for it.”

For Suzuki, the role of leader will be a big responsibility, one that will come with a lot of pressure and scrutiny. To surround Suzuki with some good veteran experience in his transition to a leadership role, the Canadiens also announced that Brendan Gallagher and Joel Edmundson would be named the assistant captains of the team moving forward. With all the necessary support behind him, Suzuki believes he will emulate some of the great leaders he’s seen come through the Canadiens’ dressing room and lead his group by example.

“I want to be someone who comes to work every day and leads by example, every day. That speaks at the right moment and knows what to say,” said Suzuki on what type of captain he wants to be. “I’ve been able to learn from a lot of great leaders in the past, so I’ll take that with me.”

Suzuki, who is one of the poster boys for the Canadiens’ current youth movement, will provide the Canadiens with some long-term stability with the role of captain, as he will be able to continue to grow and mature with the team’s young and emerging core of talented players.

Immersing Himself In The Culture

Suzuki took the decision to become captain seriously. After being asked whether or not he would be interested in being the captain of the Montreal Canadiens, he and his girlfriend decided to stick in Montreal for the summer to take in the full experience of what Montreal has to offer.

“It was a decision that me and my girlfriend made to stay around town. I just wanted to experience the city,” said Suzuki concerning his time in Montreal this summer. “There are so many festivals and things to do. I had a lot of fun.”

While also partaking in the various cultural festivals, Suzuki also worked on his french during the offseason, in order to better articulate himself to francophone fans across the province. Having taken French throughout his schooling, Suzuki showed off what he’s learned so far by giving a short acceptance speech in French without any assistance.

“I was taking online classes online on Babbel this summer,” said Suzuki when asked where he picked up the French, “I also took French throughout my schooling.”

With Nick Suzuki now firmly entrenched within the fabric of the Montreal Canadiens, it will be interesting to see how he performs with the responsibility of the captaincy on his shoulders. However, if Suzuki’s resilience and ability to rise above adversity has shown us anything in the past, there’s not much the Canadiens centre can’t do when he puts his mind to it.



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