Nick Suzuki named captain of Montreal Canadiens
Nick Suzuki has been named the 31st captain of the Montreal Canadiens, succeeding Shea Weber.
The 23-year-old is the youngest captain in the team's history.
Coach Martin St-Louis made the announcement Monday morning at the team's annual golf tournament at the Laval-sur-le-Lac golf course.
According to Montreal Canadiens General Manager Kent Hughes, the "decision was made by the club's hockey management personnel."
Suzuki spoke with RDS about embracing Montreal after spending the summer here with his girlfriend.
"I love the city. I love being out downtown, the Old Port, all the different areas, just learning the city, finding new restaurants, coffee shops, things like that," he said. "There's so much to do around the city. People love being here, and I love being here too."
St. Louis said the decision to name Suzuki captain started to form in early summer.
"I had a meeting with Nick in July and brought the idea and my thoughts, and I wanted him to think about it, and I wanted him to lean on some of his close circle of friends and family and have discussions," he said. "It's a big decision. You have to be ready for it."
Suzuki made his NHL debut with the Canadiens during the 2019-20 season and was named to the League's All-Rookie Team.
He registered 143 points (49 goals, 94 assists) in 209 career NHL games, including a career-high 61 points in 82 games last season, leading the team in scoring.
"His streak of 209 consecutive games played is the sixth longest active streak in the NHL (tied with Elias Lindholm of the Calgary Flames)," the team said, noting the centreman also made his first appearance in the NHL All-Star Game.
The Habs confirmed Joel Edmundson and Brendan Gallagher will serve as alternate captains.
St. Louis spoke about Gallagher's role as a leader heading into the next season.
"Gally's been here for a while. He's a guy I respected a lot playing against him, [and] now that I coach him, I probably respect him more," he said. "He was definitely a part of the process, and he's a guy that is going to be a great resource and somebody that Suzy can lean on as well."
Suzuki, a native of London, Ont., served as an alternate captain last season and is now embarking on his fourth professional season -- the first of an eight-year contract extension signed last October.
He was selected in the first round (13th overall) by the Vegas Golden Knights in 2017 and was acquired by the Canadiens, along with Tomas Tatar and a draft pick, in exchange for former Habs captain Max Pacioretty in 2018.