BROSSARD – Alex Galchenyuk spoke publicly on Wednesday, hoping to put this past weekend’s incident behind him ahead of the Canadiens’ upcoming tilt against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Galchenyuk, who met with members of the media at the Bell Sports Complex following practice, answered questions regarding a situation that occurred at his residence in downtown Montreal early Sunday morning.
“I feel bad that the incident was made public. I feel bad for my teammates, for the organization and for the fans. At the same time, I’m a hockey player. It’s a lesson in life,” offered Galchenyuk, who has 10 goals and 27 points in 43 games during the 2015-16 campaign. “Of course it was a distraction. I’m sorry for this. I feel bad for it. For me, personally, I can’t wait to move on from it.”
Galchenyuk patiently and calmly handled a steady stream of inquiries about the incident as the Canadiens continue to prepare for Thursday night’s contest against the defending Stanley Cup champions at the Bell Centre.
“I think the most important thing is to try and avoid being a distraction for the team. In a market like Montreal, it can be tough. It’s such a big market, especially being a young player. People talk and people make headlines,” admitted Galchenyuk, who is in the midst of his fourth NHL season. “At the same time, it’s a market I love to be in. The fans are unbelievable here. I love to play in this city. There’s a lot of pressure, but there are an unbelievable amount of positives, too.”
After Galchenyuk’s teammates came out in support of him on Tuesday, head coach Michel Therrien did the same thing on Wednesday. The veteran bench boss is adamant that the Canadiens’ No. 27 will learn important lessons from a situation like this.
“People can’t forget that we’re talking about a young man who’s just 21 years old. Obviously, Chucky isn’t happy about finding himself in this kind of situation. But, he’ll learn a lot from it. That’s how I see things,” explained Therrien, who, like Galchenyuk, is eager to move on from this incident, too. “They’re young kids. They’re human beings. Yes, we want them to be role models. Yes, we want them to perform. But, at the end of the day we can’t forget that they’re kids. At times, all kids make some mistakes. The most important thing is to learn from it.”
Therrien, meanwhile, doesn’t believe that the incident will have any impact on Galchenyuk’s play in the coming days and weeks ahead. Needless to say, he has high hopes for him going forward.
“Some players have been in a tough position in the past, and a lot of them responded the right way. I’m expecting Alex to respond the right way,” concluded Therrien. “It’s going to make him a better pro athlete, and eventually he’s going to become a better player.”
Matt Cudzinowski is a writer for canadiens.com.
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