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My influences: Phillip Danault

The 26-year-old forward opens up about some of the players he watched and learned from over the years

by Pierre-Antoine Mercier, translated by Dan Braverman @CanadiensMTL /

MONTREAL - Phillip Danault picked up some tricks of the hockey trade from watching and playing alongside several current and former NHLers.

We sat down with the 26-year-old forward earlier this summer to learn more about his top influences.

Matthew Lombardi

I used to really like Matthew Lombardi. I would often go watch him play when he was in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), because he played for the team in my hometown, the Victoriaville Tigres. He was an important factor for the Tigres when they won the President Cup in 2001-02.

Antoine Vermette

Vermette also played for the Tigres, so it was easier for me to watch him play. I found he was a good, complete player and I always wanted to be inspired by him a bit. I remember, Vermette missed most of the 2001-02 with an injury, but he came back for the playoffs. He did really well for a guy who missed almost a year of action.

Patrice Bergeron

He's the definition of what it means to be a complete centerman. Since I was young, he's been the example and the model for me. It's incredible how he can do it all on the ice.

Jonathan Toews

I was lucky enough to play with him when I was with the Chicago Blackhawks. He's a true leader. He was always there when I had questions and he gave me some valuable advice. He's also an excellent, complete player.

Sidney Crosby

Crosby is known for his offensive talent, but he's also good at the other end of the ice. I've always had a lot of respect for everything he's been able to accomplish.

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