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Unsung hero

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
BROSSARD – The Canadiens took a moment to sing the praises of their team’s unsung hero of 2010-11.


In a year that already saw him play his 1300th NHL career game, notch his 600th career point and score his 150th career goal, Roman Hamrlik discovered Monday morning that he can now also add ‘Jacques Beauchamp-Molson Trophy Winner’ to his list of accomplishments this season.
 
Roman Hamrlik’s comments
“Roman brings so much experience to the team. He’s been great for us all season in special teams and when we’re playing 5-on-5, he’s often going up against the opposition’s top offensive lines,” mentioned Canadiens’ head-coach Jacques Martin while discussing the 36-year-old defenseman who’s logged well over 20 minutes per game for his squad all season long.

“He’s a smart player with a fantastic work ethic and excellent mental preparation. He always takes care to keep himself in top physical condition and these are the reasons that he continues to be such an effective player at this point in his career.”

While the Czech native may not be the most outspoken player in the Habs’ dressing room, he certainly stands as one of the most experienced – a fact that the younger defensemen on the Habs’ roster have made sure to use to their advantage.

“Whether you play five minutes or 25 minutes a game, the fact that we’ve played most of the season without key guys like Markov and Gorges means that everyone’s really had to step up,” pointed out rookie P.K. Subban who ranks second behind only Hamrlik in ice-time for the Habs this season.

"Hammer’s done a great job of helping to fill their shoes, being a leader and helping out the younger guys when they’ve needed advice.”

But when the spotlight finally turned to Hamrlik himself, the humble rearguard was quick to show his gratitude for the honor, but even quicker to deflect the credit on to his teammates.

“It’s obviously not just me who deserves the recognition here. No one player can get recognized without the help of all the other guys they play with,” expressed Hamrlik.

“I realize that I’m not getting any younger and I just try to go out there and enjoy every game I play in as much as possible. I hope I was maybe able to help the younger guys learn a few things this year and right now I just want to concentrate on proving that I can still play and contribute for a couple more seasons. I’ve played four great years of my career in Montreal and I know that there are still a lot of experiences for me to enjoy in my career.”

Justin Fragapane is a writer for canadiens.com.


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