The rumor machine has often been packed since Jonathan Drouin chose to put aside his season last April. For the first time in five months, the Canadiens striker agreed to take stock by confiding in TVA Sports and RDS.
• Read also: Ducharme likes what he sees of Drouin
• Read also: “I had anxiety and insomnia problems” – Jonathan Drouin
“It has nothing to do with drugs or alcohol. Throughout the year, I have had anxiety issues and insomnia issues, the 26-year-old athlete told Renaud Lavoie. Besides, it’s been several years that I deale with that. “
If he had been relatively successful in managing the situation so far, the events related to the pandemic, such as restrictions, lockdowns, public health recommendations, were probably the catalysts of an already present and persistent problem.
“Being confined to your hotel room, spending four or five days without being able to go out, it sure didn’t help. Maybe that sped up the process. “
Not to mention that in the days leading up to his retirement from training after a warm-up period for a game in Calgary, he had been ill.
Archive photo, Martin Chevalier
Jonathan Drouin, pictured earlier this summer at the annual golf tournament of his head coach, Dominique Ducharme. If he had not spoken to the media during this event, the Canadian striker confided yesterday about the difficult times he has just passed, in an interview with TVA Sports and RDS.
“That week had been difficult. I had no energy to play hockey. When I got out of warm-up, I had no strength, either physical or mental. It was there that I made the decision to retire from hockey, take care of myself, and seek help with anxiety and insomnia. “
Support from everywhere
This decision, he says he announced it to Marc Bergevin and Dominique Ducharme when they got off the plane when the Calgary team returned.
“There were tears. I had played 44 games. There was a week or two left before the playoffs. It was difficult to leave at that time because the playoffs are what we play for. But I had just hit a wall. It was time to take a step back and savor life, ”he said, adding that he is physically, but above all mentally, healthier than ever.
Professional sport may be a competitive environment, but Drouin claims to have felt support from all corners of the circuit, starting with his own bosses and teammates.
“Marc’s support from the first day was A1. This is the best answer I could have received, ”he said.
“I stayed in touch with Dominique and the guys. It was easy for them to understand. They played with me, they saw that some days were more difficult than others. It was good to have the support of the whole team. “
Proud of his teammates
Obviously, he followed the Canadiens’ excellent run in the playoffs. He was very happy for his teammates and the organization, even if, on a few occasions, this walk to the Stanley Cup final has gnawed him inside.
“I’m really happy with my decision, even though there are mornings when… I remember the series against Vegas. These are times when I wanted to go back to playing hockey. But I had made a decision. Besides, when I stopped, I went to see the psychologist. I quickly felt good. However, I knew that there were several steps to take before starting to play hockey again and come back to the team. “
In Montreal and nowhere else
Moreover, it was with the Canadian and no other team that Drouin wanted to return to the game. At the end of the final, he was quick to share his plans with Bergevin and Ducharme.
“Marc made a transaction for me. I want to show why he picked me up. I’ve had good years and bad years, but I wanted to stay here. My junior coach is here and he’s an amazing coach. In addition, I feel that we have a special group and I want to be part of it for a long time. “
The hot Montreal market does not scare him, despite the ordeal he has gone through in recent months.
“I knew what I was getting myself into from day one. There are pressure and times that are more difficult than others, I can understand that. But, there is fun to play in Montreal. The Bell Center is always full. The supporters will always be there to give you love and push you. I still have butterflies in my stomach, even though I’ve been here for four years. “
Butterflies, he will surely still have them on October 16, during the presentation of the players which will precede the local opening of the Canadian. The love of the public is likely to be felt, even if the amphitheater cannot be full.
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