Galchenyuk calls off-ice incident a 'lesson in life'
Michel Therrien: 'You can't forget they're young kids. All kids make mistakes'
Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien says an off-ice incident involving forward Alex Galchenyuk has been dealt with and the NHL team wants to switch the focus back to hockey.
"I wish all my players at night would eat their chocolate cookies and drink a glass of milk," Therrien said Wednesday. "I wish that, but that's not the reality."
Galchenyuk found himself in the news this week after police reportedly arrested his girlfriend in an alleged incident of domestic violence at his downtown home early Sunday morning. The woman was referred to crown representatives, who will determine whether to press charges.
Galchenyuk and teammate Devante Smith-Pelly, reportedly also present at the incident, were summoned to a meeting with general manager Marc Bergevin after practice on Tuesday to discuss the matter.
Neither Therrien nor the players gave any more details about the affair or what was said at the meeting.
The coach said the team now wants to concentrate on its home game Thursday night against the Chicago Blackhawks.
"It's too bad it became public, but these are young guys and they'll learn from it," he said. "You want them to be role models, to be perfect, but you can't forget they're young kids. All kids make mistakes."
Galchenyuk, 21, was apologetic.
"I feel bad for the incident because it became public and I feel bad for my teammates, the organization and the fans," he said. "It's a lesson in life."
It was not the first off-ice incident to make news this season.
In October, forward Zack Kassian was involved in an early morning car crash and ended up being traded. In December, a video of defenceman Nathan Beaulieu and forward Chrsitian Thomas partying appeared on the Internet.
However, Therrien insisted that Thomas being traded a week later had nothing to do with the video.
"It was a coincidence," said Therrien. "The kid and his agent felt they'd have a better chance somewhere else."
Galchenyuk is expected to be in the lineup against Chicago. Smith-Pelly may be a healthy scratch, but Therrien said "that has nothing to do with the incident."
The Canadiens (23-17-2) are looking to get back on track after winning only five of their last 18 games. It won't be easy. After hosting the Blackhawks, they play Saturday in St. Louis and Sunday in Chicago.