Nick Suzuki, 23, is Canadiens' 31st captain and youngest in club history
Had career-high 61 points last season; Gallagher, Edmundson named alternates
Nick Suzuki is the new captain of the Montreal Canadiens.
Head coach Martin St-Louis made the announcement Monday morning as part of the team's annual golf tournament at the Laval-sur-le-Lac club.
"It's a true honour for me and a privilege. This team's headed in a great direction, and I couldn't be more excited to be the captain and represent the team," Suzuki told reporters.
"It means a lot, just to see the respect the management, teammates, [and] coaches have for me. I know it's a big role, but I think I'm ready for it. There's a bright future here and I'm excited to be a part of it."
Suzuki, 23, is the 31st captain in Canadiens history and the youngest.
WATCH | Suzuki talks about the 'honour and privilege' of being Canadiens captain:
He succeeds defenceman Shea Weber, who was traded to the Vegas Golden Knights in June.
Defenceman Joel Edmundson and forward Brendan Gallagher will serve as alternate captains.
C vraiment beau à voir <br><br>We like what we C <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoHabsGo?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GoHabsGo</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/nsuzuki_37?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@nsuzuki_37</a> <a href="https://t.co/qsyp3e8BAs">pic.twitter.com/qsyp3e8BAs</a>—@CanadiensMTL
2018 trade to Montreal
Suzuki, who was Vegas' first-round pick (13th overall) in the 2017 NHL draft, led the Canadiens in scoring last year with 21 goals and 40 assists for 61 points in 82 regular-season games, all career highs.
He was traded to Montreal on Sept. 9, 2018 with fellow forward Tomas Tatar and a 2019 second-round pick for forward Max Pacioretty.
Joel Edmundson est le suivant au micro. <br><br>Joel Edmundson is up next at the mic. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoHabsGo?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GoHabsGo</a> <a href="https://t.co/4MvHxH2Gea">https://t.co/4MvHxH2Gea</a>—@CanadiensMTL
In 209 NHL regular-season contests, Suzuki has 49 goals and 94 assists for 143 points.
Suzuki has experienced almost every peak and pitfall there is in his three seasons in Montreal.
I think I've got to handle each situation really well, just lead by example again.— Nick Suzuki on his role as Canadiens captain
The Canadiens fell in the opening round of the 2020 playoffs, followed by a run to the Stanley Cup in 2021, where Montreal fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
After two years of tasting playoff experience, Suzuki and the Canadiens hit rock bottom finishing last in the Eastern Conference in a 2021-2022 season marred by injury.
"There's been a lot of highs and lows, a lot of learning experiences," said Suzuki. "I think I've got to handle each situation really well, just lead by example again. It's a privilege to have that pressure on you. We want to win hockey games and that's the biggest reason we're here."
Quebec party leaders say Suzuki needs to learn French
Coalition Avenir Quebec leader Francois Legault said the Habs made an "excellent choice," describing the centre as one of the team's best players, before adding that Suzuki now has to learn French.
Liberal Leader Dominique Anglade told reporters it would be a good thing if Suzuki learned French, adding that living in Quebec is an opportunity to learn the language. Parti Quebecois Leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon described Suzuki as a "very good choice" for captain but added that it is important for the Habs captain to learn French because the position involves a bond with a Quebec fan base that has supported the team for generations.
RBC becomes Canadiens' first official game jersey partner
The Montreal Canadiens reached a multi-year jersey partnership agreement with RBC on Monday.
Adding the RBC patch to their historic jersey is a part of the new Jersey Advertising Program that allows teams to sell advertising on their jerseys beginning this upcoming season.
The logo will only be featured on the Canadiens' home jerseys at Bell Centre.
Montreal made the announcement and unveiled the jerseys as part of the team's annual golf tournament.
"It's the worst bank in Canada, the one that contributes the most to climate change," said Greenpeace spokesperson Patrick Bonin in an interview with The Canadian Press.
"We're calling on fans who are planning to buy a jersey and asking them to paint the RBC logo black."
With files from The Associated Press