Several Canadiens players turned out Tuesday morning in Terrebonne for head coach Michel Therrien’s inaugural invitational golf tournament.
The five Canadiens teeing off at Le Mirage golf club in the Montreal suburb were P.K. Subban, Lars Eller, Francis Bouillon, David Desharnais and Brandon Prust.
The other hockey personalities included Hall of Famer Patrick Roy, the new coach of the Colorado Avalanche, Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman Kristopher Letang and Stéphane Waite, the Habs’ new goaltending coach.
All the money raised at the event will go to the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation.
Therrien welcomed the Canadiens’ off-season acquisitions of Danny Brière and 6-foot-5 enforcer George Parros.
Brière has been a great National Hockey League veteran who’s able to raise his game at the right time, Therrien said. “And we all know the success that he’s had in the playoffs.”
Parros is the type of player you want on your team, Therrien added. “He’s a presence. He’s a good teammate. He will bring some leadership. When we acquired him there were a lot of guys who were really happy to have him on our side.”
Eller, who suffered a concussion, broken nose and teeth during the playoffs when he was checked by Ottawa Senators defenceman Eric Gryba, said he’s had a great summer.
“I’ve been training at 100 per cent since I was back in the gym a couple of weeks after the season,” said Eller, who added he doesn’t think there will be a psychological hurdle getting the first hit out of the way when he’s back on the ice.
“I don’t remember much of it,” he said of the punishing check. “I’ve had injuries that I thought more about, you know, ‘How is this going to go?’ How is this going to affect my game?’ I have zero concern about that.”
Subban, who was awarded the Norris Trophy in June as the NHL’s top defenceman, said he enjoyed the experience with family and friends when he won it and then “it’s almost like you move on. You look forward to the season and getting better. And this year’s going to be a lot tougher for everybody. It’s 82 games. Last year was short. It’s sort of a sprint. But this year it’s going to be a marathon.
“I can’t wait to get back to (training) camp and be skating with the guys again.”
But first up for Subban and goaltender Carey Price is Hockey Canada’s pre-Olympic camp later this month in Calgary.
Subban has a year left on his contract. Asked if there was any hint of when negotiations for a new deal might start, Subban said: “I haven’t had that conversation. To be honest with you, I’ve just been enjoying my summer and getting ready for another season to build on what I’ve accomplished in the past three years of playing in Montreal.
“That kind of stuff will take care of itself.”
You can listen to what Eller had to say before the tournament here:
And you can hear what Subban had to say here:
(Photo: Phil Carpenter, The Gazette)