Brian Gionta gives important advice to Captain Nick Suzuki, and looks back on his time in Montreal

Published September 25, 2022 at 1:22 PM

Few players can claim to have been one of the 31 captains in the history of the Montreal Canadiens organization. Who better to advise Nick Suzuki in his new role than one of them? No one, and the young number 14 will certainly take the words of one of his predecessors with interest.

In a recent interview with Jean-François Chaumont of the Journal de Montréal, Brian Gionta didn't hesitate to give Suzuki one of his valuable tips.

"I would tell him to enjoy it. He has to vibrate to the rhythm of this city and his responsibilities," mentioned the American. Nick doesn't have to change as a person. If he was given the title of captain, it was because of his qualities as a leader and as a man. He has earned the respect of his teammates, the organization and the fans." - Brian Gionta

The former CH No. 21 is certain that this new role won't change anything in Suzuki's attitude, as he already understands the city very well.

"I think he'll stay himself as he seems like a very intelligent young man. He also knows Montreal, he's been playing there for three years. He has tamed his environment and he also understands how important this team is to the people. He also understands the interactions with the media. Even though he's young, he has experience in this market."-Brian Gionta

As for his own time in Montreal, Gionta mentioned that he loved his time in the city. He is very proud to have been able to be a part of this organization that has so much history.

"Yeah, I thought it was really special. I knew the history of this team. The Habs are not like any other market in the NHL. I wasn't at the level of the great players in the organization like Jean Beliveau, Maurice Richard or Guy Lafleur, but I took the role to heart. I wanted to represent the team well. I loved my talks with the fans on the street in Montreal. I carried that letter with a lot of pride. I wanted to give back to the city." - Brian Gionta

Although he never held an interview in the local language, Gionta knows very well that the captain must have this aspect of the city in mind. The former CH, however, always greeted reporters and fans he came across in French, a mark of respect that he considers paramount even to this day.

I've always kept an open mind. With my wife, we wanted to experience the culture of Montreal and Quebec. I wanted to live an immersion. Before I became the captain, I had hired a French teacher who came to the house once a week for the family. I tried to learn it, I put effort into it. For me, it was a sign of respect. I would say little words or short sentences. It was a sign of respect and politeness. Sometimes it's just saying thank you."

"You win the hearts of the fans even more by exchanging simple words. I advise Suzuki to put some effort into it. Will he become bilingual? I don't know. But if he says he already wants to tackle it, I think that's very smart of him. He respects the population where he practices his profession," said Gionta.

"My kids went to a French daycare and they talked to friends in the neighbourhood in French. It always made me happy" - Brian Gionta

September 25   |   213 answers
Brian Gionta gives important advice to Captain Nick Suzuki, and looks back on his time in Montreal

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