Montreal Canadiens forward Jonathan Drouin is finally opening up and discussing his reasons for taking a leave of absence from his hometown Montreal Canadiens last season. Drouin of course took an indefinite leave from his team last season, even in the midst of a post-season push that ultimately took the team all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals.
At the time (late April, 2021) a team press release simply read:
“Forward Jonathan Drouin will take an indefinite leave of absence from the team for personal reasons. He was placed on long-term injured reserve by the club. We ask everyone to respect his privacy.”
Earlier this offseason Habs GM Marc Bergevin announced that Drouin would return to the team this season, but still no reason was given for his leave of absence. Now though, Drouin himself is sharing the details of his mental health struggles stating that he suffered from anxiety and insomnia last season.
In his own words translated from French:
“Passion has never left me. It was really a setback, to have a lifestyle that was easier for me. There are times when I could go three evenings without sleeping and go and play two games in two nights. This is not something that is normal for any human and I had to change that a bit. "
Drouin sounds like a man who is confident in his decision and has no regrets. I just hope that the time he spent away from his team served him well and that he can get back to living a healthy life. A life that obviously includes daily sleep! I don't mean to sound trite, but I can't imagine going three days with no sleep and then being expected to play an NHL hockey game. I'm not saying that I don't believe Drouin, I'm just saying that I literally can't imagine doing that. It seems impossible. Now, it makes total sense why Drouin would feel the need to step away from the game to get his mental health back on track. The fact of the matter is that no matter what situation we find ourselves in, if we can't get our heads right nothing else really matters.