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One name that for my money is the Comeback Player of the Year and criminally underreported, frankly, is Jonathan Druant. He had a great year in Colorado. He really did. It was apparently Nathan McKinnon called Joe Sackick—this is the story, I don't know if this is true or not—and said, You got to sign this guy. You got to bring this guy in. How is Jonathan Druant feeling after this season, after a bit of a bumpy ride the last few?


I would say that what Colorado allowed him to do, to be there, and to have the familiarity of his old linemate and very close friend from Junior is it allowed him to rekindle his passion to play the game. There's some very well-documented issues with the anxiety that he's been very open about and very public about. When I spoke and continued to speak with Jonathan now, he's in just a tremendous place in his personal life. Great. He's a happy guy. He all season, looked forward to coming to the rink and was so focused and locked in on having success on the ice But really, enough credit has not gone to the avalanche as an organization. I think that from the management to giving him the opportunity, coaching staff that... I mean, Jonathan cannot think more highly of that coaching staff to the guys in the room that accepted him and brought him in. And he feels... He's like, Alan, I feel like I've played here for the last five years.Wow.Yeah. No disrespect at all to Montreal. Many people were very good to him in Montreal. But I think the constant scrutiny and the fact that he was one of the few French-Canadian players over a lengthy period of time where there's demands on you in speaking to media on a daily basis.


We've talked about it before here on this podcast, going out into the world and going to a and having people come to you and walking down the street and walking into a restaurant.


I don't think people in Toronto talk too much about how intense the media is here. I don't think people pay enough attention to how intense, not just the English media, but the French media in Montreal is tough. And there's blogs, and they'll follow you around. It's a whole different world.


And it's 24/7. Yes.


You don't leave your house without it.


And it's all summer. It literally goes 24/7 all the time. You either have to be incredibly thick skinned and cut yourself off from access to it. Stay off social media, don't read anything. It's a very hard thing to do. When things Things are not going well, it's much easier for it to start snowballing out of control in a place like Montreal or Toronto or really any Canadian city, as opposed to being in a city with one or two beat writers. When you leave the rink, you have relative anonymity. You can go anywhere, live your go anywhere with your family, you can walk your dog, you can go to the park with your kid. It's not that people won't bother you. It's people don't know who you are. That's a wonderful thing for many guys.


I don't know how long that's going to last, though, because hockey is growing in certain areas where players have traditionally gone to escape that. You look at what's happening in South Florida, you look at what's happened in Tampa, you look at what's happened in Nashville, places where people were, Well, if I want to be anonymous, you can't sign in those places the same way that you used to and get that same. In community. And obviously, Denver is not a... It's a pretty intense place to play. The fan base is great. And I think being next to Nathan McKinnon, having him as your best friend, I think that's pretty great. Do you think that he's now able to take this momentum and turn it into a longer... You said he was five years with Colorado. Do you think it'll be that? Do you think he's going to Am I allowed to ask that?


Well, I don't want to talk specifically on... I did meet with Chris McFarlon in Buffalo and had a great meeting with him. Both sides have been pretty public also about how we want to make a deal, they want to make a deal. When both sides want to make deals, deals happen.


There you go. Marc-andre Fleury. He He has another year, and there was a lot of speculation this year about whether or not he'd play beyond this season. What do you think it is about Minnesota? It seems that when he got there, he found a home. What is it about Minnesota where he thought, You know what? I got to keep doing this.


Well, I think Minnesota is an amazing place to play. You've got a great fan base, and the lifestyle for him and his family off the ice has been fantastic. He's got young kids. They love their schools. They love their extracurricular activities, from hockey to soccer to everything else. Management, you have a GM who was your former teammate that you won a cup with. One another couple of cups with Billy Garen in management in Pittsburgh. Bill was on our podcast, and we talked about his-Yeah, he was great fun. We talked about how much he loves Flour and how far back they go together. When you have all that, and I went into Minnesota for his 1,000 game celebration, and they hosted a party after the game for the guys on the team and their families or wives, girlfriends. You just see how much he's loved by his teammates.


Yeah, and that's followed him everywhere. Yeah. You know what? He's an asset to a team that needs a guy like him, right?


If any team that could have a Marc-André Fleury in their dressing room is better for it..