Tomas Plekanec and Marc Bergevin fielded questions from the press this morning concerning the end of Plekanec career in Montreal and the NHL.
There was nothing mutual about this decision. Marc Bergevin called it a hockey decision by the Canadiens to let Tomas Plekanec go.— Аrpon Basu (@ArponBasu) November 9, 2018
"The organization made a hockey decision regarding the future of Pleky. It was a tough decision to make. Tomas will always be a part of the Canadiens family." - Marc Bergevin#GoHabsGo— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) November 9, 2018
Plekanec wanted to retire a Canadien, but the development of multiple young centres, Kotkaniemi, Domi and Danault, have forced him to do so earlier than anticipated:
“I always wanted to retire a Montreal Canadien” - Tomas Plekanec, who said Bergevin approached him about a trade.— Аrpon Basu (@ArponBasu) November 9, 2018
This was a question of leaving room for the young players, most notably Jesperi Kotkaniemi.
#Habs Plekanec saw the writing on the wall with the emergence of Kotkaniemi, Domi and Danault, and agreed to Bergevin’s decision to terminate his contract.— John Lu (@JohnLuTSNMtl) November 9, 2018
An emotional #Habs Plekanec says, “I always wanted to retire as a Montreal Canadien.”— John Lu (@JohnLuTSNMtl) November 9, 2018
He said he spoke to his teammates around 10:30 this morning and that it was harder to do than he thought it would be.
Future plans for the Czech centre seem to include returning home.
Tomas Plekanec says he wants to continue playing one or two years and will look for opportunities in the Czech Republic. His NHL playing days are over.— Аrpon Basu (@ArponBasu) November 9, 2018
It is tough even for Plekanec to pick out a specific memory from his time in “la Sainte-Flanelle”:
"There's been so many of them, it's hard to pick just one."— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) November 9, 2018
- Tomas Plekanec, when asked to single out one highlight, in particular, from his time with the Habs#GoHabsGo
"I'm happy with what I've done here with the Canadiens. I can leave happy." - Tomas Plekanec#GoHabsGo— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) November 9, 2018
This quote reminds me of something Gerard Houllier said when leaving Liverpool FC in 2004. “I arrived here six years ago as a Liverpool supporter and I leave as an even bigger supporter.” For Plekanec it would be part of 15 seasons with Montreal though.
"I'm going to miss the guys. It's another family, coming here every morning. Now, it's gone. It's something I'm going to miss, for sure. I'm going to watch them and cheer for them." - Tomas Plekanec#GoHabsGo— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) November 9, 2018