MONTREAL – Newcomer Mike Hoffman spoke with reporters via Zoom on Thursday afternoon.
The 31-year-old forward just signed a three-year contract with the Canadiens.
Here are a few highlights from his press conference:
Hoffman on choosing to sign with Montreal:
There were other options, but there’s nothing like playing hockey in Canada, let alone Montreal. Being an Original Six team, the fans, the atmosphere and the city, it just has everything that you want as a hockey player. I’m really looking forward to the opportunity of playing in the Bell Centre in front of all the fans. Then obviously the hockey part of it, they’ve got a great hockey team. They’ve got some great young talent that’s coming up and they’re going to be good for a long time, so it was a pretty easy decision for me.
Hoffman on his potential role with the Habs influencing his decision to join the club:
Wherever I went, my role would also be very similar. I don’t think a team’s bringing me in to play on the fourth line or do things like that. I’m more of an offensive player. Coming to Montreal, a lot of it had to do with the area, the city, playing in Canada, and them having a good team, more so than the role that we’ve been talking about.
Hoffman on what impressed him most about the Canadiens last season:
I watched a lot of their games, more so in the playoffs. They have a very offensively talented group, and they play well on the back end, too. They have the full package. They have one of the best goaltenders in the world. There’s a lot of positivity and a bright future for the organization. Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Nick Suzuki are both extremely skilled, young and still making their way in the League, but it seems like they’ve been doing a pretty good job in terms of getting to the Final. That isn’t the easiest thing to do.
Hoffman on his personal growth from a variety of different hockey experiences during his career:
Any experience that you have, you want to take the positive from it. It brought me here today. That’s the man I am today. I played on a couple of teams in Junior and in the NHL, and I’ve taken those experiences and learned from them. You get to play with some tremendous players, some of the best in the world, and you try and make yourself better every day. You see what they do, try to take after them, and follow in their footsteps.
Hoffman on one aspect of his game that has improved significantly in recent years:
Being more consistent. That’s one of the biggest struggles and hardest things to do in the NHL, being a consistent producer. We play 82 games. You’re playing a lot of hockey. Over the course of my career, I’ve been able to learn my body a lot better and know what I need to do preparation-wise to give myself the best opportunities out there and feel my best. It’s still a growing game, so that’s something that I take pride in. I try to give myself the best opportunity out there, and if I’m doing that, I’m helping my team as well.