Montreal Canadiens forward Jonathan Drouin hasn’t played since April 21 and has missed three consecutive games with an illness said to be unrelated to COVID-19.
Per the NHL’s website, Montreal placed Drouin on long-term injured reserve Wednesday because he is taking an indefinite leave of absence for undisclosed personal reasons.
“I’m not going to get into the details,” Canadiens coach Dominique Ducharme told reporters on Wednesday. “All that I wish for him is that he does what he needs to do, that he takes care of his business. We are with him, we support him, his teammates support him. We’re a team and we’re going to remain a team.”
Ducharme did say that Drouin’s leave is not related to any recent illness.
“They are personal reasons and we need to respect that,” Ducharme explained. “It’s his personal life and we’re there to support him, so we will support him. … We had discussions, it was the right thing for Jonathan to do.”
Forward Phillip Danault added the situation was “delicate” and involved Drouin’s “private life.” Danault also said he was “worried” about his teammate and friend.
According to ESPN stats, Drouin is second on the team with 21 assists and has also contributed two goals in 44 games this season. Montreal, meanwhile, holds the North Division’s fourth and final playoff spot with 51 points, six points ahead of the Calgary Flames.