Tristan Luneau will host Antichambre on RDS and RDS Direct, Wednesday night around 8.45pm, after Sea Dogs vs. King of oil.
MONTREAL – Few players take careers as seriously as Tristan Luneau. The shock then becomes even more brutal when you have to undergo an operation before starting the season leading up to your NHL draft.
“I’ve always been ultra competitive, so in my mind, it was like the end of the world to have surgery at that time,” Luneau admitted in early June during the Combine in Buffalo.
This left knee surgery ruined Luneau’s plans for a career-defining off-season. So, without even being 100% physically ready, Luneau chose to get back into action.
“I went on the ice for the first time since the operation on Monday and I played my first game on Friday. It was kind of like stepping into the wolf’s mouth, “admitted the one to be teased by his teammates and friends because he goes to bed too early.
“But I love hockey so much that I didn’t want to delay my comeback. If that meant playing 75%, that was it and I could still do some development, “Luneau explained with her charming maturity at 18.
The goal was noble and courageous, except that it was a mission impossible to meet the expectations of the recruiters on ice. Regarded as a very promising player, Luneau has had to deal with the sometimes painful reality of professional sport.
“It hit me early in the season and it was frustrating. I felt I wasn’t able to help my team as much as I wanted. I could not even show the style of player that I am, I was not myself ”, summed up the defender of the beautiful region of Victoriaville.
“During the year I have had interviews with somewhat disappointed teams. They wanted to see more and said I was better off last year. It was frustrating to hear that, but I kept growing. It’s a process of coming back from injury, ”she said without getting angry.
Luneau has met more than 25 NHL teams this season and now they must decide if he can achieve the magnificent potential he shows when he is at his best.
If his first three months of the season were timid in attack, the right-hander has regained much of his composure thereafter.
He will not soon forget the role played by his manager, Louis Robitaille, with Gatineau Olympiques, to cheer him up.
“That’s why we do junior hockey, it’s to spend this time with the young people and accompany them in what they are going through. Tristan, everything he does, he does 100%. It is a quality, but it can also become a defect. We had to explain to him that the rest and the trial were for his sake, ”Robitaille reacted.
“When it comes to your draft year and you’re ranked high and observers are wondering about your game, it’s easy to look on the downside,” he added.
The Olympic pilot draws a relevant parallel.
“Look at the NHL, the guys who miss retirement, not many of them have great seasons after. It has a big impact. He skipped three or four months in the gym and on the ice. It wasn’t easy, but today he can tell himself we followed the right plan. Hats off to Tristan, ”Robitaille said.
On the family side, Luneau was able to count on his three older brothers.
“I was a little freaked out at first and he was like, ‘Tic-tac-toe, the chances of you getting hurt again are very high, it’s not the end of the world or the end of your career. It is rarer for a young person to need an operation, but you are not the first athlete to undergo this. It’s nice to talk to my brothers, they’ve been through things before me, “said Luneau, who quoted Samuel, a former football player.
Intelligent, mature, thoughtful and professional, Luneau has undoubtedly won points in interviews.
“When you have a conversation with him, it’s not just the coach talking and telling him what to do. We can trade together because it is prepared. Plus, when he meets him individually, he takes notes, “Robitaille boasted.
And we would have loved to have seen his encounters with teams asking players to predict the continuation of interrupted action on screen as his high sense of hockey is unanimous.
“With the discussions in the interviews, the teams have been able to understand that I am not just an instinctive boy on the ice, I know the game and I’m studying it ”, concluded Luneau, who is just waiting to demonstrate it on the tracks of the Bettman circuit.