Jonathan Drouin, a Montreal Canadiens centre, said that he quit the team in April because of insomnia from anxiety.
TSN/RDS interview with Drouin, 26: Drouin said that he has been struggling with the issue for years and that his breaking point was during a last-season road trip.
Drouin was present in both Edmonton games that the Canadiens had played. Drouin participated in the pregame skating before the Calgary Flames game on April 23. He was later diagnosed with a non-COVID-related illness and left the lineup. He did not travel to Montreal for the remainder of the season and missed the three Calgary games that the Canadiens had played on that road trip.
Drouin hadn’t slept in three nights prior to the Flames game.
"That was the point where it hit me. It was time to quit the game. Drouin made his first public remarks about his absence. It was difficult for me to do that at that time, obviously the playoffs were approaching.
He was there as the Canadiens defeated the Winnipeg Jets, Toronto Maple Leafs and Vegas Golden Knights. Then, he saw the Tampa Bay Lightning win in five games.
It wasn't easy. He said that he was proud of the work he did and that he is happy if he does it again. It's difficult to watch the men from afar. But I made my decision at that moment and I stuck with it."
Drouin will be participating in the Canadiens training camp which officially starts on Wednesday.
"It's great to get back to my skating and training. I had a lot to think about. He said he was happy with the way his summer went.
Drouin scored 232 points in 393 NHL matches with the Lightning or Canadiens. Before leaving Montreal, he had 23 points in 44 games.