Canadiens' Ilya Kovalchuk shows off French in first interview

Thomas Williams
Hockey writer
Ilya Kovalchuk, the Montreal Canadiens new winger, showed off his ability to speak a bit of French during his first media availability. (Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire)

The Montreal Canadiens signed veteran winger Ilya Kovalchuk on Friday and during his first interview as a Hab, he made sure to display his happiness in both English and French.

“Je suis très heureux d'être à Montréal,” Kovalchuk read from a small piece of paper — which roughly translates to, “I’m very happy to be in Montreal.”

Kovalchuk signed a one-year, $700,000 deal with the Canadiens after his contract with the Los Angeles Kings was mutually terminated weeks prior.

The 36-year-old forward appears to be very appreciative of the franchise and its supportive fans.

“I'm very happy that I'm here because it's an Original Six team with that fan base. It's crazy,” Kovalchuk said. “Every time I played here before, I remember that it's one of the best buildings to play in and I can't wait to step on [the] ice.”

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Kovalchuk did not play against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday, but he can possibly make his Bleu Blanc et Rouge debut at the Bell Centre on Monday against the Winnipeg Jets.

Whenever he does make his first start as a Montreal Canadien, he certainly hopes to perform with some of the other skilled forwards they have in the lineup.

“I'll try to keep up with those guys, but it's not worth it to talk,” he said. “It's better to go on the ice and show, so that's what I'm going to try to do.”

Kovalchuk had three goals and nine points through 17 games with the Kings this season.

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