Montreal Canadiens center Alex Galchenyuk spoke publicly Wednesday after an incident Sunday that reportedly resulted in his girlfriend being arrested for domestic violence.
Galchenyuk, 21, had a meeting with Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin Tuesday regarding the incident, but he did not speak to media. Bergevin also had a meeting with Devante Smith-Pelly who, according to Sportsnet’s Eric Engels, the Canadiens confirmed was present at the time of the arrest.
Galchenyuk told media Wednesday that he was sorry that the incident became a distraction, but said he didn’t want to comment on either his meeting with Bergevin or what occurred Sunday because it was part of his personal life.
“I feel bad for the incident because it was made public,” Galchenyuk said. “I feel bad for my teammates, the organization and first of all for the fans. At the same time, I’m a young player and it’s a lesson in life. At the same time, it’s an incident in my personal life and I’m not going to comment on any details or what me and Marc talked about in the meeting.”
Smith-Pelly, too, wouldn’t speak about what Bergevin said in the meeting, but called the incident “serious.” Smith-Pelly added that he and the Canadiens want to be “there for (Galchenyuk)” if he needs anything.
Coach Michel Therrien also spoke out about it Wednesday and said he hoped Galchenyuk, Smith-Pelly and others would take this as a learning experience, adding that they’re both young players.
“One thing we can’t forget is that those are young kids,” Therrien said. “They’re going to learn from it. They’re human beings. Yes, we want them to be role models, we want them to be perfect, we want them to perform, you know? But at the end of the day, we can’t forget they’re kids. And, at times, all kids make some mistakes. The most important thing is that they learn from that.”
Galchenyuk said he couldn’t wait for talk about the off-ice incident to go away, adding that he just wanted to think about the game against the Chicago Blackhawks Thursday. Galchenyuk did say that he believed the incident had been blown out of proportion because it happened in Montreal.
“Montreal is such a big market and as a young player, people will talk and people will make headlines,” Galchenyuk said. “At the same time, it’s a market I love to be in. The fans are unbelievable here and I love to play in this city. There’s a lot of pressure in it, but there’s also unbelievable amount of positives and energy in the city.”