Although the 2021 season has been cancelled and training in quarantine is far from ideal, McGill Men’s Varsity Hockey Captain Samuel Tremblay remains committed to the success of the team and sees teamwork as a key factor in future accomplishments. As the leader of a storied program, he understands the responsibility that comes with success.
“I care so much about the success of the team and I always try to see the big picture, which is winning another championship,” Tremblay said in an interview with The McGill Tribune. “I’d do anything to win again and people know that, which, I think, might be a big reason why I’m in this [leadership] position right now.”
Although Tremblay recognizes the guiding role he must play as the team’s captain, he knows that his leadership is only possible with the help and trust of his teammates.
“There are just so many different ways you can be a leader, and, to be honest, I wouldn’t be in this position here without the guys surrounding me,” Tremblay said. “Leading is a team effort. You can be the best leader in the world, but if you don’t have good followers around you, I truly believe you’re not going anywhere.”
Tremblay credits his mentality of sharing the team responsibilities to past McGill Hockey leaders.
“[In] my first year, I had the privilege to play with Pat Delisle-Houde, our captain that year, and since then he [has been] like a mentor [to] me,” Tremblay said. “In terms of leadership, he seemed always in control and always had an answer [….] During second year, I lived with former McGill Captain Nathan Chiarlitti, and Jan Kaminsky, [who was a] former assistant captain [….] I got to learn from two great leaders and mentors who were very different from Pat, but just as good. These past captains were the ‘glue guys,’ and they just made everybody feel part of the team with their energy.”
The team was determined to return better than ever for the 2020-2021 season, but the COVID-19 pandemic made it difficult for some players to stay focussed and motivated as many facilities shut down and the upcoming season was cancelled.
“At the beginning [of the season], it was pretty challenging,” Tremblay said. “Everything was closed, and I was not motivated at all to train at home. I actually hated it. It was hard mentally, but I got to bike more and enjoy being outdoors. Outside of training, I usually spend time with the guys, though that was not possible. However, I was able to spend more time reading and playing the guitar.”
Tremblay expressed his disappointment regarding RSEQ’s decision to cancel the upcoming winter season, but understands that it is a necessary measure to ensure the safety of staff and players.
“It’s obviously very frustrating because we’re trying to stay in good physical and mental shape,” Tremblay said. “At the end of the day we [have] to follow the rules and try to protect each other, so I respect that. It’s just very upsetting.”
Tremblay graduated with a B.Sc. in Kinesiology in the Spring of 2020, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in biomechanics, making him eligible for a final season in the McConnell Arena. However, Montreal and McGill are not the end of Tremblay’s hockey journey.
“When my [master’s] is done, I’ll head overseas to play professional hockey and travel the world,” Tremblay said. “It’s one of my dreams to go play in Europe. [I will] put a bit of money [aside] while traveling the world, and in a few years, I’ll come back here to work in biomechanics or in hockey.”
With a future full of possibilities, Tremblay is excited for what his final year has in store.
You will see me again for a sixth year,” Tremblay said. “Luckily for me…I can come back next year to play my last season, but I can’t say the same for guys on the team [who] are graduating this year.”