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Anxiety, insomnia prompted Drouin’s leave of absence from Canadiens


WINNIPEG, MB - MARCH 17: Jonathan Drouin #92 of the Montreal Canadiens looks on prior to a second period face-off against the Winnipeg Jets at Bell MTS Place on March 17, 2021 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. (Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLI via Getty Images

In an interview with TSN/RDS, Jonathan Drouin said that he took a leave of absence from the Canadiens due to anxiety and insomnia problems.

Drouin explained that he’s been dealing with anxiety issues for years, and believes that anxiety also led to issues with insomnia. As hard as it was to not be able to play with the Canadiens -- including during a surprise run to the 2021 Stanley Cup Final -- it sounds like Drouin is confident that he made the right choice. He also indicated that he’s happy to be back skating with teammates again.

While those issues nagged Drouin for years, he really hit a wall during a series of games against the Flames in late April. At the time, the Canadiens only specified that he was missing time due to a “non-COVID illness.”

Drouin discusses Canadiens absence, issues with anxiety and insomnia

In the U.S. alone, about 18-percent of people deal with anxiety disorders. Unfortunately, it’s highly common for people, such as Drouin, to deal with both anxiety and sleep issues.

Credit Drouin with prioritizing his health. It would be an inspiring, Masterton-worthy story if Drouin came back better than ever in 2021-22. He certainly has the physical gifts to be a difference-maker.

Yet, a healthy and happy Drouin would be more than inpsiring enough, even if the results don’t show on the ice.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.