Canadiens: Q & A with Cory Urquhart

By Dan Linn

The Montreal Canadiens selected Cory Urquhart 40th overall in the 2003 draft this summer, from
the PEI Rocket of the QMJHL. Urquhart was 2nd on his team in scoring last year, and had a very
strong playoff run last year for the Montreal Rocket before they moved to PEI, where he will looked
upon to carry the team this season. With ex-Habs coach Alain Vigneault starting his first season as
coach of the Rocket after coming over to coach last season, Cory should get a lot of instructions
from his newest coach.

HF: What was it like attending the rookie camp for the Montreal Canadiens? Did coach
Vigneault give you any pointers?

CU: It was a great experience to play against a higher level of talent and get an idea of what is
expected from the Habs management. I felt I responded well and competed well. Coach Vigneault
said to relax and play my game, he also helped me to get into shape for the camp.

HF:What would you say are your main assets, what do you bring to the organization?

CU: My offensive abilities. It’s always been my offense and my games not going to change. My
abilities to score goals and set up plays plus being a

HF: What area or areas of your game do you feel need to be improved to make it to the next level?

CU: Quickness. My skating quickness needs to be improved, my defensive zone coverage, and to
get physically stronger.

HF: What was your reaction to being drafted by the Canadiens, did you have any idea they were
interested in you, and what was your reaction after finding out teammates Lapierre and Bonneau
were also drafted?

CU: Speechless. To be drafted by the most historic organization in all of sports was unbelievable. I
did have a meeting with the Habs but they didn’t show any more interest than the other NHL teams.
I was with Maxim [Lapierre] in Nashville, so it was great to see him and Jimmy get drafted by the Habs.

HF: Since Alain Vigneault took over as coach of the Rocket, what impact has he had on your game?

CU: He’s shown a lot of confidence in me, and I’ve gotten more ice time as well. Plus he put me on
the PK, which is something I hadn’t done before.

HF: After leaving the Habs camp, did management give you any instructions as to what they would
like you to work on?

CU: Yes, I talked with Trevor Timmins, Bob Gainey, Andre Savard and Claude Julien, and they
gave me some pointers. They would like to see me improve my quickness, physical strength and
defensive zone coverage.

HF: Since being drafted, has management put you on a workout program?

CU: Yes, after the draft they gave us some info and coach Vigneault requires us to work out often.
The assistant coach is part owner of a gym, so he helps out the players as well.

HF: What are your thoughts on the CHL rule that doesn’t allow players under 20 or less then four full
seasons in the CHL to play in the AHL?

CU: I do think in certain situations it holds players back. I can’t say I understand why an 18-year-old can play in the NHL, but a 19-year-old can’t play in the AHL.

HF: What was it like playing in Montreal in the Bell Center where the Habs play? And what effect
has the change of cities have?

CU: Even though the crowds were small, it was a great feeling playing in the best facility in juniors.
It wasn’t hard to get pumped up for a game in the locker room. As for the change of cities, being in
PEI you don’t have the distractions that are in Montreal, the players can focus more on hockey.

HF: What do you like most about playing hockey?

CU: Victory. I like the head to head competition, going against a certain player and outplaying him.
The feeling of winning after a hard fought game where your legs are tired and your body hurts, you
don’t feel it when you’ve won the game.