Q&A with Jonathan Gagnon

By Holly Gunning





Q&A with Jonathan Gagnon

Jonathan
Gagnon was one of the top scorers in the QMJHL last season
with Rouyn-Noranda. His penalty minutes increased each year in junior along with his
scoring, as he added another element to his game, amassing 172 penalty minutes
in 2002-03 to go with his 115 points in 67 games. While not a big scorer with the ECHL Augusta Lynx this season as
a rookie, with only nine points in 28 games, the 21-year-old Gagnon is playing
good hockey and creating scoring chances.
He spoke with Hockey’s Future following the team’s 4-2 loss to the
Columbus Cottonmouths on New Year’s Eve.

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HF: There are
two Jonathan Gagnons playing pro hockey, do people confuse you a lot?

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JG:
Yeah, a little bit. I think in the
paper upstairs they write that I am a fifth round draft pick of Toronto, but it
was him, not me [laughs], the other one.
He played like two years before me in junior.

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HF: Any other
times you have been confused with him?

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JG:
When I came here at the beginning of the year they put a picture of the other
Jonathan Gagnon on the website and I had to tell them.

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HF: How do you
think your season is going so far, are you happy with your play?

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JG:
Yes and no. I want more offensive
production but it’s a different league, a different level. I play like I can. I want to play hard and help the team.

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HF: It seems
like you are getting plenty of chances.

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JG:
Yeah, yeah, I’m getting chances but maybe bad luck is following me, I don’t
know. Maybe I’ll change it.

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HF: Have there
been any surprises going from junior to pro, anything harder than you thought?

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JG:
First the language. I’m from Montreal, Quebec.
To come here it was kind of different but I think I’m good now. I think that was the biggest factor.

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HF: Who are
the other French speakers on your team?

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JG:
Marty Lapointe and Louis Goulet and that’s it.

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HF: Do you
guys hang out a lot?

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JG:
No, we go out with the other guys. We
have a good bunch of guys this year, good team, good spirit.

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HF: In junior
you were primarily a goal-scorer, but now seem a little bit of a pest too.

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JG:
Yeah, some of the guys in the league don’t like me too much [laughs]. If the
other team gets a penalty, it helps my team have a chance to score. I think it’s good.

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HF: Do you
follow how your junior team is doing this year?

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JG:
I look at it sometimes on the internet.
I think they are doing great this year.
Their best player left for Italy, but I think they have a great young
team and very good coach.

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HF: Who is
your contract with this year? There seems to be different reporting on that.

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JG:
It’s with San Antonio, the farm club of Florida. One-year contract for this year.

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HF: The ice is
shorter in Augusta, does that make a difference for you?

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JG:
No because actually in junior my ice was short too. I love that, it’s great.
You have more hits. The play is a little bit slower and it’s a little
different kind of game. Last year I
think was smaller than here.

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HF: Augusta
has a lot of rookies this year, do you think it makes it easier for you coming
in?

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JG:
Yes and no. There aren’t as many
veterans to help the young guys, to show us what the next level is like. But you get a chance to perform, so that’s
good.

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HF: Gwinnett
has a ton of rookies as well and they are doing very well.

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JG:
We have a lot of injuries and a guy in San Antonio. It’s not just me followed by the bad luck, the whole team is
followed by it. Injuries, we don’t have
a goalie. First Jason Saal was injured
and the other recalled to Providence.
We’re having a tough time at the moment, but we’ll keep going and win
some games.

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HF: What do
you think would make a successful season for you?

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JG:
Well, like I said earlier, it’s a little different for me because last year I
had like 115 points in junior. This year my role is a little bit different. I think if the coach is happy, then it’s a
good season for me. That’s it. I want the coach to think I am playing well
and I will be happy.

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