MONTREAL — The Canadiens may feel a bit safer during training camp this year, thanks to 22-year-old prospect Francois Brisebois.
The Montreal-born athlete is one year away from becoming a doctor after spending three years at New York's Colgate University.
But don't expect to see Brisebois putting on his stethoscope just yet.
"I recently decided to focus my energy on hockey," he said from the team's dressing room. "When I'm 40, I will still be able to be a doctor, while the opposite would be impossible."
Unlike many of his fellow players in camp this week, hockey is not the only thing Brisebois is thinking about.
"To be honest, I have more pressure to finish (med school) than I do to play hockey," he said. "For me, the sport is for fun before all else."
In addition to staying in top shape over the coming months, Brisebois will be spending his summer in the lab at Montreal General Hospital.
"My days start with training at about 8 a.m. and often finish at work at about 9 p.m.," Brisebois said.
A talented academic, Brisebois said he considered shelving his hockey career a few years ago.
"Because I was barely 5-foot-4 at 16, I completely passed under the radar," he said. "I came within a hair of giving it all up."
Since being admitted to Colgate University, Brisebois' dream of one day playing in the NHL has new life.
"I wouldn't be here if I didn't believe," he said, citing St. Louis Blues forward Andy McDonald as an example of what kind of player he is.
McDonald, a former player for the Colgate Raiders, began is pro career when he was 25 and won the Stanley Cup with the Anaheim Ducks in 2007.
Hopefully, the path will be similar for the man who will eventually be known as Dr. Brisebois.