Player Profile: Symon Tremblay
Symon Tremblay is a Canadian hockey player, currently playing for the Washington Stars of the IHA.
Tremblay is widely considered to be one of the best players of his generation. Leading up to his drafting, there was speculation about which team would win the first overall pick. The draft was widely discussed as the “Tremblay Lottery,” and rumors that teams were deliberately sabotaging their regular seasons in order to vie for the first pick were rampant. The struggling Washington Stars won the lottery. They selected Tremblay with the first overall pick.
Tremblay attended the Stars camp in September, and was part of the opening night roster. The team did not play their home opener until October 20, engaging in a series of road games before that.
Tremblay was quickly marked as a target for opposing players, and others remarked on how dangerous a playmaker he was. Tremblay’s on-ice vision is considered second to none; despite having a propensity for passing before taking the shot himself, he is also a prolific scorer. He quickly earned a reputation for making highlight-reel plays. Tremblay was also noted for his proficiency in the face-off circle, winning an average of forty percent of his draws.
Tremblay was quickly compared to another first-overall draft pick, Russian sniper Aleksandr Volkov. The two were played off each other by pundits and the media, who portrayed Tremblay as a cool, calm player, while Volkov was characterized as an explosive force to be reckoned with. When the two faced off in the first Stars-Rockets matchup of the season, the Stars long rivalry with Pittsburgh was reignited. The two superstars were seen to be trading barbs. Volkov went on record after the game, telling the media that he thought Tremblay was “childish, a little boy.” Tremblay was no less acrimonious in his criticisms of Volkov, calling his play “impulsive, poorly thought out.”
Tremblay’s play with the Stars in his rookie season earned him the Grenier Trophy as rookie of the year. He was subsequently made captain of the team, a move that reportedly ruffled a few feathers in the Stars locker room. Pundits and coaches around the league struck out at the Stars senior coaching staff for putting too much pressure on the young player, and for awarding unearned positions to players who hadn’t yet had time to develop into leaders. Despite the criticism, the Stars players were effusive in their support of Tremblay’s captaincy, suggesting that Tremblay was a well-rounded player with a level-headed approach, which contrasted well with Stars head coach Padraig Quinlan.
In his sophomore season, Tremblay faced considerably more resistance. Teams had had time to review his play and determine strategies to contain the Stars forward. A scoring slump from December to March led to questioning of the center’s prowess.
Tremblay returned to form in his third season, benefiting immensely from an intensified off-season training program. Noted, in particular, was improvement in the face-off circle, which he now came to dominate. Tweaks to the Stars line-up also resulted in different line combinations, with Nicklas Enstrom joining Tremblay on the top line and quickly becoming a permanent fixture. Various other wingers were tested throughout the season, but the Stars remained on the hunt for a winger that could truly play with Tremblay, until the following season when they acquired right winger Sebastien Montclair from the Boston Bears.
Tremblay continued to dominate play through his fourth and fifth seasons, amassing the most points by a player through the regular season and being declared the league’s MVP both years. Despite this, the Stars missed the playoffs both years.
Additional line-up changes in Tremblay’s sixth season allowed the Stars to finally clinch a playoff berth, but Tremblay suffered a fractured foot in the second-to-last game of the season, after blocking a shot in his own end to prevent a goal. The goal would have cost the Stars the game, but Quinlan went on record, stating that he would have rather taken that goal with a short season and a healthy Tremblay in his line-up than to face the playoffs without the team captain. Despite being injured, Tremblay was supportive of his team’s playoff run, making his way to practice on multiple occasions, and being present at the arena for every home game. When asked, he said he felt it was important to remind his teammates that, although he was injured, he hadn’t given up on their season and they shouldn’t either.
Tremblay is widely considered one of the best players of his generation, and as such, is usually recruited to play for Team Canada in international sporting events, including the World Junior Championships, the World Championships, and the Winter Olympics. He has captained Team Canada at both the World Junior Championships and the World Championships, and he scored the gold medal-winning goal in the most recent Winter Olympics.
Tremblay was born and raised in Oshawa, Ontario, just east of Toronto. He has no siblings, and he recalls having a lonely childhood, as both of his parents worked long hours. “I was a real latchkey kid,” he said in an interview with Sportica, “I spent a lot of time by myself. I liked to read, but I also spent a lot of time practicing my slapshot in the basement. I got in a lot of trouble, but it didn’t stop me.” Tremblay was often taken to hockey practice by the parents of other children, including Mike Robinson’s parents. Tremblay has long been friends with Robinson, although Robinson later moved and the two spent their OJL careers on different teams.
Although there is much speculation about Tremblay’s personal life, he tends to keep to himself, to the point of eschewing social media such as Chatter and Pictogram. Tremblay has said he prefers to interact with fans “one-on-one” and “face-to-face,” rather than through social media, and he further added that social media is something of a distraction.