In the wake of Sunday’s tentative deal between the National Hockey League and the NHL Players’ Association on a new collective agreement several Canadiens players spoke to the media Monday about the shortened season that looms ahead and the prospect of playing again.
“This is the day I’ve been dreaming of for the past couple of months,” said Habs forward Max Pacioretty before hitting the ice at an arena in Candiac on Montreal’s South Shore.
Pacioretty was one of more than a dozen players, not all of them Habs, who practised in Candiac, including captain Brian Gionta, forward Travis Moen and defenceman Francis Bouillon.
“It’s going to be a great feeling to finally strap on the skates with the boys again,” Pacioretty said. “And we owe our fans a big show and we owe them a great season. So hopefully we can get off on the right track and do that for them.”
You can hear more from Pacioretty here:
Forward Brandon Prust, who signed with the Habs as a free agent last summer, also had some words for fans, noting “they stood behind us and they stuck this out. We hope they come back.”
“We’re going to put a good product out on the ice for them. You don’t want to miss a game this year because it’s going to be high intensity and very passionate,” Prust added. “The boys are itching to go and I hope the fans are too.”
You can hear more of his comments here:
A week ago, Canadiens goalie Carey Price figured the NHL season was going to be cancelled, telling The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs: “I didn’t think we were going to play, I was just about ready to mail it in.”
Things obviously changed and Price was left scrambling to get back to Montreal.
“Just packing up my equipment,” Price told Stubbs late Sunday night from Washington state, organizing his life at the home of the parents of his fiancée, Angela. “I’ve got it all at the house. I’ve kept it here the last little while in case we needed to get on the move. I’m ready to go.”
You can read Stubbs’s column on Price by clicking here.
Meanwhile, the gambling website Bodog.ca has listed the Canadiens as 30-1 longshots to win the Stanley Cup. The Pittsburgh Penguins are the favourites at 8-1. Read more by clicking here.
(Photo by Dario Ayala/The Gazette)