BOISBRIAND | Maxime Comtois learned how to win in the junior ranks, but since joining the NHL five years ago, the trend has reversed.
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Tired of that situation, he announced his break with the Anaheim Ducks, the formation that picked him in the second round (50th overall) of the 2017 draft session.
“It’s a joint decision by both parties,” he told Boisbriand on Saturday while attending the annual KR8 Classic, which aims to raise funds for Leucan.
“I got off to a good start in my career and then a few things happened [dont des blessures] who made sure that the team and I were no longer on the same wavelength. Sitting down with my agent and family at the end of the season, I realized I was better off finding a job elsewhere. I should restart my career with further education,” he added.
The 24-year-old forward is being held hostage over the salary cap that is preventing some teams from offering contracts to free agents looking for a new deal.
“I’m not the only one in this situation, but it doesn’t stress me. This is the first time I’ve spent a summer without a contract but I’m confident a team will sign me before training camps start.
With the Ducks failing to make him a qualifying offer on July 1, Comtois is breezy.
The phone rings
However, the Longueuil-born Comtois indicated that “the phone rings regularly”, although at least for the moment nothing concrete has materialized.
“I have a few options,” he said, “although I’m aware there aren’t many places left due to the salary cap.” I want to play for a winning team. I’m sick of losing I miss the win a lot. “It’s hard for morale to go into the arena and know it’s not going to go well,” he adds.
Since making their NHL debut in the 2018-19 season, the Ducks have been bottom most of the time.
“The team’s best result since the Anaheim game was in 2021-22 when they finished 23rd,” he said.
This year, the Ducks have the worst record on the Bettman Circuit (32nd and last place overall) with a meager record of 23 wins in 82 games and 58 points on the clock.
Avoided by the Canadian
Comtois does not hide the fact that Montreal would be his target of choice, but the Montreal team, he confirms, have not shown any interest.
“The Canadian is not among the teams that have contacted my agent, he admits. I have no problem playing in such a demanding market where the pressure is high.
In 64 games with the Ducks in the 2022-23 season, Comtois has nine goals and ten assists. Overall, his tally is 38 goals and 48 assists in 210 NHL games.
A new beginning for Duclair
Anthony Duclair is another NHL player who competed in Saturday’s KR8 Classic.
The 27-year-old forward isn’t worried as he’s signed to the San Jose Sharks, his seventh NHL team.
As a reminder, Duclair, who was born in Pointe-Claire, was handed over to the California team on July 1 after wearing the Florida Panthers colors for three years.
“I’m very excited about the idea of joining my new team,” he said in an interview with the Journal de Montréal. I have a feeling that the Sharks will give me a bigger role. It’s a rebuilding education and I want to be part of the solution.
“I was shocked to learn I was leaving Florida, but a recent conversation with Sharks general manager Mike Grier gave me a boost for my future career.” I can’t wait to get to training camp.
Duclair only started his final season in February after suffering an Achilles tendon injury that required surgery. In 20 games with the Panthers, he had just nine points, including two goals.
For a good cause
The Classique KR8, now in its eighth year, is an initiative of Kevin Raphaël.
“We have raised more than $150,000 since we started. It is so rewarding to see NHL players, hockey players and figures from all walks of life contributing to this cause. [Leucan] what is so important to us. It’s a big event and the public reacts every year. I am very grateful to everyone who contributes to the success of our event,” said the presenter and comedian.
In the evening, the organizers announced that the eighth edition brought in $ 60,000.