The Canadian | Brandon Gignac was able to taste his dream of playing again

(Laval) Brandon Gignac’s second stint in the NHL lasted less than three weeks, but his dream suddenly seems much less uncertain.

For several months, Gignac did everything to force the hand of the Montreal Canadiens staff. He rose to the top of the Laval Rocket’s scorers and proved to be a very important cog in the change of direction of the Habs’ farm club. Despite everything, he only had one American Hockey League contract in his pocket.

Every time he was asked about the good performances of his 26-year-old forward, head coach Jean-François Houle mentioned that if he continued to work, he would perhaps encourage the 31 other NHL teams to join him. have this famous two-part contract signed.

After a long wait, Gignac finally received the call from the Canadian. At the beginning of February, he signed a two-year contract with the Bleu-blanc-rouge and played seven games in the Bettman circuit before being demoted to the American League last Thursday.

The goal is obviously to play in the NHL full time, but you could feel a little relief in Gignac’s voice, on the eve of a duel against the Islanders in Bridgeport.

“I no longer have the little barrier that was bothersome, that’s for sure,” said Gignac, who played another NHL game, on March 9, 2019, with the New Jersey Devils. At the start of the season, things were going really well and my goal was to sign this contract. Now that I have it, I want to show the management of the Canadiens that they made a good decision to give it to me. We’ll see what happens next. »

During his short return to the NHL, the native of Repentigny was able to see how the speed of execution and the precision of the plays were very different from what is presented in the American League.

The NHL, however, is not without its mistakes and Gignac also noticed it when he took advantage of a turnover to score his first career goal on February 13. This goal continued the celebration at the Bell Center and capped a great 5-0 victory at the expense of the Anaheim Ducks.

“I didn’t expect the crowd to be as loud as it was. It was really touching. I think all Quebecers dream of scoring at the Bell Center and with the crowd cheering you like that, I couldn’t ask for better, he insisted. I’ve wanted to score a goal in the NHL for a long time and to achieve it this way is super cool. »

In seven games with the Canadian, Gignac was able to show some of his qualities, including his speed and acceleration. However, he was transferred to the Rocket after the Habs claimed center Colin White on waivers.

Although the decision may seem odd from the outside, Gignac is happy with his time in the NHL. He now plans to focus his efforts on helping the Rocket make the playoffs, while keeping his eye on the next level.


Brandon Gignac

“In the NHL, you always have to give your best because you don’t know when you’ll be demoted. Given the situation with the Rocket, who wants to secure a place in the playoffs, it is a decision in that direction, he noted. I accept it and I want to help the Rocket win. My goal remains to play in the NHL for several years so I will continue to give my 100%. »

Gignac is not the only regular player from the Laval team to have played a few games with the Canadian this season. Some of them are even still in the NHL, including young forward Joshua Roy.

Houle also tries to warn that these personnel movements are part of hockey and that his players must find the balance between their personal expectations and the success of the team.

“It’s part of the American League and you always have to think about that. Maybe some veterans would have liked to have a chance in the NHL. It’s our job as coaches to deal with these disappointments, because it’s true that it’s not easy. Some players would have liked to receive this call, but that’s part of being a professional hockey player,” said the Rocket head coach.

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