Rookie camp - Day 2
Familiar philosophies: Out of the 31 players currently attending the Canadiens rookie camp, ten of them helped make up the 2010-11 edition of the Hamilton Bulldogs. Among those, the familiar face of Gabriel Dumont, for whom having a new coach take the reigns doesn’t necessarily mean that big changes are in store.
“We generally try to do a lot of the same things in Hamilton as they do here in Montreal. We’re all a part of the same organization and the goal is to make it so that players aren’t disoriented when they make the transition to the Canadiens,” explained Dumont. “I think that the overall philosophy remains the same, even if the coach does happen to change. After a couple of months it’s easy to get used to playing for a new coach.”
In good hands: While Habs fans may have spent part of their summers lamenting the departure of assistant coach and former Canadiens captain, Kirk Muller, Bulldog Aaron Palushaj can confirm that the Hamilton coaching staff slated to help fill that void are the right men for the job.
“Randy Cunneyworth is a fantastic player’s coach; he’ll stay after practice for a good while, shoot pucks with us; help us work on our individual skills. He’s a great communicator and I think he’ll really add a great dimension to the coaching staff. And Randy Ladouceur’s knowledge of the game is just incredible. He really brings a lot to both the defense and the forwards,” pointed out Palushaj before commenting on his own goals for the year.
“Seeing a lot of the guys that I was playing with last year make it really gives you a lot of hope, and it shows you that even if you don’t make the team right out of camp, as long as you go to Hamilton, and play well, stuff happens and opportunities present themselves.”
Think ink: While Habs’ rookie camp invitee, Olivier Dame-Malka knows that earning himself a pro contract will be a tall order to say the least, it also makes the most heavily tattooed tryout at camp one of the players with the most to prove.
“Is it hard? Well, yes and no. While it’s obviously difficult and a huge challenge for a number of reasons, it almost makes it easier to push yourself because you can get motivated knowing you really have nothing to lose, and that all you really can do is leave it all out there on the ice,” confessed the 5-foot-10, 178 lbs defenseman, who managed to net a goal during Monday’s scrimmage that capped off Day 1 of camp.
“With guys like Desharnais having made it, it’s encouraging because you see that if you really put everything you have into what you’re doing, it’s possible for a player in my position to earn himself a contract.”
Justin Fragapane is a writer for canadiens.com.
Rookie camp - Day 1
31 players to take part in the Canadiens rookie camp
The Next Step