Away and back
The Brandon, MB native was happy to be back on home turf. After spending a year abroad playing in the KHL, Trotter was back on the smaller rink trying to secure a spot in the NHL.
“When I went over there I just wanted to get better,” said the 5-foot-10 forward of his one-year stint in Russia. “I’m still pretty young, so my overall goal was to come back. I’m happy to be back in North America.”
Playing for the Dynamo Riga gave Trotter a push in the right direction.
“Last year the emphasis was on skating. If you can’t skate over in Russia you get exposed,” explained Trotter. “Every week we worked on it, developing speed and making plays at a high pace. I feel like I made myself into a better player.”
Canadiens coach Jacques Martin couldn't help but notice the changes in Trotter’s game.
“We can see he’s gotten a lot better since his stint in the KHL. He stood out of the pack this morning," described the Habs bench boss. "It’s going to be interesting to see him play in the exhibition games.”
Despite seeing the 24-year-old make the jump to the KHL last year, Martin recognizes the reasoning behind Trotter's move and is happy to see him back on North American soil.
“It happens a lot with good players in the American League, where they’ve got limited salary,” stated the coach. “He realized he still had a shot at the NHL and he came back this year.”
Having played together before, P.K. Subban seemed very enthusiastic when it came to reuniting with his former Hamilton Bulldogs teammate.
“He’s doing really well,” praised the young defenseman. “I mean, Brock is a great player. I played with him in Hamilton and he was one of our best. Between him and Davey, they were our best forwards. There’s no doubt in my mind he can play at this level.”
Trotter is sure to play a few shifts in the six-games-in-seven-nights preseason marathon this week as the Habs coach pointed out in his morning press conference. The action kicks off on Tuesday night when the Dallas Stars visit the Bell Centre to open the exhibition season.
Lee Anne Vincent O’Connor is a writer for canadiens.com.
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