“It’s a great age,” Mathieu Perreault was saying on Monday. “But it’s challenging.”
The Winnipeg Jets ahead was speaking about his Winnipeg-born twins, who be part of the horrible twos later this month.
He could as effectively have been speaking about himself and his hockey profession.
Perreault will flip 32 halfway via the approaching season. Prime working years for many of us, the again 9 for many NHLers.
If you don’t have a spot on the highest two strains and also you’re incomes simply north of $four million a season for 2 extra years, you’ll even discover loads of individuals who say your contract is an issue.
Particularly when your workforce is making an attempt to scrape collectively sufficient dough to re-sign stars Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor.
Perreault learn these opinions after final season and once they shortly grew to become full-blown commerce rumours, he bought slightly involved.
He by no means actually bought the sense from the Jets he was going to be moved, however you by no means know.
“At some points I was a little worried I was going to get traded,” Perreault mentioned. “I might see what the wage cap state of affairs was, and so they had been making an attempt to signal a few of these guys, so… I talked to my agent to get a really feel for what’s occurring. Clearly I’ve a household, so if I’m going to maneuver someplace, I wish to know, so I can plan on shifting everyone.
“So I requested, but it surely was not actual. Sigh of aid, for certain.”
Gamers Perreault’s age who don’t have a contract face the prospect of no one wanting them.
When the so-called children begin touchdown offers value eight, 9, even $10 million a season, it might squeeze out the vets.
“That’s just how this game is going,” Perreault mentioned. “It makes it harder for the older guys like us. A good friend, Derick Brassard, felt that this summer. He’s still a good player, but because of all this salary cap stuff and young guys signing big contracts, he couldn’t find a job for the longest time. He did eventually. But it was maybe not what he was expecting.”
Brassard, additionally on the verge of 32, lastly landed a one-year cope with the Islanders, taking a pay minimize from $5 million to $1.2 million.
In fact, no one’s going to really feel sorry for gamers who’ve earned thousands and thousands over their careers.
You might need felt sorry for Perreault on the finish of Monday’s observe, although, as head coach Paul Maurice capped it with one more onerous skate for individuals who weren’t making the journey to Edmonton for the primary pre-season sport.
“This one’s tough,” Perreault mentioned of coaching camp. “That’s four days in a row, now, with a hard skate at the end of practice. You’re never really fully ready. This is harder than anything you can do in the summer. So it’s a battle for everybody. But it’s good to get through it.”
This would be the Drummondville, Que., product’s sixth season with the Jets.
Mix that with the very fact all three of his children had been born on the St. Boniface Hospital, it’s simple to see why he calls this his second residence.
What he might use now could be a second lease on his hockey life.
And wouldn’t it, the chance is true in entrance of him, alongside the wings of the Jets high two strains.
Till Laine and Connor arrive, there are large holes to fill.
So Perreault units his sights there, places his head down and works – identical to he’s finished all through his nine-year NHL profession.
“For a guy like me, it’s definitely a good opportunity to grab one of those spots right now and show the coaches I can fill in that hole and do a good job,” he mentioned. “That is the place my head’s at proper now. Seize what you may.
“It’s been like that my complete profession. Each coaching camp for me is sort of the identical. It begins again at just about the underside, and work your means up the lineup.”
Perreault is even considering of making an attempt one thing he’s by no means tried on the NHL stage earlier than: turning into a penalty killer.
“I thought about maybe bringing it up,” he mentioned. “I’ve at all times been an offensive participant, so the PK was by no means even talked about to me… over the subsequent two years if the facility play will get crowded and he needs to attempt different guys, perhaps he can play me on the PK. I’ll wait to see how this all begins.
“I simply wish to have a task. I simply wish to have an opportunity to be a part of this. And never only a man that knocks a couple of minutes off for the opposite guys to relaxation. I wish to be a part of the answer.”
That might certain beat being seen as an issue.
Name it the horrible 32s.
You don’t develop out of them.
You simply attempt to play your means out.