On Thursday, the Habs will host Colorado in the second game of their exhibition campaign — one that promises to be special for P.A. Parenteau.
“I’ve got extra motivation to play versus the Avalanche,” Parenteau said in advance of the game, per the Canadiens website. According to La Presse, Parenteau added his time with the Avs left something of a “bitter” taste in his mouth.
It’s easy to understand why. After signing a four-year, $16 million deal with Colorado in 2012, Parenteau was a near point-per-game player for the Avs (43 during 48 contests in the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign) and looked as though he’d be a regular fixture in the club’s top six.
But then Patrick Roy came aboard.
Roy and Parenteau never seemed to mesh and while his production was still good — 14 goals and 33 points in 55 games — Parenteau’s role diminished throughout the season, culminating with his trade to Montreal in June for Daniel Briere.
“I don’t know why it didn’t work, but my relationship with Patrick (Roy) never took off,” Parenteau said following the deal, per Le Journal de Montreal. “I wish it were otherwise. It seems that when I was injured [sprained MCL] over the holidays, everything tumbled afterward.”
With the Habs, Parenteau could be in line for a bounce-back campaign. He skated alongside David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty during the club’s red-white scrimmage and looked good, scoring a pair of goals while earning praise from Habs head coach Michel Therrien.
“A lot of credit to him the way he reported to camp, and we saw it in the testing,” Therrien said, per the Montreal Gazette. “So we know he worked really hard over the summer, and that’s one thing when me and (general manager) Marc Bergevin, we talked to him, we wanted to make sure he reports in great shape.
“This is what he did. He’s going to have an opportunity and it’s going to be up to him to take it.”