Lars Eller, who faced his fair share of scrutiny this season, took an interesting approach when answering a question about how happy he was with his role on the Canadiens this year.
Here’s the video from today’s end-of-year media availability.
And here’s the transcript:
Q: Were you happy with your role this year?
A: [Eight-second pause]
As a player, you always want more. You’re never satisfied. You always want to play more, you always want to take another step, and I’m still hungry to improve.
Eller (27 points) was something of a disappointment in the first of a four-year, $14 million deal signed last July. There were big things expected following the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign in which he scored 30 points in 48 games and last year’s playoffs, in which he led all Montreal forwards with 13 points in 17 games.
Instead of progressing, though, his production plateaued. Eller also sat as a healthy scratch at the beginning of the year and missed time with an upper-body injury in December, and never really seemed to find his groove. His deployment also became a topic of conversation in Montreal, as he averaged less than 16 minutes per game in both the regular season and playoffs.
Looking ahead, this could be a situation worth monitoring. Eller’s been a lineup fixture in Montreal over the last five years but it’s unclear how he’ll fit under head coach Michel Therrien moving forward. Also unclear? The status of their relationship.