J.T. Compher sounds off on facing old teammates

He's facing his former team for the 1st time tonight.



Among the multiple signings by Detroit Red Wings general manager this past offseason included bringing in former Stanley Cup winner J.T. Compher, who spent the first several years of his NHL career with the Colorado Avalanche and helped them to hockey's ultimate glory in 2021. 

He's proven to be a valuable addition to Detroit, currently on pace to come within four points of last year's career high of 53 points, though he missed a handful of games this year with an injury. And tonight at Little Caesars Arena, he'll be facing his former Avalanche teammates for the first time since joining Detroit over the summer with a $25.5 million deal over five years. 

“I think it’ll be fun getting to see some of the guys; I got to see some of them last night,” Compher said. “There’s a lot of great memories with those guys. The game is the game. We’re worried about chasing points in the playoff race, as are they. I’m sure after the first shift or two it’ll be a little more normal.”

“The Wings offered a lot of things I was looking for,” Compher continued. “They obviously needed a centerman but also wanted to push to try and win, wanted to improve. I felt that from Steve and the organization and all the players that there was a strong desire. We haven’t been in the playoffs (since 2016) and we want to be the team that does it.”

Naturally, Compher has a scouting report for his current teammates on his old club. 

“Super high-powered offense, a lot of D that can jump in the play and be effective, be dynamic,” Compher said. “It’s going to be about our forwards being above those D, being above their rush, not giving them chances. If you don’t do it all night, those guys will make you pay.”

Meanwhile, it was head coach Derek Lalonde who openly endorsed the idea of signing Compher to Yzerman during the free agency period. 

“I was a huge fan. That’s the one player I really wanted,” Lalonde said. “Managers manage, coaches coach, but when J.T. was in discussions, I just thought he was so versatile, can accept any role, and he’s been that. We’ve had him in every situation.

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Source: MLive