On Tuesday, forward Max Domi realized he was a bit late to the party when he missed calls from Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin trying to reach him to let him know he had been traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Once he was informed of the move, Domi couldn’t stop talking. So much, that he ended up bashing the Habs moments after the trade when he spoke with Blue Jackets insider Aaron Portzline of The Athletic.
“I’m super excited to go to a place where you’re wanted,” Domi, who started off easy. “I spoke with Jarmo. I haven’t had a chance to talk with Torts (coach John Tortorella) yet, but I’m excited for that phone call, too.
“I spoke with (captain) Nick Foligno and a couple of other guys, too. They’re excited, and I’m excited to be part of that group.”
There is no issue with being excited to go to a place where they’re looking forward to getting your services : what’s wrong is saying what went wrong in Montreal and not taking any of the blame.
“It was a super-weird situation,” Domi said. “I’d be lying to you if I said I knew what was really going on. There wasn’t a lot of communication there. I was just trying to figure out what was going on. I wasn’t really told why or what I had to do to work my way up (the lineup), so … that’s just how the game goes. I’m not the coach. I was put in certain situations and, unfortunately, I wasn’t able to help the team as much as I would have liked to.
“It’s a learning experience for me. Take that and grow from it. But the best part is, it’s all behind me now.”
Good thing he adds that it was a learning experience, seeing that it might be a new challenge under John Tortorella. We sure know how Torts loves to communicate to his player. When asked on Wednesday about his relationship with Habs head coach Claude Julien, Domi made it clear it wasn't ideal.
"I'd rather not get into that."
Domi is looking to play centre next season and it looked like he not going to get that opportunity in Montreal. He is coming off a $3.1 million annual salary, isa restricted free agent and will have to agree to a contract with the Jackets. He had a decent season scoring 44 points (17 goals + 27 assists in 71 games), but it was a step-back from his first season in Montreal in 2018-19 when he recorded 71 points (28G+44A) in 82 games.
He had three assists in 10 playoff games as Montreal was eliminated in the first round in six games by the Philadelphia Flyers.Domi was originally selected by the Arizona Coyotes in the first round, 12th overall at the 2013 NHL Draft. He was traded to the Habs back on June 15, 2018 in exchange for Alex Galchenyuk.
For now, Domi is done with Montreal and already debating a new sweater number as his No. 13, which he’s worn the past two seasons in Montreal, is occupied in Columbus by Cam Atkinson. He finally decided on Wednesday that he will wear No. 16 for the Blue Jackets.