BROSSARD -- Less than 24 hours after signing with the Canadiens, defenseman Chris Campoli
was already on the Brossard ice getting to know his new teammates.
Campoli met with the media after his first morning skate as a Hab to field a few questions, the first of which being: Why Montreal?
“Why not!” Campoli answered quickly. “There were other teams that had contacted me but this was the environment that I wanted to play in. This is a team that wants to win and that’s important for me. I think I’ll fit in well with this group.
“From the beginning, the team made it clear that they wanted me here. As a player, when a team expresses that to you, it’s an important thing,” he added.
Arriving in town with only two games left to play on the Canadiens preseason calendar, Campoli isn’t looking to waste any time getting his feet wet.
“I had a good conversation with Jacques Martin. He wants me to keep preparing myself and jump right into camp. We didn’t really talk about expectations,” mentioned the 27-year-old. “I think he’s more interested in me integrating myself into the team as fast as possible.”
And that’s just what the Habs' new No.17 did, spending the morning getting to know his blue line partner at practice, Josh Gorges
“We talked about what we got up to over the summer and just got to know each other a little bit. It was a good first day,” expressed Gorges of the newest addition to the team. “This is a guy who’s been in the league for a pretty long time. He has a lot of experience and he’s played for a few different teams. I think guys that have been part of a few organizations bring a lot of character to the table. He’ll bring that extra touch for us offensively and on the powerplay.”
Campoli can also look forward to seeing a familiar face in the Montreal locker room as he’ll be reunited with an old friend in fellow Torontonian, Michael Cammalleri.
“We’re both Italian and from Toronto, so there’s a good chance that we’ve eaten somewhere together,” joked Cammalleri. “I actually know Chris well. He’s a defenseman with good experience and he’ll bring a veteran presence to the team. He’s one of those guys that you can put in a role either defensively or offensively, and I think he’ll be quite an addition to our group.”Justin Fragapane is a writer for canadiens.com.SEE ALSOCasting call Habs cut four players Habs make first cuts Habs sign Chris Campoli