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Max Domi: A dose of energy and grit

Bergevin believes that with his new acquisition, the best is yet to come

by Vincent Régis, translated by Dan Braverman @CanadiensMTL / canadiens.com

MONTREAL - Marc Bergevin is convinced that Max Domi will add some character to his team, and that's what made him pull the trigger on the trade that brought him over from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for Alex Galchenyuk on Friday night, and then sign him to a two-year contract with a $3.15 million AAV the next day.

"Max is a fast player who has a lot of energy, who moves the puck well and who has character. [...] I recommend you all watch his clips on YouTube," suggested the Canadiens general manager in a press conference at the Bell Centre on Saturday. "His intensity and energy on the ice is very evident." 

To save you the time you'd need to find it, have a look at the video below, or click here to see some more Domi highlights.

Video: ARI@TOR: Domi goes top-shelf for power-play goal

It's true, Domi didn't have his best season in 2017-18 - something Bergevin readily admitted - but the Habs GM expects things will change with Domi's arrival in La Belle Province.

"He had a very good first year, then the last two years were a bit below expectations," affirmed Bergevin. "But he's still a young player, and with a change of scenery, I think his game will improve.

"Whatever happened in Arizona, I don't know the details. Max wants to play in Montreal. He wanted to be in a hockey market. He's proud, he wants to be a part of the Montreal Canadiens family. That's important for us."

As for what the Coyotes' first-round pick in 2013 brings to the table on the ice and in the room, Bergevin affirms that it's not just about lighting the lamp.

"If you look only at goals, for sure he has less than Alex [.16 per game, career for Domi; .29 for Galchenyuk], but he brings lots of other things, too, intangibles which are important for the organization and on the ice," outlined Bergevin.

"In terms of points per game [.608 for Domi, .610 for Galchenyuk], it's around the same," he continued. "So I think there are a lot of positives when it comes to Max."

Domi's contract situation shouldn't be ignored either, the Habs general manager pointed out.

"He's a younger player [Domi is 23, Galchenyuk 24], who we control for longer - he has four years left before he becomes a free agent; in Alex's case, it's two years - so there's some value there, too."

Bergevin confirmed he had been keeping an eye on Domi for quite some time now, and particularly liked what he saw when Domi competed in the 2015 World Junior Championship.

"I remember at the World Juniors in Toronto, he really impressed me, and people who were there would say the same," he added. "There are a lot of things about Max I like as a hockey player."

As for how he'll be used in Montreal, Bergevin sees his new recruit plying his trade on the wing.

"He's a winger. Last year, he played center for a bit of time. He can play center in a pinch, he did it last year," concluded Bergevin. "But at the end of the day, we see him as a winger."

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