BROSSARD – Dustin Boyd stopped by the Canadiens’ practice facility on Monday for the first time since signing in Montreal this summer.
Brought in with fellow pending-free agent Dan Ellis from Nashville in the trade that saw Sergei Kostitsyn head to Tennessee, the gritty forward didn’t need much convincing to sign on the dotted line in his new home on July 1.
“From the second I was traded a day-and-a-half before free agency opened, I was already thinking about the Canadiens,” confessed Boyd. “I said at the time that this was a great opportunity I had in front of me. To have the chance to be part of an ‘Original Six’ team with this much history, it’s tough to say no to that.”
While the club’s storied past definitely played a role in Boyd’s decision, knowing there would be more than a few familiar faces in his new dressing room didn’t hurt, either.
“I knew a few guys here already. For sure, you take that into consideration, too,” admitted the 24-year-old, who won gold with Team Canada at the 2006 World Juniors alongside Carey Price
, Tom Pyatt and Benoit Pouliot and also teamed up with Michael Cammalleri and Roman Hamrlik with the Flames. “Plus now I get to come back to Canada. I played in Calgary for a few years and I really liked playing there. People definitely know their hockey up here.”
Boyd also learned pretty fast that there’s still one
drawback to coming to play for a team with so much history – choosing what number to wear. Born on July 16, the Winnipeg native has worn No. 16 in each of his five NHL seasons, except for the No. 41 he sported with the Flames during training camp.
“I usually wear 16, but it’s up in the rafters here,” explained Boyd, who will wear No. 17 instead. “I like 17, but there’s no real reason behind it. I always wore No. 16 or No. 9 growing up, but it really doesn’t matter to me what number I wear.”
While posing for on-ice shots in his new bleu-blanc-rouge
gear during his trip to Montreal, Boyd also didn’t seem to mind using a different stick than he’s used to. Despite hitting the ice with Andrei Markov
’s Easton, the rugged winger wasn’t planning on pulling out any highlight-reel dangles during the photo session.
“Well, it is
a little short for me,” joked Boyd before heading home to prepare for the final stretch of the offseason. Vincent Cauchy is a writer for canadiens.com. Translated by Shauna Denis. See alsoCanadiens ink Dustin Boyd No. 35 is back! The Heritage Classic is back! We knew it all along My Essentials: Mathieu Darche