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Round 2

Friendship put on hold in Ducks-Oilers series

Centers Antoine Vermette, David Desharnais closing communication channels temporarily in second round

by Tim Campbell @TimNHL / Staff Writer

ANAHEIM -- The close friendship between Anaheim Ducks center Antoine Vermette and Edmonton Oilers center David Desharnais goes on hold with Game 1 of the Western Conference Second Round series at Honda Center on Wednesday (10:30 ET; NBCSN, TVA Sports, SN).

Vermette, 34, is from St. Agapit, Quebec. Desharnais, 30, is from Laurier-Station, Quebec, about 10 miles away on the southwest side of the Quebec City region.

"There's no friends out there," Vermette said Tuesday. "He wants to win. I want to win. That's the way it works.

"We'll have plenty of time to get back together after that. I'm sure he'll have the same goal."


[RELATED: Complete Ducks vs. Oilers series coverage]


Desharnais said communication channels are temporarily closed.

"I haven't talked to him lately," Desharnais said. "He texted me after my goal in overtime (in Game 5 against San Jose) to congratulate me. We have a lot of respect for each other. We're actually neighbors in the summer and we work out together so it's going to be fun."

Said Vermette: "Exactly. That's what I said -- good for you (on the overtime goal) but don't do that against us. Over."

In recent years, the two centers have joined with their friend and former NHL defenseman Philippe Boucher to support Boucher's charitable foundation. The foundation runs a charity golf tournament to benefit children with physical and mental disadvantages, and will take place this year on June 10 at Club de Golf de Lotbinière, just outside Quebec City.

The series outcome may be a hot topic for discussion at the golf tournament.

"We're all a part of it together," Desharnais said. "Hopefully I'll come up on the right side of it."

"Hopefully I won't be there to [do] that," Vermette said. "It's in June." 

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