Laval – Danic Martel had a great playoff. Fifteen Points in many games, including Nine Targets, is the type of production that makes a fuss about an agent’s phone when it comes from a player preparing to enter the free agent market.
Martel will likely be lured by a Laval missile this summer. His end of the season in escalation alone justifies his return. But further evidence of his value, and that is even more important, emerged from the team’s end-of-season report on Thursday.
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First, consider this answer from Jean-Francois Houle to a question from fellow Patrick Friullet about the importance of being an MLS coach who is able to rely on veterans who understand and accept their role.
“He is a great value. A less intelligent player who knows his place in the organization, who has had a chance in the NHL and for whom MLS has made his league and is ready to help the young people, these players are very important. They are veterans who can help out massively and make a difference.”
Pair these wise words with clearly Martel’s notes an hour ago and you’ll get a swipe to the right that has the potential to lead to something far more serious than a one-night stand.
“Even if we didn’t get the finish we wanted, I had a very good playoff. I proved that I was a leader, that I could lead a team to victory. I know my NHL career is over, unless I have some great seasons in the years to come. But at At the same time, at 28, I think my role is to be a captain in MLS. It’s a league I know very well, and I’ve always “performed” well in it.”
Never drafted, Martel was discovered by the Philadelphia Flyers at the end of a 102-point season with Blainville-Boisbriand Armada. He reached the NHL three years later in a four-game trial. The following year, he played nine more with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Since then, he has learned how to quietly form his blacksmith.
The Rocket is the fourth organization to host it in the past three years. He got there with a contract that didn’t offer him the option of a call-up to the NHL and doesn’t expect to improve next year.
“With the offers that I have now, unfortunately, it wasn’t even close to that. So I think mentally, I quit. I’d never say no to that because I know I still could. We saw it at the Canadian camp, when I played in the Whites game. Against the Reds. I excelled, but I knew my place was in the MLS. In a way, I know it ‘worked.'”
“Work,” at least, found in him the conviction that he could claim a place of his own. This is no longer necessarily the case before arriving in Laval, when the reality of COVID made job offers scarce. “It sure plays in your head,” he says authentically. This poor confidence was put to the test early in the season, when his coach decided to let him go in one match.
“I got scratched for the first time in my MLS career. However, it was still going well so far. But after that, it really stuck in my head.”
It wasn’t until mid-season, when a COVID-enforced hiatus gave everyone a breather, that Martell felt like he was finding his directions. The recovery he witnessed in the final months of the season allows him, in retrospect, to make a satisfactory budget.
Series? It was topping the cake.
“I think mentally, I was able to start from scratch, says the active striker. That helped me produce a lot and helped the team go forward.”
“A Great Victory” by Brandon Gignac
Brandon Gignac’s story is very similar to Martell’s. The former New Jersey Devils prospect has arrived in Laval after a near-total season spent in ECHL and a serendipity to rebuild it.
In fact, the transition to a league was less recovering for Gignac. It was everything that had happened before that put him in Hell. The speedy midfielder said his last two seasons under Mark Dennehy with the Binghamton Devils have been tough.
Coach, I knew he didn’t like me and didn’t hesitate to tell me. This was not really fun to trust. It wasn’t a good season for me there. In things like this, I don’t want it to happen again in my career because it ruined me and ruined my confidence. »
With Jean-Francois Hall and his assistants, Gignac began to breathe deeply again. Like Martel, it was a rather slow start before he found a certain rhythm. He had his best moments in the playoffs, giving nine points in 13 games. A knee injury prevented him from contributing his full potential to the Eastern Final.
“When I was at Binghamton I knew I had good skateboarding, but I never seemed to put in the situations to show it. JF gave me so many chances, my veterans told me to up the ‘pace’. This year it’s been really good that Show my speed.”
“I knew I had the talent to play in the MLS, I just needed a chance. This year I got it and caught it. I’m happy, it’s a great victory for me.”
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