(Rochester, NY) With his plain clothes and glasses, Keith Primo looks more like an off-duty college professor than a former NHL force that was intimidating in the ’90s.
Posted at 7:00 am
On Wednesday, he sat in line outside a media box at the Blue Cross Arena to watch Game 3 of the series between Laval Rocket and Syracuse Crunch. It took fellow RDS Patrick Friulet to spot Primo, because the powerful attacker knows how to identify one of them.
Except for the time of this match, Keith Primo was neither a college professor nor a former player. He and his wife, Lisa, were just parents who came to see their son Kayden playing hockey.
It was funny that I attended this evening in the same department as Primeaus. Every five minutes, the forearms sit a few rows forward and begin yelling “Primo, primo, you disgusting!”. Each time, the parents remained frozen, at least from behind.
In the second break of the match which required six periods, we thus begin a conversation with the father.
I have no problem with fans making fun of him. It makes me laugh, it’s the universe I know! But my wife is unable. Do you see his headphones? She is listening to music. They are insulting her child!
Keith Primo smiling
At the time of the interview, the Rocket had just scored four unanswered goals to lead 4-2. The CH School Club was 20 minutes away from qualifying for the semi-finals. It ended up taking 62 minutes instead of 20, but the Rocket won 6-5.
We would have liked to speak to Keith Primeau in between two overtime periods, but for logistical reasons we had to attend the extra periods on the ice. However, even on the second break, before things got tough, he said he was nervous.
“I’m better than before,” he says. But it is not easy to be a parent to a parent. my other son [Chayse] He’s a striker, I can talk to him, I understand his style of play, but I don’t understand the intricacies of goalkeepers. So I leave that to the goalkeeper coach. »
Much has been said: The future of Canadians is not necessarily at stake at Laval this season. The most promising prospects, from Kaiden Guhle to Sean Farrell, via Justin Barron, do not exist.
However, Primeau is one of those still young enough to hope to become a permanent fixture in the NHL. According to his father, conquering the Calder Cup would only be beneficial. He knows what you are talking about; In 1992, his second year as a professional, he was part of the Adirondack Red Wings, the American League champions.
It reminds us that the young Martin Lapointe was also a member of this team. Add Mike Selinger and Jason York, who also had long careers in the NHL.
“I’ve never won a Stanley Cup, but the Calder Cup and the World Gold Championship are the highlights of my 15-year professional career. It’s been really good for me. It’s an evolution.”
You have to live experiences to gain maturity. Skills are one thing, but there is also a rite of passage to experience.
The Rocket awaits the discovery of their next opponent, the series winner between the Charlotte Checkers and the Springfield Thunderbirds, led by Springfield 2-0. Whether the tournament ends with a championship or not, Kayden Primo has nonetheless managed to redeem himself for a painful season. In Montreal, his average of 4.62 was the worst for a Canadian goalkeeper in a single season since Georges Vezina’s 4.66, at the time of the creation of the League of Nations.
Primo also had his difficulties at Laval, so it was Kevin Boleyn who started the first game in the playoffs. But Primeau got his start in Game 2 and never lost a net. Its average is 1.93 and its efficiency is 0.936.
“It was frustrating, just looking for consistency,” Primo said. It is not easy to go up and down with descending. But Kayden is one of the Guardians of Hell. He’s just trying to find his way.
“He has had some epiphany moments this season. The difficult moments when things were not in his favor, when he understood certain things. These moments characterize him. He will grow out of it.”