Mathieu Darche has announced today on twitter that he will not be returning to the Montreal Canadiens next year. Implication is that while the Montreal native would like to stay, the organization has chosen to go in another direction.
The 35 year old McGill grad has done yeoman work as a depth player in Montreal this past three years. His offense per minute rates were pretty good, he was defensively responsible and his special teams work was actually surprisingly good by the numbers. Although fans often derided the coaching staff for putting him on the power play at all, Darche and the team were actually pretty effective with him on the ice with the man advantage. He also played fairly well on the penalty kill when called upon. However he was very much what one would call a replaceable part.
He also was one of the team’s best story lines. He was local player that was a rarity in making the NHL after going through Canadian University hockey who was deservedly loved by the local fans and media.
Darche now faces an uncertain NHL future as an aging depth player without a team. His McGill degree should at least stand him in good stead as one of the 31 players on the NHLPA’s CBA negoiating committee this summer.
Farewell Darche Vader. http://fourhabsfans.blogspot.ca/2010/01/come-to-dark-side-darche-vader-leads.html