Canadian – Matthew Peca worked during the summer to become a better support player

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            <p>Matthew Peca spent his first full season in the NHL last winter, but the adventure may not have been fully satisfying for the Franco-Ontarian striker.

In the first year of a two-year contract at an average annual value of US $ 1.3 million, Peca was limited to just 39 games with the Canadiens, scoring three goals and seven assists.

After a good camp, he eventually found himself in the rotation of support players and has been excluded from training in 18 of the last 19 games of the season.

Two weeks before the opening of the Canadiens camp, Peca is not worried about what lies ahead.

"My role will be what it will be. I'm ready for anything, "he said earlier this week at the Jonathan Drouin golf tournament for CHUM patients.

After a summer too long for his taste, lack of the failure of the Habs to qualify for the playoffs, Peca has a single goal in mind.

"I worked all the facets of my game, whether offensively or defensively, to help me stay in training," said Peca, who split his time between Montreal and the Ottawa area during the season. summer.

"I did a little bit of everything, fitness and a lot of video. "

During his NHL career, Peca has always been a productive player in the attack. He had 143 points in 157 games at Quinnipiac University in the NCAA and 134 points in 204 games with the Syracuse Crunch in the American Hockey League.

At 26, Peca seems to have realized in the past year that if he wants to settle in the NHL, his role will be that of a support player. He explained that he had focused his summer work in order to be more useful in this role.

"I was more prepared to be on the third or fourth line," he admitted when asked whether his preparation had been different from other years. Last year, I did not have a good player style for this role. This summer, I paid attention to what needs to be done to be more effective in this role.

"I have to be fast and hard to play, good in faceoffs and in the defensive zone. It's a question of puck possession. "

Despite the departure of Nicolas Deslauriers and Andrew Shaw, respectively traded to the Anaheim Ducks and the Chicago Blackhawks, the competition will be fierce at the camp for the few positions available in the Habs offensive. Dale Weise will be back, while the contracts of Charles Hudon, Nate Thompson and Jordan Weal have been renewed. The Canadian also hired Nick Cousins.

Not to mention the younger ones, like Nick Suzuki and Ryan Poehling, who will want to prove they can start the season with the Canadiens.

But that's not what will shake Peca.

"Last year, there was a lot of competition in-house and the camp was intense," said Peca. Then the guys were ready for the season. I hope it will be the same this year. "

"I put too much pressure on myself"

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