A few weeks away from the Montreal Canadiens' training camp, Xavier Ouellet does not change his mind. The 26-year-old defender is aiming for a position in the National League and nothing less.
Encountered as part of a training session in Westmount on Friday, the man who wore the "C" at the Rocket de Laval last season will do everything to find his place on the blue line of the big club.
"I want to play in Montreal. I was pretty clear in my remarks, he told TVA Sports. My goal is always the same and it is to settle once for all in the National League.
"It's my goal and it's been my goal all summer. We'll see what happens at the camp. "
Chief Executive Officer Marc Bergevin awarded the former Armada of Blainville-Boisbriand a one-year, $ 700,000 contract in the summer of 2018.
In December, after 19 games, the club put him on the ballot to report to Laval, where he joined his junior coach, Joel Bouchard. Two months later, the Rocket named him captain.
"There is always competition"
Ouellet agreed to stay with the organization last May when he signed a one-year extension. At the dawn of the new season, there are several question marks in defense, even with the arrival of Ben Chiarot.
Young people will try to force the hand to the decision makers while veterans, like Ouellet and Karl Alzner, cling to the goal of finding their place in the chessboard.
Everything will be played at training camp, but there is no question of being distracted.
"We can not think of that," warned Ouellet, who spent part of his summer in Michigan, where his wife is from.
"I have been in the league long enough to know that there are always new players coming in while established players want to keep their jobs. There is always competition in-house. "
Ouellet is still positive that players are fighting for the same job.
"It's good for the organization. You have to be better than the others and help the team win. "
The former Red Wings Detroit is in the same boat as Albner, but how much? The latter told TVA Sports last week that there was no question for him to return to the American League. To be continued.