Defender Marco Scandella participated in the warm-up of the Sabres of Buffalo when it was learned that the team came from the exchange to the Montreal canadiens.
January 3, 2020 20h39
The Montreal-Marco Scandella in seventh heaven
The Canadian Press
BROSSARD — When Marco Scandella woke up Friday morning, it was hard to believe that he was in her condo in Montreal and that he was going to put on the uniform of the Canadian for a first time.
Scandella, who grew up in the Notre-Dame-de-Grace, was exchanged to the Canadian by the Sabres in Buffalo on Thursday, in return for a choice of the fourth round in 2020.
He has participated in a first training with his new team on Friday at the Bell sports Complex, in Brossard, and had a broad smile on his return in the locker room.
“It was a childhood dream to play for the Canadian when I was playing at the park Oxford [now the parc Georges-Saint-Pierre] in “NDG,” said Scandella, who admired Saku Koivu. It is a pride to wear the “CH”. This is not easy to explain the emotions of the last 24 hours with words.
“My grandmother became a great supporter of the Canadian when she emigrated from Italy to come here. I think that it is she who is the most glad to see me arrive with the Canadian”, he confided.
Scandella took part in the warm-up Swords and got ready to face the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night when he was informed that he had been traded to Canada.
“I went home and I packed my suitcases, and then I took the road,” said Scandella, who is 29 years old. I arrived early this morning, but I was so excited that I have almost not slept.”
Choice of the second round of the Wild in Minnesota in 2008, 55th in total, Scandella has accumulated 41 goals and 92 helpers in 549 games in the NHL with the Wild and the Sabres.
He said that it was always his summers in Montreal and that he skated sometimes with players from Canada during the off-season.
Friday, he found himself to the left of Cale Fleury.
“I want to have fun”
“He is a good young defender and I think that we worked well together, noted Scandella. We’re going to have to develop a sense of cohesion. He is a defender beefy guy who works hard. It should be fun.”
The pleasure seems to be important for Scandella. He has often repeated that he wanted to bring the positive energy within the Canadian and insisted on the privilege that the players have to earn their living by playing hockey.
“It [The Canadian] is a team of fast, young and talented. I want to do well defensively and I’m having fun, he said. The hockey, it is a game. It is necessary to have fun.”
Scandella will be fun on Saturday, when he will play his first game with the canadiens, in the face of the Pittsburgh Penguins. He noted that it had already received numerous requests for tickets from relatives and friends.
It will not, however, need to make a request for his uncle, the ex-hockey player Sergio Momesso, who is now working for the radio from TSN, Montreal.
Momesso has been the inspiration for Scandella, as well as for his brother, Giulio, who has played for several years in Europe.
“When your uncle played in the NHL, it helps to believe that it is possible for you too, said Scandella. Passion is one thing, but to get there, you must believe that you can do it.”
And as Momesso, Scandella hoped to one day have the chance to play for the Canadian.
“We had talked about it a lot this summer, because maybe it was a possibility, said Scandella, who knew that the Sabres were trying to get rid of a defender. I took it one day at a time.”
The day finally arrived Thursday. And Scandella will try now to impress sufficiently in the direction to extend his stay with the Canadian.
The Quebec passes the final year of a five-year contract, an annual average value of US $4 million. It thus could become unrestricted free agent July 1.
The director general of the Canadian, Marc Bergevin, has indicated that the ball was in the camp of Scandella.
“Everything is going to be based on his performance”, he said.