As he enters the first season of a six-year deal with the Los Angeles Kings, Phillip Danault told Renaud Lavoie how he had lived the past few months.
In a generous interview aired on Thursday’s “LNH Post-Game”, the center player said he would have liked to continue the adventure with the Canadiens, but that desire was not not reciprocal among the leaders of the Montreal formation.
“They didn’t come back to keep me. I would have liked to stay in Montreal. This is also correct. Canadians made the decision to go with the young people. I am not angry, I understand very well. I’m not the first to have this happen. Looks like I knew from the start that I was leaving. My wife and my child have helped me enormously. I was coming back from hockey and it was not easy during the pandemic. I had the wind in my face, solid, but it was important for me to succeed. ”
Even if leaving Montreal was not easy, the Quebecer believes that he has now turned the page and that his adaptation to the Kings is going wonderfully.
“We adapt slowly, it’s completely different. We went to the restaurant, we just had supper my wife and I. There were no photos and no autographs. It’s just very simple. In Montreal, everyone knows you and it’s the only sport. Here we are the sixth most popular sport. Los Angeles is huge! There are a lot of people. It allows us to do other things as well. Mentally, it’s less hard. It’s a big change and a big adaptation. “
Before testing the free agent market without compensation, Danault had indicated that the role he was going to have to play within his new team would weigh a lot in the balance. He maintains that the Kings have lived up to expectations, at this level, at least for now.
“It’s another thing. It’s not just defensive, yet. In Montreal, I tried not to think about it too much. My primary goal is hockey. But when you can’t have fun with the puck and you just focus on defensive play, the passion can slowly subside. I wasn’t whining and I was doing my part. I did what I was told to do. Here, I am given more freedom and I am allowed to stand on my own feet. “
The former Canadiens also praised Kings president Luc Robitaille, who was instrumental in his decision to move to Los Angeles.
“Honestly, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I didn’t know anyone when I signed here, but the Kings welcomed me very well. Luc Robitaille came to eat with us. He’s a really good person. I see the confidence in me. It will give me wings. ”
See Phillip Danault’s interview in the video above.