The Minnesota Wild are facing the Montreal Canadiens at home on Monday, and along with the visiting team is a familiar face.
Montreal claimed now-former Wild forward Rem Pitlick off of waivers earlier this month, and it didn’t take long for him to face his old club. In his return, he was able to reflect on his experience of going through that waiver process.
“I’m not going to lie, it was hard,” Pitlick said of being placed on waivers by the Wild. “I loved so many different things about Minnesota. And to everyone that was involved in getting me there, I’m beyond grateful, it was an amazing time. I know it’s a business, and that’s just part of it and I guess that’s all I can say. It definitely hurt, but it’s a business and you get going again and there are new connections to be made. Like I said, it is the Mecca of Hockey in Montreal, so I’m beyond blessed to be here now.”
One player that Pitlick certainly misses on the Wild roster — even if he is in the center of the hockey universe, according to some incorrect people — is center Frederick Gaudreau, who he got to grow quite close to in just his few months of playing for Minnesota.
“Fred is one of my favorite people in the world,” he said. “It’s super cool that I was able to connect so much with a guy in hockey and meet him.”
Pitlick continued to reflect on just how weird it is going to be playing in Minnesota wearing different colors.
“It’s really cool to be back here, tt’s definitely interesting. I’ve had experiences in the past where you play against your former team, so it’s definitely an odd experience, but I’ll do my best to treat it like a normal game. It’s definitely cool to be back home and it’s interesting that it was such a quick turnaround here, now that I’m playing them again.”
While he won’t experience team-level success this season, Pitlick did at least give some compliments to his former team before facing them.
“They just have a bunch of guys on the team that have a bunch of different tools. When you think of a team, there are so many different aspects that can make a team successful; whether it’s skill, forechecking; all of these different things. There’s a lot of guys with good skating, good puck skills, good hockey IQ; and I think that they do a good job of supporting each other and playing their system, and being creative at the same time.”