Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 12/04/09 at 10:20 AM ET
from Rachel Blount of the Star Tribune,
For every player who aspires to be part of a hometown team, there is another who has found that familiarity can breed surprising unhappiness. So it went with Guillaume Latendresse, who spent the final weeks of his tenure in Montreal preparing for an inevitable trade.
The lofty expectations that fall upon young French Canadian players in that city had pushed his career into a corner. Though he was completely unfamiliar with Minnesota, he viewed his Nov. 23 trade to the Wild as a chance to be appreciated for who he was, not who others wanted him to be. Relieved of both the pressure and the preconceptions, Latendresse didn’t remain a stranger for long….
“The biggest problem in Montreal was that I was born there,’’ Latendresse said. “Everyone expects more when you were born there.
“It’s really hard for a Quebec-born player to play there, because they’re looking for a French star—and sometimes, that’s not quite your role. You can bring something, but they always want more. A franchise like this, with great fans who are just here to see hockey and love hockey, that’s great for me.’‘
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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