Sunday Q & A With Pascal PelletierJan 1, 2017
During the Comets' inaugural season, Pascal Pelletier was the team's go-to scoring threat. Now, after skating two seasons in the Russian-based KHL for three organizations in as many countries, the centerman has returned to Utica.
Bringing veteran leadership and a propensity for scoring makes Pelletier a welcomed addition for Travis Green's game plans.
Q: Just over a dozen games with the Comets, how's the transition been going?
A: It's going well. Off the ice, I felt comfortable right away in Utica. Familiar faces around the organization, like Rob (Esche) and Travis (Green), and the fan base have made me feel at home.
Q: How about on the ice?
A: Hockeywise, it has been different. I'm getting the kinks out of my game. It's a work in progress.
Q: How did you find out there might be a spot for you with the Comets this season?
A: Well, our plan was to go back to Russia (KHL) this season. I turned down two deals there. I wasn't shopping myself around. Then, I thought I had another deal with a team in the league, and that didn't work out.
Q: How did you deal with the waiting period over the summer?
A: Very early in the summer I began thinking what would be better for hockey and my family.
Q: Are you a patient person?
A: Actually, I am more patient now than in the past. I was spending more time with my wife and son (3 yrs. old) than I did last year.
Q: When you left Utica, and headed to the KHL, was your experience what you thought it would be?
A: When I left Utica, that wasn't easy. I had a very good time that first year. But, it was time to turn the page and try something else.
Q: If you didn't get a call to return to the Comets, then what?
A: If I didn't come back to Utica, well, I would have gone back to Russia.
Q: How did your family deal with waiting for "the call"?
A: I've been with my wife for 10 years, she's used to it (hockey). For all the glamorous part of hockey, you're on the edge all the time.
Q: Has AHL competition changed over the past three years?
A: The league has gotten younger. When I started ('05-'06 with Providence), it (AHL) was a veteran league, and the kids didn't get much ice time. Now, the league is led by young guys.
Q: You have skated in 16 NHL games with Boston, Chicago, and Vancouver. What's your best memory ?
A: Boston. That's where I had my first couple of games (6). Getting to play against the Canadiens in Montreal was special. As a kid growing up, I was a Candiens fan.
Q: Have another one?
A: In my season with Chicago ('08-'09), I didn't play in many games (7), but I practiced with them much of the season. I was witnessing the team (Blackhawks) growing into what they have become today. The next year, they won the Cup.
Q: What motivates you to keep working hard, and keeping your hockey dreams alive?
A: Being part of something positive, like with the Comets. It's good to be with the boys for three or four hours every game. Getting to take shifts, and being challenged - that's huge. I'll keep doing this for as long as I can.
Q: How did you spend your Christmas?
A: I went home to Quebec City. I was happy to be back with my family. The last two Christmas' I was away.
Interview conducted by Don Laible