Pascal Dupuis played 15 seasons in the NHL, during which he took part in 871 games, collecting 190 goals and 409 points. The Laval-born forward notably had three seasons of 20 or more goals, and he won the Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009 and 2016. Never drafted into the NHL, he was hired by the Montreal Wild Minnesota as a free agent after playing with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies and the Shawinigan Cataractes in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (LHJMQ). In addition to the Wild, Pascal has worn the colors of the New York Rangers, Atlanta Thrashers and Penguins. Pascal has agreed to work with the NHL.com team to cover various current hockey topics.
If a young hockey player comes to see me to tell me that he wants to become a good center player, my first instinct would be to sit down with him to watch images of Jonathan Toews.
All young people want to be Sidney Crosby Where Connor McDavid, and that’s normal, but we’re talking about exceptional players, generational players. Mind you, I’m not saying Toews isn’t in the elite, it’s just that what he does to stay in the elite is within reach of a lot more players. The talent that Crosby and McDavid possess is innate…it’s not something we can add to our game.
Toews pays so much attention to detail that his coach can send him on the ice late in the game whether it’s to protect a one-goal lead or to score a tying goal.
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It wasn’t just his offensive stats that allowed him to reach the 1,000 game mark. I even finished ahead of him in the points standings on one occasion, but we agree that there is no coach who would have chosen me before Toews to build a team!
Throughout his career, he was the prototype of the complete center, a player who plays well in his zone, who kills penalties, who evolves on the power play, in short in all situations. Moreover, he is a good person, a very respected player throughout the league, as well as an excellent leader, who has always been serious in his approach… and he was above all a winner, which means a lot to me. .
Playing 1000 matches with the same organization is really a nice milestone, a milestone that I would have really liked to reach. It’s a good sign of longevity, and it means you’ve played well enough in your career that a team will want you for 1000 games! I finished my career with 871 games on the clock, but injuries limited me to only 73 games in my last four years of contract.
However, we note that it is a plateau that seems more attainable than 20 years ago. There are more than 10 players who have passed the millennium milestone per season for the past few years. Toews became the 366th player in history to reach that milestone, but the 62nd in the past six seasons.
I think it’s because players are coming to the NHL faster, and they’re already ready to hold their own. They also know how to take care of their bodies. Before, when a player reached 1000 games, he was in serious decline… but today, a Claude Giroux or one Jonathan Toews still has a lot of good hockey in the body.
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I have already said that a hockey player wants to be where people want him. When a transaction occurs, we console ourselves by telling ourselves that a team believes in you enough to make your acquisition.
Let’s say that the situation is not quite the same for Evgenii Dadonov with the Vegas Golden Knights. He finds himself with a team that thought the best thing to do was to trade him.
Due to a formality concerning his no-trade list, Dadonov therefore returned to his old dressing room, and I am sure his teammates welcomed him with open arms. After all, he insisted on staying with them. He’s a guy who can still help a hockey team, it’s not like every team ignored him on waivers.
It has even produced at a very interesting rate since this aborted transaction. He must draw some motivation from all of this, because his team has mostly been looking to part with his salary, so they still have a few options open to them, like reclaiming some of the space under the salary cap. by yielding it in the minors. So he’s looking to prove he’s part of the solution, in Vegas or elsewhere.
*Comments collected by Sébastien Deschambault, Editorial Director NHL.com