Now that he’s back with the Montreal Canadiens, Francis Bouillon hopes he’s here to stay.
The recently re-acquired Habs’ defenceman was putting in a personal appearance at the Port Lewis Marina near Valleyfield, less than a week after signing a one-year contract to return to Montreal after a three-year stint with the Nashville Predators.
“It feels great to be here, like I’m going to play at home again,” said Bouillon. “I was really disappointed to leave Montreal last time. I found a great city in Nashville but I’m so happy to be back.”
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Although he returns with a one-year contract under his belt, Bouillon hopes to continue playing when the season is up, and would like to be able to perhaps finish his career as a member of the Habs.
Bouillon admits his last season as a Hab, 2008-09, was a frustrating one for him.
“I was pretty much injured all that season. I had a groin injury and an abdonimal injury and tried to come back for the playoffs. I think that was a huge mistake because I hurt myself again. But now I’m looking forward.”
Bouillon, hugely popular with the fans during his earlier stint with the Canadiens, said Michel Therrien is the main reason why he elected to return to Montreal after the Predators informed him he was no longer in their plans.
“He helped me a lot in my professional career. We won a Memorial Cup together and I played for him in the American Hockey League, as well as in the NHL. He’s a great coach. That’s the main point why I signed in Montreal.
Bouillon met with GM Marc Bergevin last week and is scheduled to meet with Therrien next week, after speaking with the coach after signing with the Habs as an unrestricted free agent.
Only a handful of players remain with the Canadiens when Bouillon left town following the 08-09 season, including Tomas Plekanec, Josh Gorges and Carey Price. Bouillon received a text from Gorges, welcoming him back to Montreal. He also got a phone call from Price.
“Carey left me a message I have to call him back. I’m not the best guy to return a call. But I’ve got to talk to him next week.”