Maxim Lapierre, after playing one season in Europe, is hoping to return to the NHL in a New York Rangers jersey.
I made mention of Lapierre’s time in Europe specifically so I could turn your attention to this article by Dustin L. Nelson from The Hockey Writers.
Apparently while playing for Modo Lapierre left the team mid-season to join HC Lugano in the Swiss League. The move didn’t make him very popular with his former teammates at Modo, including former NHL forward and Modo captain Byron Ritchie.
Coaching staff was more than patient with him… Max can bring some negative energy to the team at times, with the way he acts out.
Andrew Gross’ first take on the Lapierre news was that he could be potential forward depth for New York. But he followed that first tweet by making it clear that Lapierre was an extra body needed because of World Cup obligations. He wasn’t a threat to earn a contract and crack the lineup.
Re: Maxim Lapierre attending Rangers' camp on PTO: Rangers need bodies b/c of World Cup absences. He's not taking Buchnevich's spot.— Andrew Gross (@AGrossRecord) July 27, 2016
If nothing else, Lapierre will be a body in training camp with NHL experience and a real hunger to earn a roster spot. That has to be worth something... right?
Lapierre last played in the NHL for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Rangers fans will remember his agitating style of play from the first round of the 2015 Playoffs. That season Lapierre played for the St. Louis Blues before being acquired for Marcel Goc by Pittsburgh.
Several years before playing with Pittsburgh Lapierre played for Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault in Vancouver for three seasons. It wouldn’t be a surprise to learn that he is getting a shot with the Rangers because of his past with Vigneault.
Personally, I will always remember and loathe Lapierre for this infamous moment:
Unfortunately, this is not the only moment when Lapierre showed that he was lacking in character, common sense, and discipline on the ice. When he last played in the NHL he was an “energy guy” that ruffled feathers and stirred sh*t. Those traits do not make him a valuable hockey player.
This news will have Rangers fans in a kerfuffle even though Lapierre has an incredibly slim chance of earning a contract or a roster spot. Apparently he is willing to take a two-year deal to return to the NHL. I’m not sure this is the kind of guy you’d want around developing talent in the AHL.