This is the story of a young man who grew up playing hockey in Toronto. His father was one of the most recognized figures in hockey, playing for the Maple Leafs. He grew up in the Leafs’ dressing room and his favourite player was Mats Sundin, whom he called “uncle Mats”. This young man went on to play four years of junior hockey in one of Ontario’s hot markets, in London, where he excelled. He was also a key representative of Team Canada at the World Junior Championship and it’s in Montreal – of all places – that he was adulated. He went on to get drafted by the Arizona Coyotes and made the team straight from junior. For the first time in his young life, he was going from a hockey hotbed to… the desert. And this dog was missing something. That young man was, you guessed it, Max Domi.
We talked about him a few times, the first time when yours truly informed some disgruntled Habs’ fans that Max would become a fan favourite in Montreal and would make them forget Alex Galchenyuk, whom he was traded for. The second time was a month into the season when we started seeing the the effect of the DOMInator on the Montreal Canadiens and on their fans. There is no denying that this guy loves the big stage.
Domi is a very charismatic individual and even at 24, he is one of the Media’s favourite players to interview… because of his never ending smile and his heartfelt sincerity. When he affirmed being thrilled to be traded to Montreal, he meant it. He even got his father Tie Domi, a Leafs’ legend, to wear the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge a few times, angering somewhat fans in Toronto… a bonus for Habs’ fans! Here’s a recent interview Domi gave Tim & Sid of Sportsnet. Feel the sincerity, the true pride that he has to wear the Canadiens’ jersey, and what he would suggest to any player, or free agents.
It’s no secret that Max was diagnosed, years ago, with type 1 diabetes, something that he has to live with on a daily basis. The first thing that he asked the doctor back then was if he could continue to play hockey. The doctor informed him that former Philadelphia Flyers’ captain Bobby Clarke had a long and successful career while diagnosed with the same illness. Meeting Clarke was a turning point in young Domi’s life.
Max wrote a book about it and it’s about to hit the shelves. It’s called Max Domi: No Days Off. He wrote this book in hope to be, for kids affected by the illness, what Clarke was to him. He wants to send the message that while serious and life altering, this is not something that will prevent them from reaching their dreams, no matter what they are.
Domi is starting the last year of a two-year contract that he signed with the Canadiens immediately after he was traded to them. Rest assured Habs’ fans that management wants to keep that guy but also, that he wants to stay in Montreal. He wears the CH colours wherever he goes, whatever he does. He has adopted the City as the City has adopted him. He will sign prior to July 1st, 2020, and will be a Montreal Canadiens for a long, long time. I am personally not concerned about it. Go Habs Go!