Selected 264th overall in the 2001 Entry Draft by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau has already exceeded expectations. Last season the 6’0, 195 lbs right winger had 41 points in 76 games for the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks, an 11-point improvement over 2003-04. Headed into training camp this fall, now in the last year of his rookie contract, it was important for him to have a good year. His year became cloudy, however, when he broke his wrist early in the camp.
Assigned to the ECHL August Lynx for a planned two games, 22-year-old Hull, Quebec native is now healed and trying to get back up to AHL game speed to play for the Portland Pirates. Though Augusta is not an official affiliate of Anaheim, Michael Wall and Joel Stepp are currently assigned there as well.
Hockey’s Future spoke to Parenteau following Augusta’s 7-1 loss to the Gwinnett Gladiators, in which he assisted on the team’s only goal.
HF: Can you describe what happened with your injuries and how you rehabbed?
P-AP: I got hurt in training camp at Anaheim, the second day of the camp. I broke my scaphoid, a little bone in the wrist there (pointing to right wrist). I was supposed to be in a cast for only three weeks, and I ended up being in a cast for almost seven weeks. So that was a little disappointing there. After that I had to do rehab for two weeks. Here I am nine and a half weeks later – I’m back.
HF: So it was just slow healing?
P-AP: Yeah, it was slow healing. It’s a little bone, it’s pretty hard to heal. You want to make sure it was ready to go, and it is right now.
HF: And you broke your orbital bone too?
P-AP: Yeah, I broke my orbital bone in practice. I got a puck a few days after I came back to practice. A puck in the eye and I broke my orbital bone. My wrist wasn’t ready anyway then.
HF: How exactly did you hurt the wrist, what happened on the play?
P-AP: It was a scrimmage. I went to the net and I was following through on my shot and I got hit and my wrist went really far back and broke. It was a little bit of an unlucky thing, you know? But now I’m back and I’m really looking forward to having a good season.
HF: How do you feel out there?
P-AP: I feel a little tired, like I haven’t played a real game for nine weeks. I played Sunday in Portland and had a pretty good game, the emotion was there and everything, so that helped me out a little bit. But I’m going to get two games here and try to get my timing back and try to catch my breath a little bit. It should come back pretty soon.
HF: You were playing with a cage tonight, did that make it harder to breathe?
P-AP: It was a little tough to breathe, but not that bad. I played with that in minor hockey and midgets, so it’s kind of a memory. It’s not that bad actually.
HF: Is this your first major injury then?
P-AP: Yeah, I never got hurt before. First time and I broke two bones (laughing), it’s pretty amazing. I want to put that behind me right away and move on and have a good season. Stuff happens when you play hockey every day. Your odds are pretty good to get injured sometime in your career.
HF: You’re coming in halfway through the season when everyone else has adjusted to the new rules. How are you finding them?
P-AP: Actually, in the American Hockey League and the NHL, it’s pretty hard, you have to adjust because it’s totally different. Obstruction and holding, you can’t do that. Here tonight, I find it like last year. There’s no difference. The East Coast obviously hasn’t adjusted yet. But I think it’s pretty good for hockey, let the good players play. You have to be a good skater to be able play pro now and it’s good for hockey. Good for the fans.
HF: Do you think it’s good for you personally?
P-AP: I think it’s good for me. I’m a skill guy, I like to put the puck in the net, be on the power play. So the more power play I get (laughing), the happier I am obviously.
HF: How did you feel about your season last year in Cincinnati? You improved over the year before, were you satisfied?
P-AP: I had a good rookie season, my first year. It was tough to adjust, to be honest. And last year, with the lockout, we had a lot of good players in Cincinnati. Around December I started having a lot of ice time and had a really good second half. I put up a lot of points in the second half, I had almost 45 points, which was pretty good for the fact that I didn’t play very much in the first half. I’m really happy with how my career pro is going and those injuries have slowed me down a little bit, but that’s part of the game and I’m looking forward like I said.
HF: What would you say you’re still working on?
P-AP: A hockey player is working on everything basically, but I have to work on my defensive side of the game a little bit. I have to be more willing to play in my own zone. Think defense and then think offense. I know there’s going to be a lot of offense this year in hockey, but I’ve still got to work on that. If I want to make it in the NHL next year, or this year, then I have to work on that. I’ll make sure I do that this year.
HF: What would you say is your main goal for this year?
P-AP: My main goal for this year (pause). I want to get some games up there. I want to earn it. I want to make sure I earn it and get some games. I have 55 games in front of me, I’m going to make sure that happens.
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