There was good news for the Montreal Canadiens on Monday as Max Domi joined the team at training camp.
“He’s on board,” head coach Claude Julien said. “He’s back, but we know that anything can happen. If there’s something that comes up that would put him at risk, he can leave again. For now, it was a good first day for him. He figured out quickly that the pace was pretty good for a team that’s only been practicing for a week. It was good to see him out there, and he seemed very upbeat and very encouraged by the fact that we have a group that’s healthy.”
Domi practiced at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard after taking some time to consider his health. The forward is a Type 1 diabetic, which means catching COVID-19 can lead to extra complications. He also contends with celiac disease.
The Habs and Domi agreed to wait seven to 10 days before making the decision.
“It was really good to see (Domi) today,” Montreal goalie Carey Price said. “He brings a lot of enthusiasm to our locker room and on the ice. He’s a vocal guy and he’s got a unique laugh that everybody loves to hear.”
In 71 games this season, Domi has recorded 17 goals and 27 assists. His Canadiens will face off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a best-of-five qualifying round on August 1 in Toronto. Barring any health issues, Domi will be a top-nine forward when things get underway.
At practice, Domi skated with Laurent Dauphin and Alex Belzile. It’s not known if Julien intends on starting him at centre or on the wing against Pittsburgh, but the forward is versatile enough and should be able to go either way.
Domi skated several times on his own before joining the team for practice, but he will need some conditioning time to pick things up. The Habs will take the rest of the week to pencil in their game plan against the Penguins, so he will have every opportunity to get into the groove.