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Petan says he belongs in the NHL; talks life 'in the dark'

7 novembre 2019
Nic Petan seems to be too good of a player to be playing in the AHL, but yet is still struggling to get a roster spot with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He was put on waivers for the 2nd time this year on Thursday, as Toronto looks to be clearing space for the imminent return of Zach Hyman. In an interview with Sportsnet, he said he's trying to stay away from all the roster spot and possible trade talks and just play hockey.

"I stay in the dark of all that. I don’t really look at anything, so obviously there’s rumours and things like that, and I’m just here not knowing. Show up, work hard. Whatever happens, happens," said Petan, although asked if that was difficult, his response was blunt. "It sucks, it sucks. It’s not fun. But you gotta do what you gotta do.”

If Petan is having trouble seeing where he fits in with the team, he's not alone. Head coach Mike Babcock has admitted he's having trouble figuring that out himself.

"Yeah, that’s a great question,” Babcock said Wednesday. “We’re trying to figure that out for him. Pete loves hockey, works hard. He’s a good guy, make plays. Where can he fit in so he can help the team and help himself? We’re trying to figure that out.”

Petan has played two games in the AHL this season, putting up an impressive five points. In his five games with Toronto, he has an assist, although he's spent most of those games near the bottom of the lineup and getting very little ice time. He was drafted 43rd overall in 2013 by the Winnipeg Jets after an amazing season with the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League where he netted 46 goals and 120 points in 71 games. Since joining the Leafs at the trade deadline last season, he's been up and down between the NHL and AHL, getting mostly fourth lines minutes when playing for Toronto, put on waivers twice, and has been the subject of many trade rumours. He was recently put on a line with John Tavares and Mitch Marner in what appeared to be a trade showcase game for him. While he didn't score, he had a very good outing shutting down LA's top line and getting almost 13 minutes of ice time, his most as a Maple Leaf.

“I was fortunate enough that happened, and I do believe that I should be in this league instead. It was just nice to go out and get playing get some minutes,” Petan told Sportsnet. “My game feels good. Obviously, I feel better playing more minutes, but it’s not up to me."

“It’s tough because I don’t consider myself a fourth-line player, but I’ve been playing this fourth-line situation in my NHL career. It’s tough to produce, but once you get into that role, your mind changes from offence to defence a little bit. But [Tuesday] night was a little bit of change: you have to get the puck a little more, more touches."

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NHL LEADERS
POINTS GP PTS
LEON DRAISAITL 23 44
CONNOR MCDAVID 23 43
BRAD MARCHAND 21 35
JOHN CARLSON 24 35
DAVID PASTRNAK 21 34
NATHAN MACKINNON 21 31
PATRICK KANE 21 28
JONATHAN HUBERDEAU 21 28
ALEKSANDER BARKOV 21 27
AUSTON MATTHEWS 23 27
COMPLETE STANDINGS  
GOALS GP G
DAVID PASTRNAK 21 19
LEON DRAISAITL 23 16
CONNOR MCDAVID 23 15
ALEXANDER OVECHKIN 24 15
AUSTON MATTHEWS 23 14
COMPLETE STANDINGS  
ASSISTS GP A
CONNOR MCDAVID 23 28
LEON DRAISAITL 23 28
JOHN CARLSON 24 27
BRAD MARCHAND 21 22
ALEKSANDER BARKOV 21 20
COMPLETE STANDINGS  
DEFENSEMEN GP PTS
JOHN CARLSON 24 35
DOUGIE HAMILTON 21 23
CALE MAKAR 21 23
ROMAN JOSI 20 20
BRENT BURNS 22 20
COMPLETE STANDINGS  
ROOKIES GP PTS
CALE MAKAR 21 23
MARTIN NECAS 21 15
VICTOR OLOFSSON 21 15
QUINN HUGHES 21 14
ILYA MIKHEYEV 23 12
COMPLETE STANDINGS  
WINS GP W
BRADEN HOLTBY 17 11
MARC-ANDRE FLEURY 18 11
PETR MRAZEK 14 10
JORDAN BINNINGTON 17 10
CONNOR HELLEBUYCK 17 10
COMPLETE STANDINGS  
SHUTOUTS GP SO
CARTER HUTTON 12 2
PEKKA RINNE 13 2
TUUKKA RASK 13 2
DARCY KUEMPER 14 2
PETR MRAZEK 14 2
COMPLETE STANDINGS  

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