Maine Hockey Journal

Darche signs with Montreal

Portland, ME – The Portland Pirates lost yet another impact player from last year’s team after Mathieu Darche decided to move on.

Darche, 32, signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Montreal Canadiens yesterday reuniting him with newly named head coach Guy Boucher of the Hamilton Bulldogs.

Boucher was an assistant coach at McGill University while Darche was apart of the team.

The loss of Darche will certainly leave a huge hole for the Buffalo Sabres to fill on the Pirates roster, as he was only one of four players to play all 80 games last season. He posted 66 points (31g, 35a) with a plus-1 rating, while leading the team in goals with 31 on the year.

Darche also played a major leadership role in the locker room with his experience. He provided young forwards Tim Kennedy and Nathan Gerbe solid guidance during his tenure while in Portland and it would have proved invaluable again if the Sabres could have retained him.

The loss of Darche means only one free agent from last year’s core remains in Colton Fretter as Tyler Bouck and Colin Murphy have signed with clubs in Europe. Add that to the Sabres not qualifying Dylan Hunter, Mike Card, Mike Funk and Adam Dennis and it certainly means a huge turnover come October.

As for the Buffalo Sabres, they were fairly quiet on day one of the free agency, signing only defenseman Steve Montador to a two-year contract worth 3.1 million dollars.

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