'MLP' Waits for His Opportunity

By Jeremy Houghtaling

With almost as many surgeries as games played in the last year, Maxime Langelier-Parent is focusing on the things he can change.

The Florida Everblades forward, sent down from the Syracuse Crunch Wednesday, was held to three games with the ECHL Everblades last year after undergoing surgeries on his hip and lower back. Despite signing AHL pacts with the Crunch in 2012 and 2013, the Montreal native is still waiting to make his American league debut.

"It's not something I control," Langelier-Parent said after practicing with the Crunch Tuesday. "So I'm just trying to do the best I can with the stuff I can control -- working out in the gym and on the ice, and just getting used to the pro hockey lifestyle."

But Langelier-Parent’s first season of professional hockey didn’t go as planned. He scored in his only game played with Florida in October, and after rehabbing from a surgery, tallied a goal and an assist in two games in February.

"I'd say it was frustrating," Langelier-Parent said. "You work so hard, and when it was my (last) college year, I worked hard to get a shot playing pro hockey. The first season you expect to learn a lot, most of the first year is learning and trying to make your name and get ice time. But I ended up in the hospital with surgeries and rehab the whole year. It was frustrating to see hockey and not be able to play, and wait and wait."

Langelier-Parent earned his shot with the Tampa Bay Lightning organization by posting 18 points in 26 games during his final year at McGill University, the alma mater of then Lightning coach Guy Boucher and assistant Marty Raymond. Both are now out of the organization. An assistant captain, Langelier-Parent, along with his brother Guillame, won the first CIS University Cup for the Redmen in 133 years.

"Having such a good team was good for the exposure, in terms of recruiters coming to see you and teams noticing what we were doing," Langelier-Parent said.

With a lot of organizational depth at forward, Crunch coach Rob Zettler had a hard time fitting Langelier-Parent into his lineup, and scratched him in each of Syracuse’s first three games this season.

"We'll see what happens here; he's a centerman and a penalty killer just getting his feet under him again," Zettler said Tuesday. "We've got a lot of bodies here right now, so that's been the hard part as far as him getting in the lineup."

Although Langelier-Parent didn’t get into a game with the Crunch, Zettler was impressed by his work ethic.

"He's worked his tail off, and keeps himself in unbelievable shape," Zettler said. "So I've got no concerns there, and he'll get his opportunity."