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Max Domi on Saku Koivu, hating the Leafs, getting dad a Canadiens sweater

Sportsnet logo Sportsnet 2018-07-11 Daniel Goffenberg
a hockey player standing in the snow © Ross D. Franklin/AP

The Max Domi-for-Alex Galchenyuk swap earned mixed reviews from the perspective of the Montreal Canadiens at the time, but it might not take long for fans to come around on their feisty new winger.

The Canadiens had Domi read questions from Habs Nation on Twitter, and the results were quite endearing.

Domi, son of longtime Toronto Maple Leafs enforcer Tie, didn’t shy away from his past when speaking to his new fanbase, but made it clear he’s committed to Les Glorieux.

The 23-year-old broke into the NHL wearing No. 16 in honour of Bobby Clarke, who like Domi, suffers from Type 1 diabetes. No. 16 is retired in Montreal for Henri Richard and Elmer Lach, so Domi chose No. 13 instead in honour of, well…

“I looked up to Mats Sundin, he was my favourite player and my role model growing up, …” explained Domi. “Still talk to him all the time, and I had asked him if it was OK if I could put 13 on the back of a Habs jersey, but he gave me the thumbs up.”

Domi then admitted that his father had yet to get a Canadiens sweater, but that the goal is for Tie to wear one to Montreal’s first home game of the season (Oct. 11, against Los Angeles).

“Hold me to that,” Max told his Twitter questioner. “If it doesn’t happen, that’s on me.”

He was then asked who his favourite Canadien was growing up, and his answer will likely be the one that earns him the most points among his new fans.

“Touchy question,” said Domi, laughing. “I’m going to to be dead honest, obviously I grew up in Toronto so I was a Toronto Maple Leafs fan growing up. Now I hate the Leafs, let’s make that very, very clear.

“I don’t like anything to do with the Toronto Maple Leafs. I’m all Habs now, and I’m all Montreal not Toronto.”

And with that out of the way, he showed love for Sundin’s Scandinavian* contemporary from the Canadiens from back in the day.

“That being said … I think you gotta go with [Saku] Koivu probably,” said Domi. “He was kind of the legend from my time from Montreal.

“On the current team, before I got to play with him I always had a lot of respect for a guy like [Brendan Gallagher]. Plays hard every shift, every night.”

The Canadiens have their work cut out for them to make the playoffs this coming season, but a team with Domi and Gallagher on it has the potential to be quite fun to watch.

*Risk don’t lie, geography nerds.

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