DENVER | There was no more room for Nicolas Aubé-Kubel with the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers, one of the worst teams in the NHL, chose to sack him on November 12th.
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For Aubé-Kubel, this bad news quickly turned into a blessing. The Colorado Avalanche has chosen to claim him on waivers.
“The Avalanche are no worse team,” Aubé-Kubel replied with a big smile on Wednesday’s media day at the Ball Arena. I found it great for emotions. You have to turn around quickly. One day, the Flyers tell you they don’t want you on their team anymore. And the next day, you get a call from Avalanche, one of the best teams in the NHL.
“Now I have the opportunity to play for a great team,” he continued. Over the past few months I have seen a great deal of improvement within our group. And it’s even better since the start of the playoffs. It’s really cool. “
In Philadelphia, Aubé-Kubel had lost the confidence of Alain Vigneault. Earlier in the season, the 26-year-old wore the Flyers for just seven games and watched six games from the press box.
Despite a fragile status with the Flyers, he was confident of finding a new destination thanks to the waivers.
“I thought I was successful enough to stay in the NHL,” he said. The decision of the Flyers to grant me exemptions is still strange. But I think he was also tied to the payroll. However, at the beginning of the season I wasn’t playing very well. I knew I could give more. But I was happy to have a chance with Avalanche. “
“The Flyers needed to free up some salary and it was Nic who took control,” said Ian Laperrière, head coach of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, but also a former assistant in Philadelphia. He adapts well to the Avalanche because he is fast, he hits and he is good at forechecks. I was happy for him. “
In seven games with the Flyers, Aubé-Kubel collected only one assist. He recorded much better numbers with Avalanche where he accumulated 22 points (11 goals, 11 assists) in 67 games.
“It’s great for us,” winger Logan O’Connor said. Thurs [Sakic)] made a good move by claiming it on waivers. Since he arrived in Denver, Nic has gained confidence, both on the ice and in the locker room. Initially, he was trying to adapt to our system. Now he has an impact by bringing energy. “
The same mentality
Since the start of the playoffs, Aubé-Kubel has not yet written his name on the scoresheet after 13 games.
Wounded in the foot, he missed two games in the Western Final against the Oilers. With Andrew Cogliano returning to the field, he missed the round for Game 2 of the finals.
“I play for the best team in the NHL. That I end up as 13And forward or 12And come on, I keep the same mentality. I always work hard. I want to play, but I also respect the decisions of the coaches. When I finished training, I always found a way to come back stronger.
Despite the limited playing time, Aubé-Kubel finds himself in 4And rank of his team with 45 shots. Darren Helm, who already has 22 wins in two games against the Lightning, leads with 84.
During his years in the QMJHL, Aubé-Kubel won the President’s Cup with the Val-d’Or Foreurs. It was 2014 within the same team as Anthony Mantha. Eight years later, he will have the chance to add another trophy to his resume. But he doesn’t think this experience will help him in the final.
“He’s really different from junior to NHL, he recalled. I’d say I’ve learned more from being in the playoffs with the Flyers on the bubble in Toronto in 2020 “.
“I always have a greater attachment to a Quebecer, added Laperrière. He is no longer in the Flyers organization, but he has a chance to put his name on the cup. I wish him “.