Questions surrounded Max Domi and whether or not he would participate in the NHL play-ins and playoffs, should his team, the Montreal Canadiens get that far. There would have been no ill will towards Domi had he chosen to sit out. After all, he’s dealing with health issues that put him at a much greater risk that most other NHL’ers.
So, when Domi stepped on the ice at the Canadiens practice facility on Monday, it was after giving the decision serious thought.
Domi is a Type 1 diabetic and lives with Celiac disease, two conditions that aren’t exactly ideal at the best of times, but certainly less-than good when complications from contracting COVID-19 could really be damaging. He took his time, weighed his options, did as much research as he could, and, ultimately, decided to join his hockey club.
“I wanted to be here with my teammates,” Domi said Tuesday. He added:
“We’re a group that’s a real tight-knit group. They were great, very open-minded with the things that were going on. I was asking lots of questions to my teammates and the way the training staff has handled this whole thing, I’m sure you’ve heard the coaching staff and the other guys talk about it, the way they’ve handled this and how safe it is, it’s really incredible. They’re doing everything they possibly can.
“There really is no safer place to be.”
His teammates have noticed.
“He’s taking a different risk than any of us are taking,” defenceman Ben Chariot said. “It means a lot to me personally and to the guys in the room that he’s here and doing it with us, even with that risk.” Saying he’s an important part of the team, his being back will undoubtedly be a motivating factor for the organization.
Domi Just Wants To Win
Part of the talk prior to news the NHL was going to get going again was that some players were concerned about the health and safety risks associated with returning. As such, some players have opted out. For Domi, the risks might be worth the reward.
Not that the others aren’t, but for him, choosing to try and manage his blood sugar levels and do what he can to monitor his issues meticulously is something he’s willing to do just to play. “I think we’re all here for the same reason, it’s the same dream of winning, we all want to be a part of a winning culture,” Domi said.
He added that his decision to join the team is not one he’s suggesting other Type 1 diabetics should make. “Everyone’s got to make their own decision based on their own experience and what (they) and their family come to.”
There will be arguments against his decision and fans, media, and other NHLers may have their opinions. Their argument could be that the Canadiens are longshots, he’s not going to increase his value in free agency much, and if something were to happen, his illness could affect the team long-term.
Still, this was his decision to make and he made it. The Canadiens and Domi are hoping it was the correct on.
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