Former NHL enforcer Georges Laraque may be headed into the political arena after a three-year absence from hockey, but it hasn't stopped him from voicing his opinion on matters around the league - namely that of his former club the Montreal Canadiens.
Laraque - who confirmed Tuesday that he will vie for a seat in the House of Commons for the Green Party - criticized the Habs' acquisition of tough guy George Parros to a Montreal newspaper, saying he wasn't intimidating enough in a competitive division.
"I know him and he's a good guy - he will defend his teammates," Laraque told La Presse. "I'm sure that when the Canadiens signed Parros, the Bruins and Shawn Thornton were relieved. In Ottawa and Toronto, they were relieved."
Montreal acquired Parros from the Florida Panthers last week in exchange for forward Philippe Lefebvre and a seventh-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft. The 33-year-old had nine fighting majors in 39 games last season while averaging just over six minutes of ice time.
"He's a good guy, but in the NHL you have to intimidate," Laraque continued. "He has a good technique, but he's more like a wrestler than a finisher...Florida wouldn't let Parros go if he was doing the job.
"The Canadiens' division is the most tough - I'm sure they're better with him," added Laraque. "But knowing the Montreal market, people will begin to wonder why they got this guy after two or three beatings."
The Canadiens signed Laraque as a free agent in 2008, looking to add toughness to a squad that had been manhandled by Boston in the playoffs. But Laraque rarely dropped the gloves. In two seasons with the Canadiens, he had one goal and four assists in 61 games.
The Canadiens announced would buy him out a year-and-a-half later when they banished him from the team, apparently because he had become a distraction. He stayed on the 23-man roster for the rest of the season but was not seen at games or practices.
"Some will say I'm jealous and frustrated, but I'm not," he told La Presse. "I know the guy - I know them all. But those who don't believe me will see for themselves."