Laraque questions future with Canadiens

Enforcer Georges Laraque suggested Wednesday that he may not be a member of the Montreal Canadiens for much longer.

Enforcer Georges Laraque figures he won't be a member of the Montreal Canadiens for much longer.

Laraque, 32, hinted Wednesday that he expects to be traded at next week's deadline, if not sooner.

"I would never ask for something like that at this time of the year," he told reporters Wednesday. "I want to make it work.

"But at the same time, I'm a hockey player and I need to be playing."

Laraque, a Montreal native, has played sparingly for the Canadiens this season, largely due to a groin injury and partly because his role as an enforcer is a limited one.

That said, having been listed as a healthy scratch in each of the past two games has the journeyman wondering whether he has a future with the Canadiens.

"I don't know where everything is going right now," Laraque said. "I haven't been playing since I have been back and I would just assume that if my role isn't required, then I wouldn't be surprised if they had to move me."

"Obviously, I don't want to be here if I'm going to play once in a while," he continued. "Every player wants to play.

"I could just shut up and sit down and take the money. But that's not the type of guy I am.

"I'm a fierce competitor. I want to play, I want to compete."

'It is the most frustrated I have been'

Laraque has posted just two assists and 47 penalty minutes in 25 games with the Canadiens, who signed him to a three-year, $4.5-million US contract last July 3.

He has totalled 52 goals and 98 assists for 150 points with 1,084 penalty minutes in 659 games over 11 NHL seasons with the Edmonton Oilers, Phoenix Coyotes, Pittsburgh Penguins and Canadiens.

"It is the most frustrated I have been in my career," Laraque said. "Last time I was this frustrated was when I was a rookie.

"It was understandable [then]. But I'm an established veteran and, in terms of my role, I play hard and I give everything I have when I play.

"I fight for my teammates and everything I do for respect. So yeah, it is frustrating."

With files from the Canadian Press