Jackets a nice fit for Methot

MORRIS DALLA COSTA, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:37 AM ET

DETROIT -- If Marc Methot's career follows the same timeline it has to now, his yo-yo existence with the National Hockey League has come to an end.

The former London Knight defenceman has found a home on the Columbus Blue Jackets blue-line.

"At least for now," Methot said with a laugh. "But I've been pretty happy with the way I've played and I think they are pretty happy with me. All I have to do is keep working hard."

The "at least for now" is almost a needed addendum.

Methot's first three years as a pro hockey player have seen him make the trip between the American Hockey League Syracuse Crunch and the Blue Jackets a regular occurrence. He would spend a few days or a week or two with the Blue Jackets before being sent back to the minors.

This year, Methot has played 28 games for the Blue Jackets. He has three goals and five assists and is a plus-8. He's averaging more than 18 minutes a game.

"It was tough, last year especially," Methot said. "Last year was my third year in pro hockey. The first two years I understood that I needed seasoning and spending time in the minors and I enjoyed it. But after a while, you realize you aren't where you want to be and that was my case.

"Oh God, you get frustrated. I probably said some things in the paper I shouldn't have said, but I was one of those frustrated guys who never really cracked it when I wanted to. But I think it worked out for the better."

Methot was a member of the 2005 Knights team that won the Memorial Cup.

"I told him when he was in Syracuse that things take time," said Blue Jackets assistant coach Gary Agnew, a former head coach at Syracuse and a former London Knights head coach. "It took a couple of years in London before he became the player he was. It took a couple of years in Syracuse before he became the player he is.

"He has all the assets. Marc's been very good for us."

Every stage in a hockey career is an adjustment, Agnew said.

"In junior, you're 17 playing against 19-, 20-year-olds," he said. "In the AHL, you're 20 playing against 27-, 28-year-old guys. In the NHL you're coming in and playing Nicklas Lidstrom and Chris Chelios and it's a real adjustment."

Methot has always had great tools -- good size, can skate and good offensive abilities.

"I just had to learn to calm down and relax when I was here," Methot said. "I was playing a little tentative, a little hesitant. It was about playing with a little more confidence.

"I realized that a lot of guys go through it (up and down). You get called up, with virtually no rest, bad travel and expected to play that night. That's the toughest part. My goal was to crack the lineup at the beginning of the season, so I didn't have to worry about all that up and down."

A rough trip makes arriving at your destination all the more sweeter.

"It's unbelievable up here," Methot said. "It's quite the lifestyle. It starts with the travel, the plane rides, the way you're taken care of. I don't take any of that for granted."


Videos

Photos