New Glasgow Clan signing Guillaume Gauthier said seeing his friends getting deals for the next season persuaded him to get back into the sport.
The 25-year-old has joined the Scottish side after sitting out the last year and a half due to the Covid outbreak and he’s keen to get back into the swing of things with his new club.
And he revealed he had a tough decision to make after leaving McGill University about turned pro in a year where there was so much uncertainty.
“It was a weird situation for me,” he said. “I had considered going pro after I left McGill, but wasn’t sure about the experience of playing with no fans and not be allowed to travel.
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“When I saw teams were recruiting again and my friends were out signing contracts, I wanted to get back in again and I’m delighted for this opportunity.
“I can’t wait to get over to Scotland. I haven’t played in a while after taking a year off because of Covid, but I’m thrilled to be getting back to play the game I love.
“All I want to do is play hockey, learn and absorb everything for my first year.”
Gauthier had a brief spell with ECHL side Orlando Solar Bears, joining them in February 2020, but after making only one appearance, the virus prevented him from making any progress.
Prior to that, he had played for four years at McGill, coached by one-time Clan player Liam Heelis where he made 123 appearances, scored 45 goals and made 56 assists for 101 points in total.
Clan head coach Malcolm Cameron said Gauthier is a player they’ll look to for goals when they return to action in November.
“Guillaume is a sniper,” he said. “He had a great career in the Quebec hockey league and was a point producer as well as at McGill University, which has one of the best university hockey clubs.
“He’s always been at the top of the scoring list with his teams and has worked with some really good coaches in his career.
“He will be a guy we’ll look for to put the puck in the net as well as be a good powerplay player and play on both sides. We’re happy to have a player of his talent for his first year in pro hockey.”