LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — One of the most talked about stories in all of junior hockey last year involved New Jersey Devils first-round pick Stefan Matteau and his dismissal from the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada.
Seemingly the only person not interested in discussing what happened is Matteau himself.
"I haven't gone into detail about what happened and I won't" said Matteau at Team USA's world junior camp on Thursday. "It wasn't a good fit from the start."
The bizarre details included the top prospect being suspended by the team for taking a bad penalty, getting into a heated argument with head coach Jean-François Houle and then leaving the team during their playoff series against the Baie-Comeau Drakkar -- on a fan bus. Making matters worse, his father, former NHLer Stéphane Matteau, was a member of the team's coaching staff.
Before being re-assigned to the Armada, Matteau had played 17 games in the NHL for the Devils scoring a goal and adding two assists.
Despite the way things went down at the end of the season, Matteau says he has no regrets about choosing to play in the QMJHL over his initial commitment to play in the NCAA for the University of North Dakota.
"I wouldn't have been able to play in the NHL," said Matteau. "I wouldn't have been able to sign a contract. I don't regret anything that happened, I just take it as a lesson I've learned from and I've grown from it."
His QMJHL rights have since been traded to the Rimouski Oceanic, but Matteau is hoping to play next season in either the AHL or NHL.
"That's my goal," said the forward. "I want to stay in the pros, but we'll see what happens."
At world junior camp with Team USA, Matteau has one point and four PIMs in three games. He feels the four country mini-tournament is going well for him and he's looking forward to putting last season's mess in the past.
"I think I've matured a lot," said Matteau. I got to play in the NHL which was a great experience and that made up for everything that happened."