Frederic Allard leaves CH

“I would have liked to have had my chance”: Disappointed with his time with the Rockets, Frédéric Allard goes into exile in Sweden

Frédéric Allard hasn’t had time to learn the perfect pronunciation for the city of Lulea in Sweden yet. What he knows about his next goal remains minimal: There is an SHL hockey team and he will learn to live with the few hours of winter sunshine.

• Also read: Frédéric Allard leaves CH

Lulea is a city of almost 50,000 inhabitants 900 kilometers north of the capital Stockholm. Allard will continue his career in this environment. He signed a two-year contract with HF Lulea, a top division club.

Not to mention the exact amount: The 25-year-old defenseman earns more than a contract in the American League or Germany and receives a salary that is similar to the salary of foreigners in Switzerland.

For him, however, it is above all the chance to make a fresh start after a short time in the Canadian organization.

“I see this as a great opportunity for me,” Allard said in a phone interview with the Journal. For many people, Europe is an option to end their career. But that’s not my case. I’m only 25. I’m going to Sweden and I’m going to play in one of the top three leagues in Europe.

“It’s a different track than the American League, but even the SHL remains a good example of a return to the NHL. I received a good suggestion and will have a chance to improve. There are still several NHL scouts following the sport of ice hockey in Sweden. I’d rather talk about taking a break from my NHL dream than giving it up.

“I wouldn’t say I’ve been in the American League, but I’ve just played for three different teams in just over a year,” he continued. I didn’t play a lot at Laval at the end of the season. I will have the opportunity to play for a team that wanted me. I’ll get big minutes in a good league in Europe. It was a pretty easy decision for me.”

Too young to play big brother

Allard, a 2016 Nashville Predators third-round pick, wore jerseys for the Milwaukee Admirals, Ontario Reign, Laval Rocket and Canadiens in the last two seasons.

Quebec forward Frédéric Allard played three games for the Canadiens last season.

“In the American League I became more and more of a strictly defensive defender,” he said. At 25, I also found myself in the role of big brother to the youngest. I had experience. I was getting older than I was and it bothered me.

“In Sweden I’m hoping to find playing time on the power play,” he continued. I should gain confidence to become the defender I was when I started out in the American League. I had to go before it was too late.

CH’s dream, Rocket’s disappointment

Allard joined CH from the Kings on March 3 and experienced two very different realities during his two months with his childhood team. He doesn’t hide his frustration with his days with the Laval missile.

“It’s difficult to take stock. I had a great experience with the Canadiens. I lived my dream of playing for the Canadiens. I meet the highest of the highest, but also the lowest of the lowest! I didn’t play in Laval. I would have liked to have had my chance. I only played five games. I didn’t have a chance to prove my worth. They bought me for a reason, but they didn’t want to find out why.

“From that side I’m very disappointed,” he continued. On the other hand, I played at the Bell Center in front of my family and friends. I was wearing the Canadiens uniform. I realized a childhood dream. I remain very grateful to the organization of the Canadian.

Allard played three games for the CH, who previously attended an NHL meet with the Predators in 2020–2021. At Laval, Allard never managed to gain the confidence of Jean-François Houle, who was already counting on several defenders.

“After finishing the season with the Rocket, I knew my chances of returning were slim,” he said. I saw that I wasn’t part of the plans. I needed another option.”

He found this opportunity in Sweden.