Max Domi isn't afraid to stoke the fire of a century-old rivalry during the dog days of summer.
The Montreal Canadiens forward was recently asked about the difference between his current team's fan base and that of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the club that plays where he grew up. His dad, Tie, also played 777 games for the Leafs.
"I was pretty lucky as a kid to grow up around that same sort of vibe in Toronto with my dad, but Montreal's a whole other level," Domi told TSN. "I get it, Toronto's got their fans and the Leaf Nation is pretty big, but there's nothing even close to Montreal and their fans down there. The fan base for the Montreal Canadiens is second to none."
Asked for his reasoning, Domi pointed to the rafters.
"They've won 24 Stanley Cups," he said. "That's all that needs to be said, really. Sorry. It's a pretty simple answer."
After spending the first three years of his career with the Arizona Coyotes, Domi was shipped to the Habs in exchange for Alex Galchenyuk last offseason. He immediately noticed the vast difference between the two markets.
"It wasn't really anything I wasn't prepared for, but you don't really know what to expect until you step on the ice and experience skating around the Bell Centre and playing in front of a sold-out rink of 20,000 passionate fans that know exactly what's going on in your life and how your game's going and all that stuff," Domi said.
"If you're playing in Montreal, you're the luckiest dude in the world," he added.
Domi's first year in La Belle Province was a huge success, as he buried a career-high 28 goals while adding 44 assists, setting a new personal best with 72 points in 82 games.