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Parenteau has ‘butterflies’ ahead of Colorado return

Winnipeg Jets v Montreal Canadiens

Winnipeg Jets v Montreal Canadiens

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P.A. Parenteau enjoyed one of his finest professional seasons in Colorado, so it’s no surprise he’s keen to play there tonight for the first time since being traded to Montreal this summer.

“I have some butterflies. I’m excited to be back,” Parenteau said prior to Monday’s Avs-Habs game at the Pepsi Center, per “I had a really good time here, made a lot of good friends. It’s going to be special tonight. We’re playing some good hockey this year and I’m looking forward to this challenge.”

Parenteau joined the Avs in 2012 after two highly-productive seasons on Long Island, scoring a four-year, $16 million deal. His first season in Colorado went very well; he was nearly a point-a-game player (43 in 48) during the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign and tied for the team lead in scoring, finishing 25th in the league.

Last season, though, things took a turn.

Parenteau wasn’t a fit in Patrick Roy’s system and, after missing time to injury, found himself as a healthy scratch on occasion. He still managed to put up above-average numbers -- 33 points in 55 games -- but his name surfaced in trade rumors ‘til he was shipped off to Montreal in exchange for Daniel Briere.

With the Habs, Parenteau has been effective this season in a limited role. While his production is down (he’s averaging 0.44 points per game; he was at .90 during the ’13 season) he is being afforded some opportunities to play with top-line guys; tonight, he’ll likely skate on a line with David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty, the latter currently Montreal’s leading scorer.