NEW: Georges Laraque hopes to return to NHL

Tough guy Georges Laraque recently made public he would like to make a return to the NHL to finish his playing career. (Jeff Blay/CM)

Georges Laraque is not ready to turn his back on the game of hockey just yet.

After being bought out of the final year of his three-year deal with the Montreal Canadiens after the 2009-10 season, Laraque stayed a busy man doing charity work throughout Canada and his home nation of Haiti, starting a political career with the Green Party of Canada, running his synthetic ice company, Super-Glide, and writing his autobiography, Georges Laraque: The Story of the NHL’s Unlikeliest Tough Guy.

After a productive hiatus, Laraque told the Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson in an article published on June 10 that he’s not ready to retire from hockey and he’s ready to hear any and all offers.

“I told my agent (Steve Kotlowitz) I’d sign anywhere. I’ll take a physical. I’ll sign a one-year minimum (salary). I’d come in like a rookie…

“At my age I wouldn’t expect to play every game and if I went from nine minutes a game to four or five, that’s fine. I could be a veteran role player. I can’t see how a team could turn me down with those terms if they want toughness. I want to end on my own terms and I have something to prove. I’m going to be so motivated to play again.”

He told Matheson that Edmonton would be his first choice, and with Michel Therrien, who coached him in junior and in Pittsburgh, back behind the Canadiens bench, that would be another comfortable place for him.

At 35, Laraque remains very active and expects to get back down to his usual playing weight of 245 pounds (he’s currently 255) this summer. Laraque first stepped into the NHL with the Oilers in 1997-98, playing 11 games before earning a permeant spot in 1999-00. He played a total of 695 regular season NHL games, racking up 53 goals, 100 assists and 1126 penalty minutes in that span.

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