Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Two weeks ago Johnson City's Jerry D'Amigo was hoping to re-sign with Toronto. Instead, things all changed last week as the Maple Leafs dealt D'Amigo to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Now, he has new team and must make some new first impressions, but his attitude stays the same. He wants to make to make the Blue Jackets roster, and be a permanent fixture in the NHL.
That's certainly an exciting challenge, but he said being traded was also a little bittersweet.
"In the beginning you're a little upset, disappointed, because obviously I've been there for four years. I've spent my career there. I got me debut in Toronto," said D'Amigo in an interview with Action Sports on Tuesday. "So it's one of those things where you're attached a little bit, but at the same time hockey is a business and you know I got traded. I'm happy to join the Columbus Blue Jackets and see where my future goes from there."
Last season in Toronto, D'Amigo finally broke through. He made his NHL debut, and played 22 games with the Maple Leafs. But that also meant spending a lot of time still in the AHL.
In Columbus, he believes there's a chance for him to come in and compete for a roster spot at the highest level right away.
"It's a new opportunity," said D'Amigo. "There are spots to battle for positions and actually stick with the NHL club and not get a game here or there. I want to make a statement, I want to go in there and make the team. I think that's what they expect from me as well."
After watching D'Amigo spend part of last year in the NHL and be one of the highest scorers during the Calder Cup playoffs, there's reason for the Blue Jackets to expect Jerry to stick with the club.
It's an expectation he also has for himself.
"Once you get a taste, you don't want to leave. I don't want to have to travel all the way to Springfield in the middle of September. You know I want to stick there, I want to stay there. I want to prove myself. I want to prove to myself as well that I can be an NHL player from start to finish."