By Joe Conklin
The Grand Rapids Press
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Marc Lamothe had ample time to reflect as he made a 10-hour flight from Moscow to Toronto to spend a few precious December days at home with family and friends.
There was much to consider — his wedding next June, a new job in Russia, his future as a professional athlete. By the time he finally reached his mother’s home in Ottawa, Lamothe’s body clock was still adjusting to the eight-hour time difference, so he stayed up most of the night to play cards and unwind.
“It’s been an incredible period in my life,” Lamothe said of the 30 months since he signed a contract with the Detroit Red Wings.
Lamothe played two seasons for the Griffins and in 2002-03 was the American Hockey League’s best goalie. He was a standout in the spring of 2003 when Grand Rapids came within one win of the Calder Cup finals. Selected by Montreal in the fourth round (92nd overall) in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft, Lamothe played 13 games for the Wheeling Thunderbirds of the ECHL in his first professional season in 1994-95, going 9-2-1 with a 3.10 goals against average and a .892 save percentage. Lamothe made his NHL debut in 1999-2000 with Chicago going 1-1-0 with a 5.17 goals against average in two games with the Blackhawks.
He achieved some celebrity status last season when he played two games for the parent Wings and had his picture on the front page of Canada’s national newspaper.