The NHL came to an agreement, thanks in part to the work of the Montreal Canadiens’ Mathieu Darche.

Part of the negotiations from Day One, Darche said he’s gained a healthy respect for the process and an idea what his future after hockey might be.

“I've always said that I wanted to stay in hockey on the management side, but not in coaching,” he said Wednesday.

“What better experience to be around Donald Fehr even (Gary) Bettman. As much as people jump on him, he is not there because he is stupid. He is smart. Even being around all of the owners – they’re businessman who negotiate billion-dollar deals. It was a great experience,” Darche added.

From sheets of paper to sheets of ice, Darche was back in Brossard Wednesday in an NHLPA jersey amongst Habs mates.

The unrestricted free agent islooking for work and still hopeful.

“To be honest, I am not even as stressed as last summer. I’m ready to play. I can help a team. I don't control what teams think of me, so why should I worry about it?” he said.

The situation was unique for Darche, working with the players’ association. Usually players who don't have a contract are most concerned with impressing teams by playing in Europe.

Darche instead sacrificed his hockey career for the good of the National Hockey League Players’ Assocation.

“I might have sacrificed, sure, but selfishly, I did it for myself, too. I wanted to gain that experience. I told the guys I believed it was the right thing. I also did it because i wanted to gain the valuable experience,” he said.

Darche has two weeks to find work.