Former Canadien Mathieu Darche still wants to play in the National Hockey League this season, but he’s also starting to plan for a second career.

An unrestricted free agent, Darche had been skating with the New Jersey Devils for the past month without a contract, but is back in Montreal after meeting Thursday with general manager Lou Lamoriello.

“I had agreed with Lou last week about a date next week that if I wasn’t signed I would move on,” Darche said in an interview Friday.

“He would love to have me practice there until the trade deadline because if something happens I’m right there and they sign me and I’m ready to play, I know the system, I know the guys,” Darche said.

“But at one point, I can’t keep waiting.”

Darche said he really wished he could have landed a deal with New Jersey because he likes the way the team plays.

“It was a great group of guys,” he said.

Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur lent Darche one of his cars the whole time he was there.

Asked if he’s set a deadline for himself for deciding whether to try to keep playing or retire, Darche said there’s no hard deadline.