For some reason, Jean Beliveau has always got it. He understands his fans. Maybe Jean had his own heroes, and maybe he met them and they treated him right, and he learned from them. Or maybe he met his heroes and they treated him wrong, and he learned from them also.
Most NHL players, or for that matter, most professional athletes in any sport, could learn from Jean Beliveau.
I love most of the comments that come here regarding the Habs and hockey in general. And this one came the other day after I’d posted recently a little story about owning a Jean Beliveau hockey stick. It’s from a Habs fan in Hamilton who uses the handle “Retromikey,” and it made my heart soar like an eagle.
“To me, Jean Beliveau symbolizes the true Habs player on and off the ice.
There is never a day goes by where Jean will sign an autograph or spare a few minutes to talk to a fan during his busy schdedule.
I remember back in 1993, and drove with my buddies to attend the Stanley Cup final Game 5 in 1993 in Montreal from Hamilton.
We all arrived the hotel the eve of the game and while everyone was ready to go out out and party the night away, I decided to find out if it was true or not if Jean Beliveau’s number was located in the book and would meet up with my buddies at the bar later.
Sure enough, I found his name in the book and I was curious to see if he wanted to chat with a Habs fan from Hamilton.
Before you know it, Jean answered the phone and we talked a good 30 minutes. I apologized for talking so long to him on the phone and he requested my name and address.
Several weeks later, I received a package in the mail. A beautiful 8×10 personalized signed photo of Jean with several signed postcards to be given to my friends!
To end this story, I caught up with Jean at a Toronto Expo Card show 5 years later.
The look in his eyes when I told him that I spoke to him on the eve of Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final is priceless. He remembered and gave me a solid handshake and smile that I will never forget for the rest of my life.
Jean, you are a true gentleman and will alway be a part of my life as well as other Habs’ fans as well! I salute you!”
Then, if that wasn’t good enough, Retromikey comes back a day later with his Patrick Roy thoughts regarding the post about Mike in Pickering who won’t be watching the sweater being hoisted to the rafters in November.
“Mario Tremblay gave it all as a Habs wearing the CH on his jersey for almost 12 years starting as a 18 year old rookie in 1974!
I was only 9 years old when he was a rookie and looked up to him with his grit and character on the team! He had everything going for him when he played for Montreal, looks (so my older sisters tell me), playing hard game in and out, and a team leader willing to teach anyone who wanted to learn from him.
Well he brought this as a coach of the Habs and he got the shaft when Patrick Roy got traded to Colorado.
My philosophy if I were a coach would be ” I coach, you play” attitude to the players.
This is what Mario tried to preach to Patrick but being the star that he was, he got breaks more than the other hard working players on our team when Jacques Demers was the coach.
Sorry, this other “Mikey” will not be watching the retirement jersey night as well. I stand pat as well as other Habs fans.
Let the “Pepsi Generation” fans born after 1970 have their glory that night and watch their “God” Patrick have his jersey lifted high in the rafters.
I will be sad knowing that players like Joliat, Lalonde, Durnan, Lapointe, Ironman Jarvis, etc.. deserve the honour more than Patrick.”