Category Archives: Aurele Joliat

The Boys Having Some Fun With The Pen

 

I drank beer with Aurele Joliat in Ottawa at the old Prescott Hotel, sometime in the mid-1980’s, and drove him home afterwards. I had brought my book, ‘The Montreal Canadiens” by Claude Mouton with me, and Aurele was more than happy to sign it and mention my broken arm.

 

Ken Dryden signed his book ‘The Game’ for me by writing “I’ve had a lot of fans in my life, and you’re one of them. Happy Birthday, Dennis”

My sister got him to do it. It was a bit of an inside joke.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Hamiltonian Tells His Jean Beliveau Story…..And Then Puts The Hammer Down On Patrick Roy

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.”

 

Montreal Shoots For The Stars, While Ottawa Shoots For The Bars

It was a tremendous 3-0 shutout win tonight for the Montreal Canadiens over the unbelievably struggling Ottawa Senators, and it could have been ninety years ago in Ottawa, at the old Auditorium, when Aurele Joliat, Howie Morenz, and Pit Lepine came to town to battle it out with Cy Denneny, Frank Finnigan, and Punch Broadbent. It was good old hockey then, and it was good old hockey tonight. Rough, tough, feisty, ill-mannered hockey.   finnigan.jpg     joliat.jpg

Years ago, my ex-wife’s mother’s uncle used to tell me stories about when he was a kid and used to crawl in through a window at the Auditorium and watch Morenz and Joliat, Clancy and Finnigan, in action. It was good stuff.

I wonder if Ottawa kids climb in windows now at Scotiabank Place to see Chris Neil and Anton Volchenkov.

The big differences between then and now are, tonight (April 1st) there were about 14,000 more fans at Scotiabank Place than at the old Auditorium. Ottawa wears a Trojan Condom sweater now instead of the old stripes. Beer then, if it was sold, was probably about a dime. Now it’s about eight bucks. And the officiating was probably better back then. The amount of chintzy penalties called tonight was staggering.

And back then, Ottawa, from time to time, were champs. Nowadays, Ottawa, most of the time, are chumps. Now, they’re going to fight it out to make the playoffs, with Washington, only two points away, breathing down their backs. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

And then we get to Montreal. With tonight’s impressive win over the Senators and two referees, the team reaches 100 points to tie with Pittsburgh for first over-all in the east. They win the Northeast division. Carey Price notches his third shutout. The team played great after a couple of sleepfests in Buffalo and Toronto. And my Ottawa friends who used to be Habs fans but are now Sens fans, are at this very moment, really pissed off and quite concerned about the state of their team.

LITTLE PIECES OF INFO: Two of Montreal’s five wounded soldiers were back – Mark Streit and Guilliaume Latendresse, leaving now Koivu, Komisarek, and Bouillon still on the shelf.

Ottawa’s top line of Daniel Alfredsson, Dany Heatley, and Jason Spezza actually did play. Although you’d never know it.

I Was Only $28,500 Short Of Getting The Sweater

Johnny ‘Black Cat’ Gagnon played for the Montreal Canadiens, (and also the NY Americans and Boston Bruins) from 1930 to 1940. He wasn’t a big star (120 goals, 141 assists in 451 games) but enjoyed success playing alongside Howie Morenz and Aurele Joliat.

Just a few days ago, Classic Auctions in Montreal, which is the foremost hockey auction house on the planet, sold Gagnon’s Montreal sweater #14 for $28,551. I really wanted this sweater, and I thought I had a chance. But then it went past fifty bucks so I had to bow out.

Here’a few other Habs items that sold in the auction. It must be nice to be a collector who happens to be a rich bastard. Must be lawyers snapping these things up.

Here’s what I mean:

Carol Vadnais’ 1993 Montreal Canadiens Stanley Cup Championship ring – $23,102.

Jean Beliveau’s 1969 Montreal Canadiens game-worn sweater – $22,013.

Beliveau’s 1972-73 Stanley Cup ring – $32,211.

Henri Richard’s ’73-74 jersey – $13,500

Original 1978-79 Stanley Cup banner which hung from the Forum – $6000.

Player’s sweater worn during the 1937 Howie Morenz Memorial game – $7,150

Guy Lafleur’s 1981-82 game-worn sweater – $11,000

None of Dennis Kane’s Byer’s Bulldozers Orillia Midget team items were available, but I’m sure they’re worth quite a bit. 

Classic Auctions is unbelievable. Two or three times a year they hold these amazing auctions that always include things like letters from Lord Stanley, important sticks that belonged to Morenz and the Rocket, for example, and just about anything else you can think of that is worth more than what you and I can afford.  Classic is the Sotheby’s or Christies of the hockey world. I wouldn’t mind getting a job there.

‘Big’ isn’t the word for the Habs win tonight. More like ‘Gigantic’

I lived in Ottawa for 15 years. I passed out from tequila at my bachelor stag there, I was married there, my kids were born there, I drank beer with Aurele Joliat there, I got thrown down the Club Chaudiere stairs by world famous bouncer Gerry Barber near there.

And all the time I was there, I was among Montreal Canadiens fans. At work, at play, in bars, at parties – the majority of hockey fans were Habs fans.

Then, in 1992, Ottawa got the Senators. They’d had them once before, but in the early 1930’s, they lost them. Now the team’s back, and wouldn’t you know it, all those Habs fans I used to know are mostly now staunch Senators fans. My friends have become turncoats, traitors, ratfinks.

Aren’t there laws prohibiting this?

Tonight, on a cold, wintry February night in Montreal, the Canadiens, with a huge 4-3 win over Ottawa, have now closed a season-wide large gap to a tiny little 1 point difference with the Senators.  Government workers at Tunney’s Pasture in the Nation’s Capital will be crying in their Starbucks Caramel Macchiato’s.

I’m proud, but the team has to keep it going. They need to overtake the Sens, widen the gap, and end up the season in first place with adenaline-rushing momentum. Then I might celebrate by drinking tequila and passing out again.

Then we’ll see what kind of damage can be done in the playoffs.

One team in the east I think I can stop worrying about catching the Habs now is Toronto. This is a team that continues to implode like the Brittany Spears of the north, and tonight, on a cold, dismal February night in Toronto, they lost 8-0 to the Florida Panthers. I’m gonna say it again  – 8-0 to the Florida Panthers.

And for Habs fans, including those who were Montreal fans, then changed to Senators, then came back to where they belong as Montreal fans, click on the National Hockey League in blogroll on the right-hand side here and see the game recap on the Habs link, where Kovalev had three assists, Andrei Kostitsyn had a goal and two assists, and Tomas Plekanec has two goals and an assist.

Man I’m feelin’ good.