Jacques Lemaire Was Several Steps Ahead Of Me


Last year, in a moment of hard reflection and sad regret, I wrote about how I should have at least tried to get a job at the Montreal Forum when I was a teenager, doing odd jobs, cleaning gum off seats, taking out the garbage, and thereby working my way up from there to become zamboni driver or ticket manager or the guy who picks up hats after a hattrick. A job at the Montreal Forum.

All of which in turn would eventually lead to team president or owner.

It had hit me one day when I was watching on television as they were announcing the players from Team Canada and the Soviets in game one of the 1972 Summit Series, and I’d noticed Forum workers in their Forum sweaters standing on the ice by the boards, like they were part of the festivities.

I thought, you lucky bastards.

And now I find out that when Jacques Lemaire, who we all know and love as the fine centreman with the nasty shot of the Montreal Canadiens in the 1960’s and ’70’s, and presently assistant coach of the Canadian Olympic team when he isn’t coaching the New Jersey Devils, had done just what I lay awake at night regretting I didn’t do.

When Lemaire was 17, he had a job washing the steps in the Forum.

I could’ve done that. I would’ve been a good step washer. Maybe the best step washer the Forum had ever had.

That’s one small step for man, one giant leap into the team front office. And yes, as the Sinatra tune goes, “Regrets, I’ve had a few.”

10 thoughts on “Jacques Lemaire Was Several Steps Ahead Of Me”

  1. I’ve heard that step washing is part of the rigorous training of gymnastics…I mean if you want to be owning the podium as well…

  2. Hey Dennis;Step washing is a far better occupation then toilet cleansing.It’s a good thing you never put in for that job.

  3. Derry,the key to good toilet cleaning is to pretend it’s only children who made the mess. That way it’s not so gross. By the way, I’m having a hard time keeping track of where you actually live. You’re gonna have to fill me in on this.

  4. Hey Dennis;I’m back in the land of ice and snow…Mackenzie for a week or so,then it’s back to Port Alice.I’m looking forward to the game today,beer’s on ice getting ready.I think that Canada will take this one,the u.s. doesnt have the players,they have the goaltender but that is about as far as it goes.

  5. So Derry, let me get this straight. You live in MacKenzie, Port Alice, Prince George, and various other places?

  6. Hey Dennis;I live in Mackenzie,I have a place in Gold River as I lived there for over fourty years,I am curently working in Port Alice as there is no work for me in Gold River or Mackenzie since both of their pulp mills went down.Does that help you out at all?
    I am sorry Canada lost to the americans tonite,not a big deal as most would asume,I’m quite optimistic that they will get their shit together and come out on top.

  7. Okay Derry, I’m a little clearer on that. Thanks. If Canada had played the entire game like they did the last half of the third they might have won. But Miller was great.

  8. Hey Dennis;Miller played a phenominal game ,he had to otherwise they would never have been in that one,Marty didnt have thew game he needed to,hence he will be replaced as should Chris Pronger,to slow in the corners and on the point.Time to work for what we are used to.

  9. Derry, there’s a few guys who don’t seem to have it together, Iginla being one, Niedermayer another, Morrow another. But maybe it’s just me.

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