Patrice Brisebois has retired. Yes, the defenceman who heard boos on most nights at the Bell Centre has called it quits after a fine career that ran for more than 1000 games, from 1990 until 2009. He was also a solid member of the 1993 Stanley Cup champion Habs.
Brisebois had lots of things going for him. He was big, handsome, French-Canadian, a good skater and had a decent, low shot. Unfortunately, he was a lousy passer. His pucks up the middle that were intercepted by the enemy are legendary. It’s like he didn’t see the ice well. And his decisions deep in his own end with a couple of players attacking were questionable too. Often he would take the wrong player, leaving the other as open as open can be.
But I liked him and felt bad when the boos rained down on him. He’s a likeable sort, was proud to be a Canadien, and always seemed to be a hard worker. He tried to earn his money, which is something some others in the league could learn. And I’m sure he had legions of female fans, not only during hockey season but also on the race car circuit. A big, strapping, 6’2, 200 lb. super-rich famous athlete is just the kind of male to make women all dreamy and mushy.
Of course there was no room for Brisebois on this year’s edition of the Habs. Everyone knew it. It’s been coming for longer than just one year. But I say hooray for Patrice Brisebois because he was a proud Montreal Canadien for most parts of 16 years. And in my book, that means a lot.
Good luck, Patrice. Safe driving.
The times, they are a changing.