Tag Archives: Bobby Rousseau

Rousseau’s Blast

It was the early 1960s, and Montreal speedster Bobby Rousseau, a slapshot specialist and off-season golf pro in Ste. Hyacinthe, Quebec, was awarded a penalty shot in a game against Boston.

Rousseau grabbed the puck at centre ice, took it just inside the blueline, and to the surprise of everyone, including his coach Toe Blake and Boston goalie, Bruce Gamble, wound up, fired, and scored.

Has a penalty shot or shootout goal ever been scored from so far out?

From my old scrapbook, a photo of the moment.

More To the Lennon/Habs Sweater Saga

A fellow named Ed sent details the other day of the time John Lennon held up a Habs sweater, which looked to be number 5 but was actually Bobby Rousseau’s number 15.

You can get the lowdown here – Update on John Lennon’s Habs Sweater.

Now, to add to the festivities, Ed has sent a picture of him actually giving the sweater to John at the time!

John and Ed

I’ll Take Several Please

Further to the John Lennon/Habs sweater update posted yesterday John Lennon’s Habs Jersey.

Ed, who filled us in on the details, paid $15.00 in 1969 for a Bobby Rousseau game-used Habs sweater. Besides the John Lennon aspect, that in itself is a mind-blowing detail.

In 1969, according to Calculator.net, $15.00 in 1969 is equal to about a hundred bucks today.

Fifteen bucks ($100) for Rousseau’s sweater. But If I’d known back then it wouldn’t have mattered much anyway because I had no money and neither did my parents.

In those days, when I was hitchhiking around the country with almost nothing to call my own except my clothes and a cool jean jacket, my mother would sometimes send me a five-dollar money order to help me out. I still have her letters.

Al McNeil’s early 1960s Habs sweater sold recently for $6700.00. Henri Richard’s from 1973-74  was $15,000.

Rousseau’s late ’60s gamer might be close to the McNeil price. Unless a couple of very serious bidders went at it and drove the price through the roof. Like Paul Henderson’s 1972 Summit Series sweater, which went for $1.25 million.

In 1969, people didn’t collect memorabilia like they do today. If everyone saved their sports and music treasures from back then, everyone would now be lounging on easy street.

But most never thought of it. And so at McNiece’s, which was located in the Forum before the 1968 renovations and eventually moved across the street, a brand new unused Habs sweater sold for more than a game-used sweater worn by a hard shooting star like Bobby Rousseau.

It’s amazing to think about, but it’s how our society has changed. Memorabilia from all walks of life is now big business. It’s also why I have a job.

Here’s a picture I took of McNiece’s in about 1965. I never realized until now that part of my finger is in it.



More Of The Book

From time to time lately I’ve been showing pages from my old Habs scrapbook. Here’s more.

And at the risk of sounding like a broken record MP3, just click on the photos to make ’em bigger.

Going Back To St. Hyacinthe

Luci and I spent part of Sunday in the city of St. Hyacinthe, 50 kilometres east of Montreal.

I wanted to go back and see it because when I was in grade nine we were asked if we wanted to do a French-English exchange during the summer and I volunteered. Several towns and cities were available to choose from, and I chose St. Hyacinthe because it was near Montreal and Habs right winger Bobby Rousseau was a golf pro there.

I think the Canadiens also held their training camps there from time to time, which gave it extra bonus points.

I spent a month with a nice French family, the Chaputs, and then my new friend Normand Chaput came with me to Orillia for a month. We had  hitchhiked all over Quebec and even slept in our sleeping bags on the Plains of Abraham, and from Orillia we thumbed down to Niagara Falls and Buffalo, and up to Bracebridge to see a charity hockey game starring a kid from the Oshawa Generals playing for the Orillia team that day, Bobby Orr.

Today in St. Hyacinthe Luci and I went to Frontenac St., where the Yamaska River flows behind, and I saw that the old Chaput house is now gone, as well as the complete neighborhood, which isn’t surprising considering it was about 48 years ago.. In place are beautiful and expensive homes, a far cry from when the street was a blue collar street with men coming and going who punched clocks and got their hands dirty.

We went downtown and it looked familiar, because Normand and I would go there from time to time to see live music in a teen club, including seeing a band I can still picture, with long, bleached white hair and singing Beatles tunes. I can almost remember their name.

We also accidentally drove by the old train station where the Chaputs greeted me when I stepped onto the platform all those years ago.

I’ve inclosed a couple of links from previous stories I’d written about that time, including the day we saw Bobby Orr, and also when I went back to St. Hyacinthe few years after that first time and did something I’m not proud of.

I wish I could find Normand Chaput or any of his family now. But I think it’s impossible to do.

Seeing Bobby Orr and George Chuvalo All In One Day

My Late Apology to the Chaput Family

Even Further Down The Path

More of my old scrapbook. You can see the entire thing by clicking on “The Old Scrapbook” over in Categories on the lower right-hand side.

I know you’re sick of hearing this but just click on the photos to make ’em bigger.




Golf, Floor Mats, And My Very Late Apology To The Chaput Family

Rookies are flying around, the big club has been golfing, Andre Markov has had a setback, and we can almost reach out and touch preseason tilts. But I think it’s also important to note that a guy I know called me over to his car the other day and showed me his brand new Habs car floor mats.

I’m of two minds about the floor mats. It definitely makes his wheels classier, but every day his dirty boots get all over them. So I don’t know what to think.

And with the gang out on the links for their annual get-together, I was wondering who the best golfer on the team is. Is it Hal Gill or Carey Price or even Jacques Martin? I don’t know the answer. But I might know who the best Habs golfer of all time might be – Bobby Rousseau.

Rousseau was a golf pro in Ste. Hyacinthe during his playing days, at a time when many were driving trucks and throwing cases of beer around in the off-season. So being a golf pro must have been a real nice and cushy summer job.

Ste. Hyacinthe, a city about an hour east of Montreal, holds a place in my heart but also makes me cringe somewhat at something I did there, which I’ll get to in a second. 

I lived there for a month when I was 14 on an English-French student exchange, with a warm and friendly French-Canadian family, the Chaputs. Then the kid in the family, Normand, came to Orillia for the following month.

It was a fine experience. They had a river running behind their backyard so we did lots of good shit there. Mr. Chaput took us to his textile plant where he worked, and Normand and I hitchhiked up to Quebec City and slept in our sleeping bags on the Plains of Abraham.

We did the same sort of thing in Ontario too, and were even involved in a fairly serious accident when a car we were in smashed into a stopped car on the 401 and both got schmucked pretty bad. We simply got out of the back seat, said thanks for the ride, and continued on our way to Niagara Falls.

A few years later an Orillia buddy and I hitchhiked to Expo 67 in Montreal, stayed about five minutes because we didn’t have any money, and decided to continue on to Ste. Hyacinthe to visit Normand and his family once again. 

It’s at this time now that I would like to formally apologize to all of the Chaputs because, although it seemed funny at the time, I realize just how much of an asshole I could be back then.

The family spoke minimal english, almost none, and so I thought I’d get a big laugh from my friend by asking at their dinner table if they would pass the fucking potatoes. That’s what I said – “fucking potatoes” because they wouldn’t understand anyway and I got a fine-yet-stifled laugh from my surprised friend. You know the kind where you hold back and almost blow snot out?

I may have even repeated this incredible immaturity a few more times at the table. That’s how it is when you get that first big laugh. You go for more.

Sadly, I realize now, after being around many French-Canadians in my life, that they all know the word “fuck” and to this day I feel shame and embarrassment. The Chaput family must have thought I was such an asshole, and they were absolutely right.

Trying To Nail Down The Year – In The Room

From right to left – Dickie Moore, Gilles Tremblay, Henri Richard, and Jean Beliveau.

Then it gets a little tricky. Is it Bill Hicke or Ralph Backstrom beside Beliveau? And around the corner, you can see number 20 above the stall, which was Phil Goyette’s number at the time, and it looks very much like Goyette lacing his skates, although it’s difficult to be sure. Beside him, the player is out of the picture but the sweater hanging up, number 15, belonged to Bobby Rousseau if the year is 1961-62 0r 1962-63. However, if it’s from the ’60-’61 season, number 15 was worn by Jean-Guy Gendron and Rousseau wore number 24.


A Bruins Fan Saying Nice Things About The Habs. Seriously

What you are about to read may shock you and cause you to shake your head and say no, it can’t be true.

But it’s true. I was there.

I met a good guy, a friendly guy, a happy and polite guy. And he’s a hardcore Boston Bruins fan.

Now before you say it can’t be, that I must be drunk, all I can say is, I have witnesses.

Roger, decked out in his Bruins jacket, Bruins shirt, and Bobby Orr hat, told me he’s nervous at the thought of the Bruins meeting the Habs in the playoffs. “I respect Montreal,” he said. “Always have. And we have way too much trouble with them in the playoffs.”

This, of course, made my heart soar like an eagle. And he continued. “They’re fast and they scare me. You never know what to expect from them in a series. We just don’t beat them very often.”

This is a guy who goes way back, with some Habs history in his back pocket.

“I used to caddy for Scotty Bowman back in St. Andrews-By-The-Sea, and lots of ex-Habs would show up; Bobby Rousseau, Claude Provost, Donny Marshall. They were all great people.”

By this time I could only just shake my head. A Bruins fan being nice like this. And I hadn’t even bought him beer!

“I’m one of the good Bruins fans,” he said. “I give credit where credit is due. And Chara should have been suspended for at least a couple of games and all the bullshit would’ve been avoided.”

There you go. An inside scoop. Yes Virginia, there is a good Bruins fan.

 So that makes two – Roger and Diane. Probably that’s it.

I Dunno, Maybe They’ll Get It

I feel it’s time to give a big shout-out to two readers in particular – Christopher and Danno- because no matter how hard I try, I can’t stump them in my quizzes.

But I’ll just keep trying.

Okay Christopher and Danno, if a freight train is travelling at 90 miles an hour and a puck travelling at 89 miles an hour from Bobby Rousseau’s’ slapshot is coming the other way and hits the engineer in the head, how big will the dent be in the engineer’s head?