Tag Archives: Jean Beliveau

To Ottawa Senators Fans, Do You Really Mean Those Boos?

That sound you hear tomorrow night in Ottawa is the sound of people cheering the Senators and booing the Habs? And that sound is the sound of long-time Montreal Canadiens fans who’ve become Senators fans.

I know, I know. The unwritten book of civic pride says you should always support your home team. But picture this. You grew up in east Ottawa making childhood scrapbooks of your team, Les Canadiens. You wrote fan letters to the Rocket and Beliveau, or Cournoyer and Lafleur. And you showed your son how to do the same with Patrick Roy and Vincent Damphousse.

From time to time you bought a bus/Forum ticket package and went down the 417 to see a game in your magical Forum. Then you took the bus back to Ottawa that same night, but still going to work the next morning.

You wore the Montreal sweater when the games were on TV. Pictures of Habs graced your rec room, to your wife’s dismay. You got into arguments with Leaf fans. Your eyes went moist when the Habs hoisted the Cup.

You were the staunchest, most die-hard, most loyal Montreal Canadiens fan you knew.

Then, in 1992, the Ottawa Senators started playing again after 60 years of being away. Suddenly you stopped going to games in Montreal. You bought a Sens jersey and put your Habs one in a trunk. You convinced your son of the magic of Heatley and Spezza instead of Kovalev and Koivu. Your pictures came down and the old scrapbooks somehow got misplaced. You still argued with Leaf fans, but for different reasons.

It’s all very sad. But I suppose it’s noble to back the home team. It’s good and proper community spirit. I just wonder if somewhere deep inside, deep in the crevices of your heart, sitting like cobwebs on your soul, lies a little bit of love for your old passion, your old team, the Montreal Canadiens.

Maybe it never completely went away.

I’ve Got Nose Hairs Older Than These Kids

When Guillaume Latendresse scored the winner last night against Chicago, it created several important things. It allowed the team to keep pace in the east. It allowed them to avoid another slump. It allowed them a rare home game win. And it allowed me to forget my aches and pains from my nightmarish first aid course.

Bob Gainey says he’s happy with the team’s first half performance (except for losing important faceoffs), and so am I. This is a good young team. And when I say young, I mean young. This is a team that has to stand outside the liquor store and ask strangers to buy a bottle for them. These are guys who still peak down the stairs late at night when their parents are having parties. And when the club honours former greats like Jean Beliveau, Dickie Moore, and even Guy Lafleur, these kids wonder why vets from the first World War are dropping pucks at centre ice.

Here’s some of the kids from Romper Room.

Maxim Lapierre – 22, Guillaume Latendresse – 20, Sergei Kostitsyn – 20, Andrei Kostitisyn – 22, Jaroslav Halak – 22, Corey Locke – 23, Kyle Chipchura (just sent down to Hamilton, but he’ll be back) – 21 years old, and Carey Price (also sent down to Hamilton but he’ll be back because he’s gonna be a star) – 20.

 In all, Montreal has 19 players under 30, with most from their early to mid 20’s. This is a young team. The elder statesman is Patrice Brisebois, who’s 36. I hope these youngsters are polite to Patrice and don’t laugh when he talks about the old, pioneer days, way back in the ’90’s.

The Rocket, the Montreal Canadiens, and Rich Man, Poor Man

This year, Montreal’s Andrei Markov will earn 5.7 million dollars patroling the blueline. Teammate Roman Hamrlik will be close, at 5.5 million. Captain Saku Koivu stands at 4.7 million.

In 1940, Montreal’s Ken Reardon was paid $4000 for the season. Junior Langlois in 1959 made $7500. Jean Beliveau, who the Canadiens practically got down on their hands and knees to sign in 1953, was paid an unheard of $25,000, but that was what he’d been making with the senior Quebec Aces and the Habs had to at least match it.  And Rocket Richard was paid $5000 for his first season, in 1942-43, and earned a total of $350, 000 over 18 star-studded seasons with the Habs, ending in 1960.

This year, Francis Lemieux, a centreman who has yet to crack the Habs lineup, earns $461, 667. That’s $111, 667 more than the Rocket made in his lifetime.