Tag Archives: Quebec Remparts

Lafleur Rose To The Occasion

Did he ever rise to the occasion. Six straight seasons of 50 or more goals, including 60 in 1977-78. And back in his two junior years with the Quebec Remparts, he racked up 103 and 130 markers respectively. He was hockey’s marquee attraction, both in junior and the bigs. He was  Wayne Gretzky before Wayne Gretzky (with apologies to Bossy, Dionne, Perreault  et al).

Remember about 15 years ago when Lafleur was a spokesman for Viagra? Just an excellent choice. He was tremendous at getting it up (over a sprawling goaltender), rarely fired blanks (560 regular season goals and 7983 assists in 1127 games), and always played hard.

He was a guy who walked softly but carried a big stick (sometimes Koho, sometimes Louisville, or Sher-Wood, or Chimo), and we would see him wind up for the big shot or use his great wrist action as he terrorized opposing goalies and who often put the game to bed almost single-handedly.

Sometimes Lafleur would sulk because he couldn’t get a raise (he once threatened to sit out a game in Toronto during a money dispute), he felt he wasn’t loved and was getting the shaft, and would say that nobody was going to screw him. He threatened to not perform, basically telling his team, “Not tonight, I’ve got a headache.”

But in the end, Le Démon Blond, despite all the ins and outs, would come through magnificently. And being a hard-core smoker throughout most of his career, you can be sure he enjoyed a nice smoke after an evening of using his stick.

Flower was a hard man to keep down, that’s for sure.

He was an excellent choice for Viagra.

Radulov Enters Habs Universe

Radulov

Alexander Radulov is a new Montreal Canadien, for a year at least, which means I think we should hardly ever think about the jerk he once was and concentrate on the fact that he might be a great guy now.

Most importantly, this is a skilled forward, a top six guy like we knew the Canadiens needed, and so a big hole has been filled, adding to my ongoing optimism that the team is now bigger, tougher, and more talented.

I hope that some of the boys from BC, like Carey Price, Brendan Gallagher, and Shea Weber, will find it within themselves to bring the Stanley Cup to Powell River next summer.

Radulov, who’ll be 30 on July 5th, made his millions these past few years in the KHL with Ufa Salavat Yulayev and CSKA Moscow. He also certainly knows North America, where his #22 sweater is retired in Quebec after starring for the Remports, scoring 61 goals and 91 assists in just 62 games back in 2005-06, his second and last season with the QMJHL club.

And of course with the Nashville Predators, where not only did he collect 102 points in 154 games, but he also earned a well-deserved spoiled shithead reputation.

Radulov dishonored his Preds contract to bolt to the KHL, and also decided to party with teammate Andrei Kostitsyn until 5 am at a bar in Phoenix, just before game two of their playoff series with the Coyotes in 2012. Who knows what else he did?

But we forget these things now because he’s a Montreal Canadien. Maybe not a Jean Beliveau-type Montreal Canadien, but hopefully a guy who can really make an impact up front.

It’s a new chapter for Radulov, and it’ll be up to him to show that not only is he a great player, but a great guy as well.

Old And New Quebec Barns

We’re back from Quebec City where we had such a fine and outstanding time. A trip we’ll remember with great fondness.

Although when we were leaving Quebec it was minus-1 with snow and two hours south in Montreal it was plus-12 and sunny.

Below, the Colisee, scene of many a Jean Beliveau triumph with the Aces and Guy Lafleur with the Remparts, and the annual International Peewee Tournament held each February where 11 and 12-year olds sometimes play in front of more than 10,000 fans.

And of course the intense and often vicious Habs-Nordiques rivalry that existed from 1979 to ’95.

The unfinished building next door is the New Colisee, or Quebecor Arena, or whatever it’s going to be called, being built for a possible NHL team coming back in the near future. This place will hold 18,482 while the Colisee seats 15,176.

Coliseeue

Those Darn Kids

Guy Lafleur was a punk kid here as a member of the Quebec Jr. Aces of the Quebec Junior A Hockey League. He was with the Aces for three years, from age 14 to 16. In his third year, he scored 50 goals, and the next two seasons with the Remparts he notched 103 and 130 goals. After that, it was the Habs.

Guy 1

The little kid in the front row, holding the trophy, would one day….

1962-Parry Sound Bantam BOMHA Champions Team Photo

B. Orr

bobby-orr-shares-the-ontario-bantam-play-off-honors-with-the-scarboro-team-captain-syl-apps-jr

young Orr

And this kid was a Habs fan.

Sidney-Crosby-Timbit

Sid

Galchenyuk And Gallagher Stick Around

Finally, after only nine months, the Canadiens take to the ice again, and which has been the case in the previous three seasons, they take on those wild and crazy Toronto Maple Leafs to kick things off. Last year it was an opening night loss to the boys in blue, but that was last season, a season that needs to be flushed down the toilet and sent out to sea, never to be smelled again.

I expect no less than a convincing win for our gang. And don’t forget, the Leafs’ slide begins every year around now, so Toronto needs to get on this right away. It’s just the way the world works.

It seems Alex Galchenyuk will suit up for the Canadiens on opening night, which should add to the all-round excitement, and possibly Brendan Gallagher too. Here’s hoping they leave a trail of melted ice, but it’s dangerous to go overboard with enthusiasm at this stage of the game. Although it would be fun to see flashes of future greatness for sure.

Don’t forget, Guy Lafleur scored just five times in his first two months in the league and played, as he admitted, like his skates were in cement. He was quiet, withdrawn, and uncomfortable for months, didn’t exactly endear himself to many of his teammates (J.C. Tremblay for one, who wouldn’t pass the puck to him and called him impolite for his off-ice tardiness), and Lafleur became an unhappy and lonely fellow in the big city of Montreal.

Lafleur’s unspectacular debut was a surprise to Habs fans, and boos were sometimes heard at the Forum in his early days. Many had figured, or at least hoped, that he’d just carry on as if it was all just an extension of his monstrous junior career with the Quebec Remparts, where he scored 130 goals in his final year and 103 the year before. But junior hockey isn’t the NHL, and it would take Lafleur more than three seasons with the Habs before the goals really started to go in.

Curiously, Lafleur began to loosen up once he’d removed his helmet and let his hair blow in the wind.

It’s great to see that Galchenyuk (and maybe Gallagher) will dress, but who knows, they may only be up with the big team for a few games before being sent down for more grooming. All in all, though, it’s going to be neat to see them.

Go Habs. Show us some good stuff. We’ve missed that. And I hope P.K. will be watching and wishing.

 

 

Canada Clips Yanks

Team Canada edged the U.S. 2-1 today and now hold a perfect 3 wins and no losses, while the Americans have put themselves in a bit of a pickle and must beat Slovakia tomorrow to stay alive. So at this moment, it’s good to be a Canadian.

Not so good for me personally though, was the lack of fire from Alex Galchenyuk. Galchenyuk was mostly quiet throughout, although he did earn an assist on the lone American goal. But as a Habs fan, I want the young fellow to dominate this tournament the way Jerome Iginla did in 1996, or Evgeny Malkin in 2006, or Brad Marchand most recently with the U17 ladies squad.

Galchenyuk for the most part was just an ordinary player against the Canadians. Not what I’d expected or hoped for. This wasn’t Guy Lafleur with the Quebec Remparts. It was more like Boris Borzakovsky with the Minsk Marauders.

But Canada won, and this is great if you’re a Canadian like me. So on one hand I’m ecstatic. On the other, a little disappointed.

Next up for Canada – Monday against the Russians, while Galchenyuk and his U.S. gang take on Slovakia.

Keep it going, Canada. Smarten up, Galchenyuk.

 

Patrick Noises

Rumblings have begun about Patrick Roy soon becoming the new Habs head coach, and I don’t really want to get into it until it becomes more than just rumblings.

I will say this, though. I wasn’t happy with Patrick when he quit the team in 1995 after being embarrassed by coach Mario Tremblay, and I wasn’t thrilled with the domestic abuse charges, and it wasn’t great hearing about some of his blowouts at the helm of the Quebec Remparts, including the directing of his goalie son to skate the length of the ice and pulvarize the much smaller goalie at the other end.

He has a certain fire, and I suppose that can be good. But I really don’t know how Patrick would do at the helm, and we’re just going to have to wait and see if this rumour actually comes to pass before we blow too many brain cells thinking about it.

Frankly, if we’re going to have a bilingual ex-Hab come aboard the Habs train, I’d prefer Bobby Smith, majority owner and recent coach of the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL.

Hey Louis Leblanc, There’s No Pressure, Right?

 

Louis Leblanc has gotten a lot of ink lately, mostly because the young Habs’ prospect, drafted 18th overall in 2009, has decided to forego his Harvard education to play junior in Montreal, and also because he was a shining star at Team Canada’s World Junior five-day development camp held recently in St. John’s.

This is a guy who’s Montreal-born, bilingual, smarter than your average bear, well spoken, handsome, committed, with skills that set him apart, at least for five days, from other juniors from across the country.

But I’m holding back, waiting, at least until I see him strut his stuff at the World Juniors in Buffalo at Christmas. We want more than what Guillaume Latendresse gave us at the Worlds in 2005, when this Habs pick didn’t impress anyone and who sat on the bench often. We want Leblanc to take things to another level.

We’ll see how Leblanc does against premier talent from other hockey nations. It’ll be incredibly interesting. But don’t forget, he doesn’t come with a huge resume – one year with the Omaha Lancers of the United States Hockey League where he tallied 59 points in 60 games, and one year at Harvard where he had 23 points in 31 games.

These aren’t Guy Lafleur junior numbers we’re talking about, who re-wrote the record books with the Quebec Remparts, racking up 397 points in 218 games. But we want Mr. Leblanc to be Guy Lafleur anyway because we’re greedy bastards.

Can you imagine how a Montreal-born bilingual young gun would be embraced by Habs fans if he became the real deal? Look at him and PK Subban as the future.

Please hockey gods, allow young Louis to skate like the wind, find the twine often, and in upcoming years listen to the cheers of 20,000 fans at the Molson Centre. Let him be the next the big thing wearing the proud colours of a proud hockey team.

Habs fans deserve it.

Not to put any pressure on the young Leblanc, of course.

Is Patrick Roy Hoping To Coach The Habs?

0017

“There’s two very special organizations for me – Montreal and Colorado,” said Patrick Roy as he finally turned down the Avalanche’s offer to coach and possibly be general manager. So for now, Patrick will return to the Quebec Remparts.

Did he turn down Colorado’s offer because in his heart he wants to coach the Canadiens at some point? And would you like to see Patrick coach the Canadiens?

I’m not sure I would. I’m also not sure I wouldn’t.

If I look at Patrick’s inexperience at coaching at the NHL level, I could pooh pooh it. Then I could look at what Dan Bylsma is doing in Pittsburgh and what Cory Clouston in Ottawa did this past season, and I see that men with no previous NHL experience can actually guide a team and command respect. So the inexperience thing, although not a perfect scenario, doesn’t always have to spell failure. And Patrick has won a Memorial Cup with Quebec in 2006.

The biggest problem I have is that Patrick sometimes loses his mind. He’s had domestic problems, blow outs with other coaches, and both his sons, especially Jonathan, have shown they’re a chip off the old block by also losing their minds at the rink, which in turn reflected back on papa. I don’t think being a loose cannon is the greatest recipe for success in the modern NHL.

Patrick Roy isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. There were a lot of opponents to the idea of having his sweater raised to the rafters in Montreal. When he quit the Habs after his Mario Tremblay dust up , many never forgave him, and thus believed he didn’t deserve the sweater treatment. So he’d go in to Montreal with a built-in group of non-fans.

On the other hand, maybe a loose cannon behind the Habs’ bench would be just what the doctor ordered. Something to stimulate a comatose team. And the media would probably love him because, as we all know, Patrick’s never been a shrinking violet.

But is he a smart, cunning strategist who could lead the Montreal Canadiens to the promised land? At this point, my feeling is no. He’s too new to the coaching game. Maybe in a few years he’ll smooth out the edges and be a truly classy and winning coach in Junior who needs to move up to the show because it’s time. And then maybe the Habs can come calling.