We’ll all know when big Georges Laraque will be truly welcomed into the Montreal Canadiens fold, and embraced by Montreal fans. The exact moment he gets his official welcome will come when one of the smaller Montreal players, some player with amazing talent, will be manhandled by an opposing player, and big Georges will step in.
The other guy, also a heavyweight, will drop his gloves and Georges’ eyes will flare up. The opposing player won’t like what’s coming, but he’s a warrior too. They’ll stand nose to nose and begin to flail, and they’ll pound away as sweaters come up and off, and teammates stand around in awe and with respect.
And with each punch from Georges, a clear warning disguised as knuckles is sent by him: you don’t take advantage of my smaller, skilled teammates.
Georges will send his message and raise his arms, and we’ll cheer from the seats and from our living room. Every player on the other team will get the message. Montreal teammates will be grateful. And word will spread quickly around the league that you don’t mess with the skilled Montreal guys or you stand to have George Laraque ruining your day.
And we’ll embrace this man blessed with a kind face, friendly smile, and fists of steel.
When that first fight happens, when he sticks up for a teammate, George Laraque will become family.