An almost unreal bond | The Journal of Quebec

Guy Lafleur and Mike Bossy died exactly one week apart. Somehow, the two men’s journey was nearly identical from start to finish.

I was lucky enough to attend Mike’s funeral last Thursday. It was both a sober and grandiose ceremony. Kind of like the man he was.

It was beautiful. From the testimonials of Mike’s daughters, to the moving tribute to him by his former teammate and friend Bryan Trottier, to the speeches from our colleagues at TVA Sports Louis Jean and Éric Fichaud, it was all there.

When I came back, I kept thinking. Tuesday it’s Guy Lafleur’s turn.

There is something that has always united these two men. Something hard to explain.

Looking at their careers, there are differences, but overall, both men left their mark on their time.

Both Mike and Guy made their QMJHL debuts and quickly became the league’s strongest players. Guy led the Remparts to the Memorial Cup in 1971 while Mike was the rain and shine with the Laval National.

Both later made it to the NHL. It took Guy longer than Mike to impress their respective teams, but when they did, they were both superstars. Their way of scoring was very similar. I’ve lost count of the number of goals I’ve seen them score after flying over the right wing before beating the opposing goalkeeper on his right.

TEAM GUYS

However, for Mike and Guy, personal successes were never more important than the team concept. I laughed Thursday when Bryan Trottier said that on January 24, 1981, after Mike scored his 50th goal in his 50th game against my Nordiques, he had a chance to add a 51st in an empty net. Instead, he had decided to go on to Trottier, who had threaded the needle. Back on the bench, the latter had asked Mike why he hadn’t taken advantage of this opportunity to score a 51st goal.

Mike replied, ‘Because it was the right game to make. †

That’s it, Mike Bossy. And it was, Guy Lafleur.

I will always remember that during his farewell tour, which I got to lead, everyone came to him hoping he would score as many as possible. His teammates knew and constantly gave him the puck. Guy, as the ultimate teammate, often returned the favor.

Back on the couch, I said to him, ‘Boy, they’re here for you. You must score! †

Even on his farewell tour, he was generous.

LOVE AND FAMILY

Come to think of it, there may have been a striking difference between the two legends. Guy had an outspokenness that characterized him. He was never ashamed to criticize his former team, the Canadiens. He did it because he loved this organization very much.

In Mike’s case, I can assure you that it touched him when he saw the New York Islanders wrestle, but he expressed it less publicly.

But that’s all. Besides being the heroes of their time, they were first and foremost devoted husbands and fathers. The two met their respective wives when they played in the junior ranks.

They then had two children each, Mike was the father of two girls, while Guy had two boys.

There were so many things that united the two men. It’s still unreal to see them go one week apart.

Echoes of Bergie

stop the bleeding

It’s over, the Canadian officially finishes 32nd and last in the NHL. I can not believe it. The most prestigious organization on the track to finish last. This is not normal and should not happen again. This city and its fans deserve better. It is imperative that Kent Hughes and Jeff Gorton leave their mark on this organization this summer. We need to stop the slide, and fast. Whatever happens, there is no excuse strong enough to explain such a bad season. In the season-end report we will definitely talk about the number of injured. On the other hand, all clubs have them and not all end up in the basement. However, one thing is certain: this season has proved once again that the Habs have the best fans in the world. Accepting this mediocrity and continuing to pay a fortune to join their favorite team is what we call unconditional love.

masters on board

Speaking of Hughes and Gorton, I hope they will show that they are the captains of the boat from now on. For too many years we’ve been at the mercy of what veterans want, starting with Carey Price. Recently, it was kind of the same with Shea Weber being banned from meeting the media, in addition to not being at the Bell Center for the Guy Lafleur tribute. After all, he remains the captain of the team. I hope those days are over, that Hughes and Gorton will have free rein and make the best decisions for the organization without fear of hurting the egos of veterans.

Happy retirement Peter

The equipment clerk of the Canadiens, Pierre Gervais, is retiring. It’s funny to think back to the first time I met Pierre. He was my neighbor in Trois-Rivières and he had gone to ask my family, first if he could clear my driveway and then if he could come and work for me at the Draveurs. He also offered me his services for free! The rest is history. He then worked in Sherbrooke for a bit before joining the Canadiens. In the shadows, he managed to earn the respect of all players. He always remained very discreet about what he saw internally. It’s something he learned at a young age and always applied. Congratulations on your great career, Pierre. You can now enjoy a well-deserved retirement.

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