An almost unreal bond | The Journal of Quebec

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

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

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

Come back, I kept thinking. It’s Guy Lafleur’s turn on Tuesday.

There is something that has always united these two men. A little difficult to explain.

Looking at their careers, there were differences, but overall, both men shaped their era.

Both Mike and Guy made their QMJHL debuts and quickly became the toughest players in the league. Guy led the Remparts to the 1971 Memorial Cup 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 make an impression on their respective teams, but when it did they were both superstars. Their scoring style was very similar. I’m losing count of the goals I saw after flying over the right wing before beating the opposing goalkeeper on his right.

TEAM GUYS

For Mike and Guy, however, personal achievements have never been more important than team spirit. I laughed Thursday when Bryan Trottier said that on Jan. 24, 1981, after Mike scored his 50th goal in his 50th game against my Nordiques, Mike had a chance to add a 51st in an empty net. Instead he had decided to go to Trottier, who had threaded the needle. Back on the bench, this one had asked Mike why he didn’t take that opportunity to score a 51st goal.

Mike replied, “Because it was the right game. »

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

I will always remember that during his farewell tour, which I had the privilege of officiating, everyone came to him hoping he would score as many goals as possible. His teammates knew this and kept handing him the puck. Guy, as the ultimate teammate, often reciprocated.

Back on the bench, I said to him, “Man, they’re here for you. You have to score! »

He was also generous on his farewell tour.

LOVE AND FAMILY

When I think about it, maybe there was a notable difference between the two legends. Guy had an openness that set him apart. He has never been ashamed to criticize his former team, the Canadiens. He did it because he deeply loved this organization.

In Mike’s case, I can assure you that watching the New York Islanders fight touched him, but he was less open about it.

But that’s all. Aside from being the heroes of their day, they were first and foremost devoted husbands and fathers of families. The two met their respective wives while playing in the junior ranks.

They subsequently had two children each, Mike was a father to two girls while Guy had two boys.

There were so many things that connected the two men. Seeing them go a week apart is still unreal to me.

Echoes of Bergie

stop the bleeding

It’s done, the Canadian is officially 32nd and last in the NHL. I can not believe it. The most prestigious organization on the circuit to finish last. This is not normal and must not happen again. This city and its fans deserve better. Kent Hughes and Jeff Gorton must make their mark on this organization this summer. We need to stop the slide, and fast. No matter what, there is no excuse strong enough to explain such a poor season. In the end-of-season report we will certainly talk about the number of injuries. On the other hand, they all have clubs and they don’t all end up in the basement. One thing is for sure though, this season has proven once again that the Habs have the best fans in the world. Accepting that mediocrity and continuing to pay a fortune to see your favorite team is what we call unconditional love.

master 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 veterans, beginning with Carey Price. Recently, it was a bit the same with Shea Weber, who wasn’t allowed to meet with the media, in addition to not being at the Bell Center for the Guy Lafleur tribute. After all, he remains captain of the team. I hope those days are over when Hughes and Gorton have free rein and make the best decisions for the organization without fear of hurting the veterans’ egos.

Happy retirement Peter

Canadian equipment manager 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 had asked my family if he could first clear my driveway and then come and work for me at the Draveurs. He had also offered me his services for free! The rest is history. He then worked a bit in Sherbrooke before joining the Canadiens. In the shadows, he knew how to earn the respect of every player. He always remained very discreet about what he witnessed internally. He learned this at a young age and always applied it. Congratulations on your great career, Pierre. Now you can enjoy your well-deserved retirement.

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