Avalanche: from Maurice Filion to Joe Sakic

“My passion for hockey comes from the Quebec Nordiques. When I was a little ass, I was Daniel Bouchard on the street. But later I was fascinated by Maurice Filion as a hockey player. »

The man speaking grew up in Lévis, south of Quebec. He had the Nordiques logo tattooed on his heart. He now has the Colorado Avalanche.

At 49, soon to be 50, Jérôme Mésonéro won the Stanley Cup for the first time. He had a job in the shadows, that of an amateur recruiter for the Avalanche.

with old people

Mésonéro, former general manager of the Tigres de Victoriaville from 2005-2006 to 2013-2014, made the leap with Colorado in 2014-2015. For him it was a logical decision.

“My bond with this team is not only my job and my livelihood, it’s immense,” he recalled less than 48 hours after his team’s six-game win over the Tampa Lightning in the Finals. I couldn’t have had a better time to start my NHL career than finding myself with the Avalanche, the former Nordiques. »

Memories of Quebec

“I wasn’t in Tampa in Game 6, I stayed in Denver after the Game 5 loss. But we had a party in Denver on Monday when the players came back. We took turns taking the trophy. Before picking it up, I relived several memories. »

“When I was young I was a big Nordiques fan. There are ex-Nords who work as scouts with the Avalanche. Curtis Leschyshyn is a professional scout, Alexei Gusarov is an amateur scout, and Joe Sakic is our GM.

“I’ve already told the guys I remember their first game with the Nordiques at the Coliseum in Quebec and their last game in the playoffs with the Nordiques against Rangers. [de New York]. I was in the building for the Nordiques’ final NHL game at the Coliseum. Today I work with them. And today I won the cup with them. »

The peak of emotions

Mésonéro was still on cloud nine during his phone call The newspaper.

“I said that to my mother on Monday. I don’t know how high the emotions are, but I imagine it’s close to what I’m experiencing now. I was so happy when we won Game 6 in Tampa. I got to lift the trophy at our party in Colorado. If that isn’t the pinnacle of emotion, I don’t know what is. »

150 nights in the hotel

In his job as a recruiter, Mésonéro rests his head on a pillow in a hotel room as often as he does in his own home. He spends his autumns, winters and springs traveling from one arena to another checking out the best prospects in the QMJHL as well as elsewhere on the planet.

“I spoke to the other recruiters, there were eight of our staff at the party,” he said. We were just talking about the sacrifices we must make. It’s as if everything was suddenly erased. I don’t know if “victim” is the right word, but this job has its pitfalls. Yes, it’s exciting work, but it’s also demanding. They spend many nights in hotels, many nights in arenas and a lot of time in airports or in traffic. Today I no longer think about the travel fatigue. »

When asked if he knows how many nights he’s stayed in a hotel, he pauses to look at an app on his phone.

“I’ve stayed 126 nights at the hotel this year, only with the Marriott chain,” he replied. You can add another 30 with other chains. I would say 150 nights is a good number. »

Artturi Lehkonen, the last piece

While in his youth he marveled at Maurice Filion as general manager of the Nordiques, today Jérôme Mésonéro has great admiration for his boss at the Avalanche, Joe Sakic.

“Joe is a thorough man,” he replied. He built this team piece by piece with a well established plan. He navigated the salary cap restrictions. He did it with finesse. »

“The move for Artturi Lehkonen is a good move at the right time,” he continued. We needed him to complete our puzzle. And we had the pieces to lure him to Colorado. Lehkonen is our big acquisition. He scored the game-winning goal in Game 6 against Tampa, he also had the game-winning overtime goal in Game 4 of the Western Finals against Edmonton. »

“Carefully”

To get Lehkonen, Denver sacrificed a former 2020 first-round pick in defenseman Justin Barron and a 2024 second-round pick.

“When I say that Joe is meticulous, that’s a good example with the exchange of Lehkonen, stated Mésonéro. Artturi- had a phenomenal effect. »

  • Traditionally, the Stanley Cup will be visiting Quebec this summer accompanied by Samuel Girard and Nicolas Aubé-Kubel, but we don’t know any dates yet. Jérôme Mésonéro, Jean Martineau (Vice-President for Communications) and Daniel Laperrière (professional recruiter) also have links with the province of Belle.

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