Tomorrow the 2009-2010 season begins and I feel as though I’m shifting gears just a little bit with this as lot’s of stuff is already brewing before the season has begun. But this was something that I wanted to write. I wanted to write this as a letter from a longtime Habs fan to a longtime Habs player.
Here’s my letter to you Mr Brisebois:
Through the years I can’t honestly tell you how many times I had watched you on the ice with the Canadiens, many many games and many many hours. I have been a Habs fan years before your arrival in Montreal and I will continue to be for years after your (recent) departure.
You’ve been a part of some very fond memories. You will always stay fixed in my mind as the “number 43″ who played on the 1993 Stanley Cup winning Montreal Canadiens team. I remember how the season finished on a bit of a low in the last games and in the first series you faced a tough challenge.
But somehow, you guys made it out of that series… and went on an incredible run of overtime wins. It was amazing to witness. I remember watching all those games, both alone with a TV and some with some friends… making pizza!
I practically followed your entire career.. with the Montreal Canadiens I was an avid fan and I would even glance to see how you were doing with the Avalanche for curiosities sake.
Your time in Montreal went from one extreme to the other. From the highs of being a champion with the Canadiens to the lows of playing on mediocre teams that eventually followed with the boobirds who would heckle you every chance they got.
Patrice, I was disgusted by the boo birds. Quite honestly. I’ll say though, I believe the fans should voice their displeasure at times… but the way all that went down was just disgusting to me. I was almost embarrassed.
Then a couple of years back you rejoined the Canadiens. It really surprised me as it had been just a couple of years earlier that Gainey sent the message out to the boo birds that they could stay home.
You shared in the highs of that season with one of the best teams in the NHL… and then the lows of last season, which seemed to blow up.
Patrice, one thing that I believe the Habs may have needed a bit more of was someone like you… and what I mean by that is that you had the Montreal Canadiens in your blood. Your desire to play for Montreal and help the Canadiens succeed…. you cared!
Looking on the internet, there are all kinds of comments…. positives and negatives. But you leave us with some important numbers in the history of the organisation.
You leave with the following as a Montreal Canadiens player:
896 games played for the Montreal Canadiens (11th all-time, 3rd among defensemen)
That’s 18 games less the Carbonneau and 6 games more then the great Doug Harvey. That’s also 896 games more then all the boo birds combined.
87 career goals for the Montreal Canadiens (5th among defensemen)
2 goals behind Georges Mantha and 11 more then the great Doug harvey… that’s also 87 more then all the boo birds combined.
284 career assists for the Montreal Canadiens (6th among defensemen)
284 more then all the boo birds combined!
1395 shots on goal for the Montreal Canadiens (3rd among defensemen, 13th all-time)
1395 more then all the boo birds combined!
And of course, you’ve had one of the greatest honors of being part of a Stanley Cup winning team with the Montreal Canadiens. Something that most people can only dream about.
As someone who’s watched you throughout your career, I just wanted to say thanks for your time, the passion you had to play for the Montreal Canadiens, your work… thanks for the memories.
All the best to you and your family in the future.
Who can resist hitting Darcy Tucker??? I mean ‘common!
Tribute video I found
1993 Stanley Cup champion Montreal Canadiens
And saying goodbye…
À la prochaine Patrice!