Monday, May 31, 2010

Montreal Is Still Hockey Town.

Montréal is Hockey town. Even more so this year as the City’s beloved Canadiens (the Habs) came so close to reaching the Stanley Cup finals, against all odds & pundits’ predictions. Tourisme Montréal asked a few Montrealers to write about their affinities for Hockey & their meaning of the game. You’ll find the edited version of my text here. But here’s the original one:

The Habs & I.

In 1974, my uncle Alix named his son Gilbert, after Buffalo Sabres’ Gilbert Perreault, then his favourite player. For immigrants, hockey has always been one of the ways to integrate Canadian society. Born in Trois-Rivieres, I grew up oscillating between the Nordiques and the Canadiens, and then switched to a full allegiance to the Habs. My favourite images are those of seeing kids of 2nd, 3rd or even 4th generation of immigrants sporting Habs' jerseys. It gets me every single time.

I love how the Habs bring the City together: it has a Futbol World Cup feel. In pubs, in basements or over Twitter, we rally behind our tricolour team, ignoring what might otherwise differentiate us under other circumstances. It doesn’t matter whether or not you follow sports: you must respect & recognize the Montreal Canadiens as a dynasty and pray to God, Allah or Buddha, that we bring home this year, our 25th Stanley Cup.

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