For me, when I meet a legend, it’s easy to think about his good moments. It’s easy to get caught up in his memories and moments. But it would be nice in 15 years, that the team we have here and the players to have memories that… people can look back on and see we won. [And now, a 24th Stanley Cup banner will hang from the rafters of the famous Forum in Montreal!] [The Canadiens win the Stanley Cup!] Nobody would believe that we would do this. And I guess nobody still believes that we’ve done it. Some of my obviously earliest memories were, you know, when they won the Cup in ’93. You know, they were obviously the last team in Canada to win, and I think I was eight at the time, and I knew at that time how much it, that team meant to the whole country of Canada. Well, I was always racing home, 4 o’clock games, watching Toronto-Montreal on Hockey Night in Canada. That was the big rivalry at the time. For me, it was the Saku Koivu years. It was during those years that I really started watching hockey, and I really got to know the Canadiens. And my biggest memory was when Saku came back from cancer. When I came to Montreal, the history was written all over the walls. Plus, all the legends, we had the chance to meet them too. Just Guy Carbonneau, I played a round of golf with him which was special for me. I had just arrived with the Canadiens and he was a former captain and coach here. Just to get the chance to have someone like him to talk to, to hear what it can be like to play in Montreal, was good. Yeah, I was going through kind of a rough patch early in my career, and I got to talk on the phone with Ken Dryden for a while. And it was a very cool and humbling experience to talk with him and it was special for him to to take the time out of his busy schedule, just to chat it up with me. This year I got to shake Cournoyer’s hand, and he came over to me, too. I didn’t even… He stared at me, and I was like, “oh… that’s kind of cool.” And he came right over, and we caught up a little bit. And his smile is amazing. I always get a little bit of a kick talking with Mr. Cournoyer. When he shows his 10 fingers and his 10 rings, and he tells you he had to retire because he ran out of fingers. There are so many legends that have played here, and it’s… You know, the opportunity to walk in that room and you know, shake Guy Lafleur’s hand… Yvan Cournoyer… All these guys, and the list goes on. It’s guys who have got five, ten Stanley Cups, just like it’s nothing. It’s an honor playing here, knowing the history, knowing the men who have worn the sweater before me. Looking up at the stands and seeing all those retired numbers. Probably the most powerful day was the day that Jean Beliveau passed. Our coach at the time, Michel Therrien, came in the room and just… He was trying to give us an understanding of how important the game meant to Montreal. And we came out and we were flat, and we took some criticism from the city, that game, that we didn’t play better for
Jean Beliveau. And as a younger player, I still didn’t really understand it. I still didn’t really get it, what it meant. And the funeral proceedings were going on, and that was when it really hit me as a young player, how much Jean Beliveau meant to this city and what he meant to the Montreal Canadiens, and the tradition going forward. I’m more focused on like, the whole history of the game. Like, the NHL itself and how much that is built on the Montreal Canadiens history. It’s like, you look at the… at all the Greek gods, and to me like… The Zeus of the Gods in the NHL is the Montreal Canadiens. It’s… I mean. It’s as simple as that.