Hab at Heart – Rachid Badouri

Posted on 25 July 2014 | Comments Off

MONTREAL – Rachid Badouri has made his mark in every facet of the entertainment industry. Whether in theatre, television or film, Badouri has been successful at everything he’s undertaken. While he’s often on tour around Quebec, or entertaining folks in Europe, Badouri still manages to keep up with the Canadiens throughout the season. The canadiens.com crew caught up with the Quebec-based comedian to learn more about his love for the CH. Have you been a Canadiens fan for a long time? RACHID BADOURI: I’ve been a fan for a while. I remember the Stanley Cup win back in 1993 very well. I still had hair back then! (laughs) I celebrated a lot. We celebrated at the parade. I took a lot of pictures of players like Patrick Roy and Guy Carbonneau. Did you play hockey growing up? RB: Not really. My mom thought that I was too frail to play, so she enrolled me in basketball instead. Who was your favorite player growing up? Who is it now? RB: I really liked Patrick Roy at the time. Just like Ken Dryden before him, Patrick was the best goalie in the NHL. Not too long ago, they showed a few of his career highlights on TV. It’s crazy when you think about all that he accomplished. His amazing saves aren’t the only thing that make him a mythical character. There are just so many stories about what he accomplished. It’s a lot like Maurice Richard. Everyone remembers stories about him. Today, my guy, without a doubt, is P.K. Subban. I talk about him a lot during my show. Given your busy schedule, do you have time to attend Canadiens games at the Bell Centre? RB: I manage to get there because there are a lot of Saturday night games in Montreal. It’s harder during the week because I’m often away on tour. Let’s just say that I can’t put together an in-and-out trip between Montreal and Rouyn-Noranda to see a game. (laughs) Do you ever find yourself updating crowds on the score of a particular game during your shows? RB: Yes! We actually stopped one of my shows in Brossard to show the game live on the big screen. Everyone was nervous. The game was close. It was during the playoffs, and I saw people checking their cellphones all the time. You can’t get upset about them checking the score on their cellphone during a show. I asked one of my technicians to put the game on the big screen so everyone could see the end of the game. We put the sound on, and it’s amazing just how focused and quiet the crowd was! Which Canadiens player would make the best audience member? RB: I’d have to say P.K. Subban. I’ve read a lot about him and his time in Ontario. We’ve experienced a lot of the same things. His father was the principal of the school he attended, and his brothers were there with him. Like P.K., I didn’t necessarily experience racism growing up, but we were the target of the same types of jokes. Given that my jokes often allude to my father being very strict, and his father having to be strict in his own right as a principal, I think that P.K. would enjoy my jokes! Georges Laraque would also be a great audience member. I’ve become friends with him since he appeared on my television show. He attends my comedy shows and he laughs really, really hard! You’ve already pranked a friend of Georges Laraque for your show “Peut contenir de Rachid”. Which Canadiens player do you think would make the best accomplice to prank someone? RB: Michel Therrien. I’ve never seen anyone as calm as him, and it takes someone exactly like that to pull a prank on people. He’s in complete control even when times are tough during the season. It’s well-known that hockey players are pranksters. If you were a part of the team, what type of trick would you like to play on a teammate? RB: During practice, I’d pack a packet of ketchup in my glove and I’d start to get a little bit rough on the ice. After provoking a punch, I’d throw myself down on the ice and scream like I’d been mortally wounded. I’d try to leave the ice on a stretcher, and I’d wait at least a day before letting everyone know it was a joke. Interview conducted by Hugo Fontaine. Translated by Matt Cudzinowski.

An unforgettable experience

Posted on 25 July 2014 | Comments Off

BROSSARD – There was no shortage of excitement at the Bell Sports Complex over the past four weeks, as boys and girls at the Canadiens Hockey School honed their skills and met some of their hockey idols along the way. Over 600 Novice to Bantam level players from all over the world convened at the South Shore facility during the eighth annual summer program to develop all areas of their game, including skating, puck handling, shooting, and off-ice strength and conditioning. If the Canadiens Hockey School experience will forever hold a special place in the minds of kids on site, the same can be said for their parents, who couldn’t help but smile seeing their youngsters skate alongside the likes of P.K. Subban and Alex Galchenyuk as the program wrapped up another successful year on Friday. “I’m really impressed by the fact that the Canadiens players make time to participate. They have a great time on the ice with the kids. The instructors are great, too. They’re teaching them proper techniques, and correcting them when they need help,” mentioned Michel Dion, whose daughter, 11-year-old Mya, made the trip from Val-d’Or to attend the camp’s final week-long session. “It’s very special to see her skate with players like P.K. and Alex. I’m a hockey player myself, and even I get chills watching her out there with them.” The players themselves also walked away from the experience with plenty of good memories after making one child after another smile time and again. “Every time you have a chance to put a smile on a child’s face, it puts a smile on your face, too. It’s great to be able to participate in this type of program and have fun alongside the kids. I hope they remember these experiences for a while,” underlined Galchenyuk, who was taking part in Canadiens Hockey School festivities for a second time. “We take pictures with the kids, so you have to smile a lot. I’ll probably have some sore cheeks. But, it’s important to take good pictures so kids can put them on the wall at home. I might pout for a little while to give my cheeks a break,” added Galchenyuk with a laugh. “I never had the chance to participate in this type of camp when I was younger, but if I had the chance, I definitely would have gone. If I could’ve been in their shoes – or their skates, for that matter – I think it would’ve been an incredible experience.” Vincent Cauchy is a writer for canadiens.com. Translated by Matt Cudzinowski.

Canadiens agree to terms on a four-year contract with forward Lars Eller

Posted on 24 July 2014 | Comments Off

MONTREAL – General manager Marc Bergevin announced on Thursday that the Canadiens have agreed to terms on a four-year contract with forward Lars Eller through the 2017-18 campaign. “We are very pleased to have agreed upon a long term agreement with Lars Eller. He is an important part of our group of young veterans. He has a tremendous work ethic and a great attitude. He is the type of player you can rely on for his play at both ends of the rink,” offered Bergevin. “Lars can play big minutes against the opponents’ top players and still be an offensive threat. We are confident he will reach his full potential and become an impact player who will compete at a high level for many years to come.” In 77 games with the Canadiens in 2013-14, the Rødovre, Denmark native registered 26 points (12 goals, 14 assists). He tallied two goals on the power play, one while shorthanded and scored three game-winning goals. He led all Canadiens forwards with 130 hits and recorded 137 shots on goal, while averaging 15:57 of ice time per game. “I’m very happy to be a Canadien for the next four years. This is the place I want to be. Four years was a term that both sides were working on for quite some time,” offered Eller, who spoke to members of the media on a conference call from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport before boarding a flight back home to Denmark. “Many times, your salary and your expectations go hand-in-hand. I’ve seen that here in Montreal. But, I put a lot of pressure on myself, too. I think it also speaks to how much the organization believes in me. It’s nice to see that they’ve shown that faith in me. Now, it’s up to me to go out and play the best hockey that I can.” The 6’02’’ and 215 lbs centerman ranked second on the team with 13 points (5 goals, 8 assists) in 17 playoffs contests. He also finished second among all Canadiens with a plus-6 differential. “It was a very mixed season for me performance-wise. Certainly, my playoffs helped my situation. There’s no doubt about that,” admitted Eller. “But, this goes longer than just one playoff run. It’s a long-term relationship. I’ve been here for four years now. The whole management team knows me. We got to know each other well. They know what they have in me and I know what I have in them. It’s about more than just one playoff run or one regular season.” The 25-year-old has produced 103 points (45 goals, 58 assists) in 286 regular season contests since his NHL debut with the St. Louis Blues in 2009-10. He has scored six power play goals, three shorthanded tallies and eight winning goals. He shows 15 points (5 goals, 10 assists) in 25 playoff games. Eller was drafted by the Blues in the first round, 13th overall at the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. He was acquired, along with Ian Schultz, from St. Louis on June 17, 2010, in exchange for Jaroslav Halak. - canadiens.com

Bozon on comeback trail after life-threatening illness

Posted on 24 July 2014 | Comments Off

NHL.com - With 20 goals in his previous 22 games, Kootenay Ice forward Tim Bozon was playing so well that nobody paid much attention when his nose suddenly started bleeding during warm-ups for his Western Hockey League game against the Saskatoon Blades on Feb. 28. The Montreal Canadiens' third-round pick (No. 64) in the 2012 NHL Draft scored late in the first period to spark Kootenay's comeback from a two-goal deficit for a 4-2 win. The next morning Bozon was rushed to a hospital and placed in a medically induced coma. Five months removed from a bout with a severe form of meningitis, Bozon is returning to the ice with an eye on Canadiens training camp in September. "I'm feeling really good. I'm really close to being 100 percent like I was before," Bozon told NHL.com. "The most important thing for me was to be happy and to make sure I have a good mentality. It's coming back slowly. Every time I go on the ice I see the progress and that makes me happy." Following the win in Saskatoon, Bozon went to dinner with teammates before returning to his hotel. Still hungry, Bozon, then 19, and roommate Luke Philp ordered more food from room service when Bozon began complaining of headaches. Athletic therapist Cory Cameron suspected it was a migraine and gave him some medication. No one could have predicted what would happen next. "I spent some time with him and monitored him as he slept off and on and then made a decision around 7 a.m. that I needed to call an ambulance," Cameron said. "I knew he wasn't understanding what I was saying, he was kind of staring right through me. There was something strange going on. From all the medical professionals I spoke to, it definitely could have gone the other way in a hurry." Within minutes of arriving at Saskatoon Royal University Hospital, Bozon was intubated and machines were required to help him breathe. He woke up days later with no memory of what had happened; his parents, who flew to Saskatoon from their home in Switzerland, were by his side. Bozon was diagnosed with Neisseria meningitidis, listed in critical condition and spent the next four weeks in the hospital undergoing what doctors described as "aggressive treatment, including being in a coma." When he was discharged March 28, four days after his 20th birthday, his father, Philippe Bozon, who played parts of four seasons with the St. Louis Blues, choked back tears and credited Cameron with saving his son's life. "People can say, 'You did a great job and you saved his life.' But for the first 15-20 days he was in the hospital, we didn't know if I did save his life, because he still could have passed away," Cameron said. "That was a pretty stressful time." After 12 days in intensive care and almost a month in the hospital, Bozon lost close to 50 pounds and his voice was hoarse from surgery. He hoped to return to the ice at some point; however, his first task was to relearn some of the most basic aspects of daily life. "The first exercise was just walking, biking, but really slow. No cardio. Also some exercises to learn how to breathe properly again," Bozon said. "That was really frustrating. I wanted to go on the bike, I wanted to go on the treadmill, I wanted to do some bench press. But I couldn't even do that because they said you have to start relearning everything." After three weeks of low-impact rehab at his home in France, Bozon coordinated with Canadiens strength and conditioning coach Pierre Allard, who assigned him a workout regimen. From that point on, he was in constant contact with Allard and director of player development Martin Lapointe. Bozon documented his training extensively on Twitter and was on ice by June 5. Before his training began, Bozon was inspired by a phone conversation with Joel Bouchard, the president and general manager of the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. A veteran of 364 NHL games, Bouchard played after spinal meningitis almost killed him in 2000. "He's the main person for me in my rehab, because you can talk with your family and the doctors, but it's not the same," Bozon said. "He told me everything I wanted to know. When I talked to him, I had a big smile on my face even though I was in bad shape." The real test for Bozon will come July 31, when he plays his first game since that night in Saskatoon. Competing for France's Under-23 national team, he will travel to Ostrava, Czech Republic, to participate in a tournament against six teams from the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland. "It's really exciting. I'm pretty sure that when I play my first game I'm going to be emotional," he said. "To be back on the ice playing a game, being in game situations, with all the routines and rituals I do before games and during the game, I feel like I'm going to be emotional. I'm going to be really happy." It was Bozon who approached French hockey officials about playing in Ostrava. After conferring with Lapointe and Allard, he decided the tournament would be the perfect opportunity to gauge how ready he will be for Canadiens training camp a month later. Back up to his playing weight of 193 pounds, Bozon appears to have regained the quickness and hand speed that helped him score 105 goals and 231 points in 203 WHL games with Kootenay and the Kamloops Blazers. But there's still a ways to go. "I think his determination is going to take him wherever he wants to go. Since the day I met him, I know all he can think of is being a professional hockey player," said Cameron, who visited Bozon in France two weeks ago. "The road he's on right now is going to help him get there pretty quick. His determination and drive is probably higher than anyone I've ever seen." If he attends Montreal's training camp, Bozon will no doubt be asked about how far he's come in such a short time. The hope is his journey is just beginning. "It's a long story to tell, but I don't mind telling it. It's part of my life and something that happened," Bozon said. "The fact that I succeeded and I'm in shape right now, I'm proud of that." Author: Tal Pinchevsky | NHL.com Staff Writer

Simply brilliant

Posted on 23 July 2014 | Comments Off

MONTREAL – If many Canadiens fans weren’t familiar with Dustin Tokarski a few months ago, it’s safe to say they are now. After Carey Price was injured in Game 1 of the series against the New York Rangers, the general consensus was that the Canadiens’ chances of reaching the Stanley Cup Finals were slim. It was at that very moment that Tokarski made his presence felt, taking on the incredible challenge that came with filling in for Price, who was coming off the best season of his career both with the Canadiens and on the international stage, guiding Team Canada to a gold medal in Sochi in late February. The somewhat controversial decision to go with Tokarski ahead of veteran backup Peter Budaj paid dividends in the end, affording Michel Therrien’s troops the opportunity to keep their playoff hopes alive as the young netminder proved his worth against the Rangers. While the Canadiens failed to down the Blueshirts, who moved on to play the Los Angeles Kings in the Finals, Tokarski had no reason to be down on himself after posting a 2.60 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage in five games against New York. The 25-year-old Watson, SK native described the opportunity to compete in the postseason for the first time as a very enriching experience. “It was an incredible experience and a huge opportunity,” offered Tokarski. “It was amazing to get the chance to play in the playoffs, and a real honor to play for this team.” If we recall Tokarski’s standout efforts in the playoffs, we mustn’t overlook his body of work during the regular season. While the Canadiens didn’t call on him often, Tokarski still managed to make his mark by picking up two wins in two starts, including a shutout against the Sabres. While with the Bulldogs, Tokarski posted a 2.22 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage, which, interestingly enough, matched that of Price in 2013-14. The three-time All-Star didn’t hesitate to praise Tokarski once the season came to a close. “He did good work,” affirmed Price. “It’s one of the toughest situations a guy can find himself in and he really excelled. He showed everybody the reason why he’s been a winner at every level. He’s a great guy and I have to tip my cap to him. He did excellent work.” His playoff performances also impressed Montrealers, many of whom began wondering what the future had in store for Tokarski with the CH. Will he serve as Price’s backup next season? Will he head back down to Hamilton? Tokarski, however, isn’t thinking about that too much right now, but he does admit that Montreal is where he’d like to be in 2014-15. “It’s pretty easy to answer that question. I’d love to play in Montreal, but I’m going to focus on what I can control before next season,” confided Tokarski. “I’ll enjoy my summer, work hard, and then I’ll see what next year will bring. I’m not looking that far ahead right now. I’m living in the moment.” If the Rangers put an end to the Canadiens’ dream of claiming their first Stanley Cup title since 1993, they certainly didn’t rattle Tokarski, who moved closer and closer to achieving his ultimate goal of playing in the NHL. “We didn’t come out on top, but I learned a lot, and I’m excited to see what the future will bring,” mentioned Tokarski. “The goal is to play in the NHL. I was lucky to get the call during the season, and you have to be ready to go at any moment. It was a little bit crazy. At that time, I never thought I’d be suiting up for the Canadiens in the playoffs. It was a great experience.” One that ensured Dustin Tokarksi will be a household name no matter where he plays come October. Élise Robillard is a writer for canadiens.com. Translated by Matt Cudzinowski.

The Last Word: Gael Garcia Bernal

Posted on 22 July 2014 | Comments Off

Having made his on-screen debut at the tender age of one back home in Guadalajara, Mexico, before reaching full-blown heartthrob status during a stint starring in telenovelas as a teen, Gael Garcia Bernal has spent over three decades in the spotlight. Breaking out in the other two-thirds of North America thanks to his roles in Y Tu Mama Tambien and The Motorcycle Diaries, the 35-year-old is a rising star in Hollywood and recently served on the main competition jury at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. We caught up with the actor/director/producer during a stop in town for the Montreal Documentary Film Festival, where he took a break to take in a Habs game and discuss his love of all things bleu-blanc-rouge. You’ve been to Toronto before for TIFF, but was this your first time in Montreal? GAEL GARCIA BERNAL: This was my first time here. I like it a lot. A lot. I love the softness here. Even though it’s cold and might look harsh, there’s something soft about it. People know each other. It’s a friendly place. You speak quite a few languages. Have you had a chance to show off your French a little while you’ve been here? GGB: Un petit peu. (laughs) Ever been on the ice? GGB: It’s a real shame because with all the time I need to devote to acting, I think the Canadiens are missing out on a great, great forward. (laughs) If the coaches know I’m here, perhaps this could be my opportunity. I already have the jersey and that’s really all you need, right? I’m sure somebody can lend me some skates. Was this your first time at a hockey game? GGB: This was my first game and I hope to understand at least some of the rules. I don’t understand, for example, what a foul would be. They hit each other really badly, it seems. A good tip is if there’s ever blood, that’s usually a good sign it’s a penalty. GGB: (laughs) Perfect, so if there’s no blood, keep playing! You fight until someone puts his knee to the ground. I know the offside works a little like soccer, at least. You were featured in Nike’s Write the Future ad with Cristiano Ronaldo. Are you a big soccer fan? GGB: Huge. I absolutely love soccer. Cristiano is a beast. It’s like he has an extra vertebrae or something. He’s agile as hell and an amazing football player. I get so star-struck with athletes. Other than the Montreal Canadiens, what’s your favorite pro sports team? GGB: In football, my team is Pumas from Mexico City, but they were absolutely awful last year. I know this isn’t how sports works, but sometimes losing can be good because it makes you better. At least that’s what I tell myself when the team is as bad as it was. In baseball, I grew up liking the Dodgers. Y Tu Mama Tambien is one of those rare foreign films that found critical and commercial success in North America under its original title. Were you surprised to see how well-received it was? GGB: I was very surprised. It followed the trend where many films weren’t translated to English for their North American release. I think it’s just a sign of the times we’re living in. More and more people speak Spanish in the United States and even in Canada. There’s more space here for different cultures to flourish, and it makes for an interesting mosaic. You also starred alongside Will Ferrell in Casa de Mi Padre last year. Were you surprised to see Will sign on to do a movie entirely in Spanish? GGB: I thought there was something weird going on like a missed translation, like, ‘Really? Is he going to act in Spanish?’ He actually speaks Spanish really well. We laughed about how he was looking to cross over into Spanish-speaking roles and start starring in movies in Columbia and Argentina. He’s been called for many Spanish soap operas since then, and he’s been turning them all down. (laughs) How hard did you push to make a cameo in Anchorman 2? GGB: The bastard didn’t call me! (laughs) I have to talk to him about that. I could have been the token Spanish-speaking guy! You’ve been on camera since you were a year old and you’ve managed to transition from child star to a critically-acclaimed actor while avoiding tabloids and the circus that often comes with it. If you could give some advice to the Miley Cyrus’ of the world, what would you say? GGB: Ok, yes, I do have some advice. I took it as it was: a fun experience. I had one of the best times of my life, but it was about the journey. I never left school – I kept doing normal things, living a normal life. Back in those days, there wasn’t social media or TMZ or anything, so I don’t know if that’s still possible, but it’s just about taking it as it comes. Have you been hounded by paparazzi since coming to North America? GGB: A little bit, but I’m fortunate because they follow me to the supermarket to buy diapers. They get really bored with me really fast. That’s the real secret: what I do underground, stays underground! (laughs) Catch Gael in Jon Stewart’s directorial debut Rosewater, set to hit theaters in 2014, and keep up with him in real-time on Twitter, @GaelGarciaB. This article, written by Shauna Denis, was published in CANADIENS magazine Vol. 28 No. 5.

Mount Rushmore – Alex Galchenyuk

Posted on 21 July 2014 | Comments Off

If you could sculpt your own Mount Rushmore, what famous faces would you chisel into the iconic rock face? We asked Alex Galchenyuk that very question... Alexander Galchenyuk Sr. He played hockey. I always looked up to him. He helped me a lot growing up. He always told me to be myself. Michael Jordan I always admired how hard he worked and how confident he was in his abilities. When he was in a certain zone, he knew how to make those clutch plays. I just enjoyed watching that. Floyd Mayweather People always judge him based on his lifestyle, but I like to focus on his boxing ability and what he’s done in the ring. Sometimes lifestyle overshadows hard work. The way he trains is unbelievable. He’s just so sharp. Wayne Gretzky He’s the greatest hockey player of all time. He made unbelievable plays, and he was just so much smarter than everyone else on the ice. He had great hockey sense, and he was just so quick and mobile up and down the rink. He was spectacular.

Canadiens sign first round pick Nikita Scherbak to a three-year contract

Posted on 21 July 2014 | Comments Off

MONTREAL (July 21, 2014) – Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin, announced today the signing of 2014 first round pick Nikita Scherbak to a three-year, entry level contract (2014-15 to 2016-17). In 65 regular season games with the WHL Saskatoon Blades in 2013-14, the 6’2’’ and 189 lbs forward collected 78 points (28 goals, 50 assists), and was assessed 46 penalty minutes. Scherbak led his team in goals, assists and points (35 points ahead of the team’s runner-up in scoring), as well as powerplay goals (8). He also led all WHL rookies in scoring by a 19-point margin. Scherbak was the WHL Eastern Conference finalist for Rookie of the Year. A native of Moscow, Russia, Scherbak played for Team Russia in the 2013 Subway Super Series – playing for the first time on the international stage while representing his country. He also participated in the 2014 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. Prior to joining the Blades, Scherbak played in the Russian MHL U-22 League with the Kapitan Stupino team, posting seven goals and 14 points as a 16-year old in 2012-13. The 18-year old right winger was selected in the first round, 26th overall by the Canadiens at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. He participated in his first development camp with the Canadiens earlier this month.

Hab at Heart – Jay Baruchel

Posted on 19 July 2014 | Comments Off

MONTREAL – If you followed Jay Baruchel’s career over the last few years, two things stand out : his outstanding sense of humour and his unwavering allegiance to the Montreal Canadiens. Whether it be on movie sets in Hollywood or on Twitter, the NDG resident proudly sports the bleu-blanc-rouge through both good and bad. The canadiens.com crew met up with the Montreal-based actor to learn more about his love for all things CH. How long have you been a Habs fan? JAY BARUCHEL: That’s like asking someone how long they’ve been Jewish or Catholic. Basically, my whole life. And, I use those two examples because my mom is Catholic and my dad is Jewish, but the only thing I was, was a Habs fan. Even when my family moved to Oshawa, ON, just outside of Toronto, when I was five-years-old, I was still wearing Habs gear at school every day. My dad painted my whole room bleu-blanc-rouge. We represented Montreal the whole time we were in Ontario before we came back here in 1994, the year after the Cup, which was a pretty decent time to come back home. Even in high school, I might’ve been more interested in other stuff, but the Habs have always been a part of my life in some capacity. So you remember the 1993 Cup run? JB: Vaguely. I was nine-years-old. But to be perfectly honest, the thing I remember the most after we won the Cup is my dad being really, really hammered! (laughs) He was screaming and annoying everyone in Oshawa and Kingston. We didn’t hide it. He would drive through the streets and roll down the windows of his car and sing ‘Les Canadiens, les Canadiens, sont là!” Montrealers aren’t really subtle people! What’s your fondest Habs memory? JB: For me, in my generation, we lived through the Cups, but they weren’t a part of our lives. Our Habs are Saku Koivu’s teams. Personally, when Saku came back from cancer after being away for so long, I’ll always remember that ovation and him at center ice. That’s heavy duty. People can say whatever they want about him, but Saku Koivu is my captain. I watched him for more than a decade. What he meant to this team, to this city, it’s unbelievable. I remember being at the Bell Centre when he got hit in the eye by Justin Williams [in the 2006 playoffs]. I’ll never forget it for as long as I live. It’s hard when I go down to L.A. and hang out with my friends who are Kings fans and everybody loves Justin Williams out there! (laughs) Have you ever dreamed about one day suiting up for the Habs? Did you ever play hockey as a kid? JB: I wasn’t playing particularly well! (laughs) I was never a good skater. I played a lot of street hockey. The only organized sports I’ve ever played was softball when I was a kid. Even though you’re in and out of town throughout the year, do you have time to swing by the Bell Centre occasionally for a game? JB: I do, indeed. Actually I used to be a season ticket holder for two years. But, to be perfectly honest, I don’t really enjoy being in a big crowd of people. It’s not really my thing. If I can watch a game at my place in my pajama with my friends over, it’s awesome. That being said, there hasn’t been a year where I haven’t been to at least three games at the Bell Centre. We’ve seen you attending some L.A. Kings games the last couple of years, including some playoff games. How does the atmosphere at the Staples Center compare to the one at the Bell Centre? JB: I don’t want to be disrespectful to the people going to the Staples Center, but it doesn’t compare. I have some really good friends of mine who are die-hard Kings fans. They really love their team. Good or bad, they always watch them and support them. Unfortunately, they’re in the minority. For the most part, the Staples Center makes the Air Canada Centre look like the Bell Centre. It’s a really corporate place and there aren’t a ton of seats for regular people. That’s one of the most beautiful things about the Bell Centre. Other than being the biggest arena in hockey, it’s also the people’s arena. The biggest thing is, in Montreal, people will cheer when the Habs clear the puck while killing a penalty. (laughs) The fans are so hockey savvy. You’re born in Ottawa, but you were been raised and still live in Montreal. Have people from the Nation’s Capital tried to lure you to join the Sens Army over the years? JB: Absolutely not. Let’s be honest, there really isn’t a Sens Army! (laughs) I can tolerate chirping from Bruins fans and Leafs fans all day long. They’ve earned the right to do it. When people from Ottawa or Vancouver try that, it’s not the same thing at all! (laughs) We’ve seen you showing your Habs pride on many movie sets. Do a lot of the people in the industry know where the CH logo comes from and what it means? JB: The smart ones do! (laughs) Every once in a while I’ll have someone say to me ‘Oh, you’re from Chicago’, because of the CH on my shirt! I’m confused because this symbol is over a century old. It’s a global, international symbol. One of my favorite things is wearing it and connecting with people when I’m abroad. I’ll never forget being on the other side of the world in Sydney, Australia, walking through a park wearing my Habs hat and this dude came out of a corner and just said to me ‘Go Habs Go’. You can’t get further away from Montreal than Australia and two complete strangers in a park managed to say Go Habs Go. Seann William Scott once told us that you tried to convert him into a Habs fan while filming Goon together. Is it something you try to do every time you’re involved in a new project? JB: Of course! (laughs) And, it worked! When people are just casual fans or not hockey fans at all and they watch a Habs game with me, they’ll see me go crazy! I try to educate them on the fly between whistles. Interview conducted by Hugo Fontaine.

Abducted by Aliens – P.K. Subban

Posted on 15 July 2014 | Comments Off

It’s no secret P.K. Subban possesses otherworldly-level talents, so we like to imagine his sweet dangles and spin-o-ramas have made headlines even in foreign galaxies. We told the 24-year-old Norris Trophy-winner that in 24 hours, aliens were plotting to snatch him away to help them gain an edge in their future faceoffs against evil. We assume Subban believed us, because he answered our questions about his final day on planet Earth. The last book you’d read: You wouldn’t have time to read a book, so that would be the last thing I’d be thinking about. But, if I had to read one thing, I’d probably read a passage from the Bible. The last movie you’d watch: I’d probably just take it with me and watch it in whatever spaceship I’m going to whatever planet I’m going to. I’d probably bring Wedding Crashers, Anchorman, The Usual Suspects and Rush Hour. If I had to pick just one, I’d say the first Rush Hour for sure. I think Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan are the best couple of actors to do a movie. They just really complement each other well. One destination you’d wish you had visited: The Great Wall of China. It’s a long way away, and it’s unique. I think Asia is so advanced in its technology and its way of living. I would definitely like to go over there and pick up a few things to help better myself and how I live and how I eat. I think you can really learn a different lifestyle out there. The last meal you’d like to eat: I’d probably eat my mom’s chocolate chip pancakes. Get those in you for sure! The last song you’d like to hear: “The Final Countdown” by Europe. Just go with the flow. You know they’re shutting it down. The thing you’d be happiest to never do again: Clean my room. The author you’d commission to write your biography: I’d have to pick Tim Grover because I like the book he just wrote about Kobe Bryant and Dwayne Wade and Michael Jordan [Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable]. I thought it was pretty cool. The one thing you’d take with you: If I could take one thing with me, I’d take Beyonce. The gift you’d offer up to your abductors: I’d probably offer them Beyonce. The alien translator you’d use to communicate with your abductors: I think it would be Donald Trump because I figure he would know some way to communicate with them. The guy is one of the richest people in the world and he seems to be well-connected. Words of wisdom you’d leave behind for future generations: “Get out while you can!” Good luck, P.K.!

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