Friday, 21 December 2012

Another photomatch for the Carbo gamer

Happened upon this photo tonight on eBay:


(photo source:  eBay/The Sporting News)

Yep, that's Guy wearing my jersey.  Not only is there a match to the green thread sewn into the "T" in "Stars," I took the jersey out of its case to match the black mark on the bottom.  The auction states that the photo was taken in 1996, so if that holds true, Guy wore the jersey during the latter half of the season.  Awesome stuff for me.  I gave the jersey a big hug upon discovering this, before returning it to its case.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Guy to appear at Toronto Sports Card Expo in May

2013 is the 20th anniversary of the Habs' 1993 Stanley Cup win, so it's fitting that members of that winning team would headline the three-day 2013 Toronto Sports Card Expo.  So far 13 members of the team have signed on to join coach Jacques Demers for autograph signings and photo opportunities during the event.  Along with Guy, Patrick Roy (the 1993 Conn Smythe winner) will be there; as well as Vincent Damphousse, Kirk Muller, and Mathieu Schneider.

More information on this event will become available in January.  (examiner.com)

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Guy et le doigt d'honneur*

It was in the spring of 1994 when Guy hit the golf course with Canadiens teammates Patrick Roy and Vincent Damphousse.  Three days before, the Bruins eliminated the reigning Stanley Cup champions in seven games in the first round of the playoffs.  Also on the Rosemere golf course was Normand Leveille, a photographer with Le Journal de Montreal, taking photos at a distance with a powerful telephoto lens.  Guy asked Leveille to stop.  Leveille didn't.  Finally, Guy had had enough.  The next morning, a photo ran on the front page of the paper:  Roy and Damphousse on either side of Guy, whose middle finger was raised.

The gesture was seen as Guy giving his middle finger to Montreal fans.  He assured the public that it had nothing to do with them and he merely wanted his privacy.  In the end, he issued an apology.  It was certainly not a shining moment in the life of Guy Carbonneau.

So it surprised me when I discovered recently in an old article that Carbo has this photo in his personal archives.  Surely he'd wish to forget that it ever happened -- after all, the end result was his trade to St. Louis for the unknown Jim Montgomery.  

Why does he keep it?  Here is his excerpted answer, translated from the French:

"Because it is a stage of my life.  It is not so much the photo but the content of the accompanying article that shocked me.  My reaction was interpreted as a gesture of disgust at the public.  Instead, it meant that the photographer did not belong there.  I regret having made this gesture, because I'm not that kind of person," Guy said, noting also that his wife Line also expressed surprise at his reaction to Leveille.  "The photo is not hanging on the wall at home, but it is part of my life."  (Le Journal de Montreal)

It was the trade to St. Louis that hurt Guy the most.  The photo was the widely accepted reason for the trade, but it was intended even before that due to the downward turn for the Habs in the 1993-94 season.  Also of note was the fact that general manager Serge Savard was trying to renegotiate Guy's contract and instead opted to unload it.  Many, including some of Guy's former teammates, felt that the Canadiens had made a big mistake.  Rejean Tremblay wrote:

"Carbo wasn't a superstar.  But he was the real thing.  Tough, stubborn, proud, capable of speaking his mind."

The next year, the Canadiens missed the playoffs for the first time in 25 years.



* Doigt d'honneur is the French term for the middle finger.  I have personally never seen the photo, though I once sent a Montreal friend (hi, Kathy!) on a wild goose chase in the library's microfilm archive to find it.  

Saturday, 8 December 2012

An item added to my wishlist & a lockout quote

This piece of Dallas Stars Stanley Cup memorabilia was brought to my attention recently:



(photo source:  Dallas Craigslist)

It's a "slice of the ice" from the Stars' 1999 Stanley Cup win -- taken from the ice of the Marine Midland Arena (now the First Niagara Center) in Buffalo, New York after the Stars' victory.  This is entirely too fabulous to me -- the ice (okay, water) from Guy's final Stanley Cup win.  So I pretty much decided that I have to have one of these and am now on the hunt.  I'll keep everyone posted.  :)

EDIT:  This post is becoming a hodgepodge but I had to add this, because it pertains to the era when Guy was playing.  I'm sure some of you will remember NHL on Fox and the dreaded FoxTrax.  Yes, those hockey pucks with LED sensors that were designed to streak across your TV screen with comet trails and other such ridiculousness.  Long a thing of the past, and apparently now the pucks are prized collector's items.  Go figure.

And with talks between the NHL and its players' association again at a standstill, I saw a quote published on Twitter on Thursday (when the talks broke down) in regards to another retired player that resonated with me, so I'll paraphrase the adapted version here:  Today is a day when I'm glad that Guy Carbonneau is long retired, so I don't have to worry about the lockout ending his career.  So true, so true.  Like just about every other NHL fan, I'm beyond frustrated with this lockout.  I wish the two sides would stop pointing fingers at each other and just get it done already.  The fans deserve that much. 

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Carbo to square off against Hockey's Greatest Stars

At the 2013 All-Star Classic which is to be held on Sunday, March 24, 2013 at the Bell Centre, Montreal Canadiens alumni -- including Guy -- will face off against some of the greatest NHL players from the '80s and '90s,  Coached by Guy Lafleur, the Habs alumni team includes Alex Kovalev, Chris Nilan, Chris Chelios, Vincent Damphousse, and Denis Savard.  The Greatest Stars team includes players such as Peter Stastny, Eric Lindros, Theo Fleury, and Ray Bourque.  Curtis Joseph is slated to be in goal for the team, which is being coached by Michel Bergeron and Jacques Demers.  (TSN)

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Carbo on selection committee of new RDS series

With the NHL lockout still in full swing, RDS, Quebec's 24-hour sports network and the French-language division of TSN, is about to take a look at at the greatest players ever to don the Montreal Canadiens uniform.  L'Ultime Classement will be a 11-part series on the franchise.  Guy is on a selection committee that also includes former Habs players P.J. Stock and Vincent Damphousse and journalists Bertrand Raymond, Michael Farber, and Pierre Houde.  In addition, hockey journalists representing the other Original Six cities were invited to participate. 

The series is slated to debut on January 7.  (The Windsor Star, via the Montreal Gazette)

Some filler for the blog this afternoon -- about jerseys

For about as long as I've been a hockey fan I've been interested in jerseys.  The very first hockey jersey I ever owned was not a Carbo jersey, but a Cam Neely Bruins jersey when I was ten.  (The SECOND hockey jersey I ever owned was a Carbo jersey.  ;)  Uniform designs fascinate me -- after all, the most recognizable aspect of a team other than its logo, is the uniform its players wear.

Which is why I recently got to thinking about the uniforms Guy has worn over the years.  Of course, the Canadiens' jerseys are second to none -- they're the most time-tested design in the league.  I don't even need a photo to illustrate, as I'm sure everyone reading this blog is familiar with Montreal's uniform designs.

The uniform Guy wore during his year in St. Louis was certainly eye-catching:



And the '90s Stars uniforms are ones after my own heart.  Dallas' current jerseys leave a lot to be desired -- in fact, I think they're among the most boring designs in the entire league.  (And why do they have DALLAS across the front of the sweater?  What is this, basketball?)  The team is currently looking at a redesign of its uniforms (good!) but in the meantime, let's look back at its most classic design:


(photo by Brad Amodeo)
  
And then there's the AHL.  The Nova Scotia Voyageurs' color scheme was the same as its parent club, the Habs -- red, white, and blue (bleu, blanc, et rouge).  Here's a 21-year old Guy in a 1981 roster photo:


But what's the worst jersey Guy ever wore?  I thought about it and I decided that it had to be the Sagueneens' first jersey that the team wore after the QMJHL franchise was awarded to Chicoutimi in 1973, which Guy also wore during his first two seasons with the Sags (1976-77 and 1977-78).

  
Not a favorite of mine.  But regardless, it deserves respect because Chicoutimi brought it back as a special event jersey in the 2010-11 season to honor Guy's friend and partner on the Sagueneens management team (and also former Chicoutimi player), Gervais Munger, who passed away tragically in a boating accident in the summer of 2010.  Here's Guy at the unveiling:


For more on the fascinating subject of jerseys, I recommend this blog:  Third String Goalie

Monday, 3 December 2012

Guy's 1984-85 Canadiens home jersey "interviewed" (from 2000)

Diane Lau is known in Carbo circles as the webmaster of the incomparable Guy tribute site A Tribute to Guy Carbonneau.  But from 1997 to 2001, she was also the publisher of a popular hockey humor blog (which actually came before blogging's time), Hockey Snacks.  Hosted by "Shinny," one of her fingers, the website took a comic look at the NHL.

I have obtained her permission to republish one of Hockey Snacks' features, which is probably one of the most adorable things I have ever read on the Internet.  In late 1999, Diane became the proud owner of Guy's 1984-85 Canadiens home jersey, which has been featured on this blog, and in March 2000 the jersey was taken to Dallas for a meeting with the man himself.  "Shinny" interviewed the jersey on this occasion, and the interview is now republished here in its entirety.  (With a new discovery for me:  apparently my black 1995-96 Dallas jersey is a boasty one!)

Part I:  The Interview
It is our honor and privilege to have with us today a retired hero of the NHL: Guy Carbonneau’s 1984-85 home Canadiens jersey, affectionately known around Hockey House as La Sainte Flanelle.
Q: For starters, LSF, could you explain your name to those of us who are French-impaired?
A: Certainement, Shinny. It is a tradition with the Canadiens to believe there is a certain magic about the Montreal sweater. The name, the holy flannel, is based on this idea. But as you see, at this point I am more of a holey flannel, tu comprends?
Q: You do have a bit of wear there, it’s true.
A: The right sleeve is a particular disaster.
Q: You must have seen quite a bit of rough stuff in your day. How have things changed in the league since you were on the ice?
A: It’s pretty different, Shinny. I watch the games now from my case here in the Hockey House living room and it’s amusing. It’s so hard these days for a man to get from one end of the ice to the other. Carbo could put on some speed in my day, and not just because he was younger. There was room!
Q: And you really got to play in every single home game?
A: I look like it, hein? Yes, they didn’t care so much for us to look good on TV, all clean and nice. Un blanc, un rouge, c’est tout. You got a tear, they mend it, out you go again next game. Doesn’t matter how many stitches!
Q: I only got three after that scrap with the bagel knife, but it was no picnic…I can’t imagine being under the needle as much as you have obviously been, LSF.
A: Ha! The Canadiens, we take it like a man! I don’t care, I just want to be out there playing.
Q: Speaking of, you had a pretty big event recently. Could you tell us about it?
A: Yes, after 16 years off the ice, I got to go to an NHL arena again! Actually, I got to be worn in an NHL arena again, even better.
Q: Well, I’m sure the Editor is flattered that someone such as yourself was happy to get worn by a non-player.
A: She doesn’t skate well, which is too bad, but she writes nice things about Carbo, so she is okay! So we went out to celebrate his 40th birthday, to the game at the new stadium in Chicago. The red sweater, he used to tell me stories about the other arenas, he liked Chicago Stadium a lot. Too bad I never got to go, but then he never played at the Forum and that’s really too bad!
Q: I never thought about what sort of relationship there might have been between you two.
A: The red sweaters were always cocky, they were the older design you know. They thought they were the "real" sweaters. And always in the promo shots, always on the hockey cards and team pictures. Me, I thought they were just trying to make up for not getting to play at the Forum. Le Rouge would always say to me, oh, you should see Maple Leaf Gardens, oh, you should hear the crowd at Chicago Stadium. I say back to him, okay, but the Ghosts of the Forum don’t know who you are, mon ami!
Q: Oh…low blow there, LSF!
A: He asked for it!
Q: So how was the arena?
A: Big, clean, like the new sweaters these days. Very nice, but not the same. But of course, it can’t be the same as when I played, things change, c’est la vie!
Q: Any improvements you see?
A: Two refs. It’s a good idea. You spear a sweater, you’re probably gonna go to the box.
Q: True. And how was the game?
A: I was glad to be there, but sad that my old friend was not! I remember how he was, it took a lot to keep him off the ice. But who can play in a cast? This man should be in a game on such an occasion, I know he was not happy.
Q: Pretty bad timing for that broken wrist, hey?
A: Only one good thing about it I can think of: it gives his right sleeve a rest. But I don’t believe it was such an accident, Shinny! You know how he did it?
Q: Caught his hand in Kirk Maltby’s jersey, I heard.
A: That jersey took him out!
Q: You mean, you think it was intentional?
A: It was a Red Wing jersey! I remember those guys. One time in a faceoff I got in a pissing match with one. He said the Habs were done winning Cups. Funny from him, the Wings stink in those days! I told him he looked like a pajama top.
Q: Uh-oh.
A: Well, what do you think? Anyway he was pissed. Later in the game he went after Carbo, just like that! Held his stick in the corner on a penalty kill. You gotta watch these guys, they’ll do anything to win.
Q: Man, it never occurred to me it was anything but an accident.
A: No, that sweater took him out!
Q: Okay, if you say so!
A: And if that crazy old red pajama top is reading this, hey, you, who won some Cups? You Red Wings had to wait till ’97, crazy P.J.s!
Q: I guess you jerseys are just as competitive as the players, eh LSF?
A: We have some pride, yeah. The sweaters of Les Glorieux, we know we are fortunate, red or white.
Q: Which reminds me, you share Hockey House with a game worn jersey of Guy’s from Dallas. How do you two get along?
A: Hey, he’s cool. I call him La Sainte Étoile, the holy star, he laughs at that. Any friend of Carbo’s is a friend of mine. Besides, we both have pretty messed up right sleeves! I made that joke when he first got here. He was a little nervous around me at first, Guy taught him some respect for La Sainte Flanelle, you know. But we hit it off fast, you know why?
Q: Why?
A: He told me how Carbo’s black Dallas sweater that played the last game at the Forum was boasting to him! Another cocky away sweater. It’s a problem all over the league.
Q: So the stay-at-home sweaters are a bit more humble?
A: Well, I couldn’t say that…we have our own problems. Home sweaters always get cheered, aways always get booed. I think that’s why they try to compensate with their boasting. It’s understandable. But we whites have to keep our heads, with all that praise all the time. We have a saying, "Nous ne sommes rien sans les hommes qui nous portent." We are nothing without the men who wear us.
Q: So true.
A: I was a lucky one. I remember the day they numbered me, you know it’s like draft day for us. There we are in a pile waiting for the seamstress, wondering, who am I gonna get? Will I be a forward, a defenceman, god, not a goalie? My turn came, I was shaking like a leaf—funny thing to be a leaf when you are a Hab, tu comprends? Ha, ha! So anyway, the seamstress has my numbers…and mon dieu, I see I will be vignt-et-un! A very long name, Carbonneau, but I don’t mind all the stitches. I like this new young penalty-killer they have playing with Captain Bob Gainey. I knew he would be one of the best. We got some points that year! Later the Selkes, the Cups, but we had fun that year, my year.
Q: Wish I could have seen it, LSF. Well, before I get any more weepy, tell me something. Did you have much of a problem in those days with pucks getting up in the uniforms? We’ve been noticing a lot of that lately.
A: These young pucks, they are always the same! But the sweaters were smaller then, it was harder for them to get where they shouldn’t go. I see that Patrick Roy, that one who started the year after me, he’s wearing a tent all the time. Just asking the pucks to all climb in. It’s a crazy thing.
Q: So, before we close, you have any wishes for your old friend on reaching 40 in the NHL?
A: Yes, yes—âllo, Carbo, I miss you, mon ami! Hey, retirement is not so great, I can tell you that…you shouldn’t stop playing till you look as bad as me. You get back out there and win some more hardware…and be nicer to your right sleeve, crazy man!

Part II:  Reunited


Carbo and LSF reunited (photo:  Brad Amodeo) 
Q: LSF, the residents of Hockey House have never seen you this happy!
A: Mon dieu, Shinny, I’m sure a happy sweater!
Q: Tell us what happened.
A: The Editor took us along to Dallas Stars practice, me and the Dallas jersey, La Sainte Étoile. She didn’t know if she would find the good man, but we had success! We were waiting for Guy to come out, and she was nerveuse, she took me out for a security blanket. I was afraid I might not survive until the arrival, but she didn’t squeeze me too tight!
Q: So, how did it feel to see your old teammate after all these years?
A: One look at him, I’m ready to play, mon ami! We watched him practice, he’s not so different from when he was 25! And he took so much time to visit with us, it was just like old times. The Editor got to hear all about the damage all over me, she was très excitée.
Q: Well, the Snacks staff has noticed she’s been rather excitée since getting back, that’s for sure. We keep having to remind her to breathe, stuff like that.
A: Ha ha! Hey, and it turns out that big rip down from the neck on La Sainte Étoile, he got that in a fight. All this time he never told us about that, but Carbo said so. How do you like that, our sweater from Dallas was in a fight!
Q: Not all Carbonneau jerseys can make that claim.
A: And we are really happy too, we have a new member joining our little company.
Q: Ah yes, you mean the stick which Guy gave the Editor, the Sher-Wood, who played with Carbo against Detroit on March 5.
A: I’m gonna ask Sherwood what he saw in that incident when Maltby’s sweater broke Guy’s wrist! Now we have a witness! He was right there!
Q: Uh…sure…but anyway, he should be great company for the other Hockey House Carbo stick, the 1988 Artis.
A: We call him "The Artis Formerly Known as Guy’s."
Q: Those two should get along swimmingly, just like you and La Sainte Étoile. I’m sure they’ll be taking faceoffs in the kitchen…
A: Speaking of L’Étoile, you should tell them about the mail we got.
Q: Ah yes. One of our readers wrote to us, questioning our statement that Guy’s black 95-96 Stars jersey bragged about playing in the last game at the Montreal Forum. Further research revealed that indeed, it was the white in that game.
A: Yes, that black jersey, he was pulling L’Étoile’s leg!  
Q: Or sleeve!
A: Again the away sweaters are always having the inferiority complex.
Q: So, LSF, what was the greatest moment of your reunion with M. Carbonneau?
A: Hard to say, hard to say, Shinny…but I am very proud he signed my fight strap. L’ Étoile, he hasn’t stopped smiling since his strap was signed.
Q: Pretty darn cool, LSF.
A: C’est encroyable, Shinny. C’est mon homme, that’s my man Carbo! Merci mille fois, Guy.

My thanks to Diane for allowing me to republish this piece!

More new videos

First off, another World Poker Tour video that features a soundbite from Guy:


Secondly, some wonderful videos from the 1993 playoffs have been posted.  Of course, the Canadiens, the Cup winners that year, will forever be remembered for their 10 consecutive overtime wins in the playoffs.  Two of those OT winning goals were scored by Carbo.  The first came on May 4, 1993 against Buffalo in the Adams Division final (video in French):



The second came on May 20, 1993 in the Wales Conference final against the New York Islanders (video also in French).




Sunday, 2 December 2012

Some memorabilia oddities, and Guy featured on Hockey Legends blog

Found this while surfing eBay:


Guy, of course, is at the top left -- it's a pretty good likeness!  I kind of miss the corny championship gear of the '90s.  They just don't make shirts like this anymore.

Also thinking of buying one of these for my own collection:


The reason for this is twofold -- of course, the Carbo connection; and I have a weakness for pop (I refuse to call it soda, I'm Canadian after all) ephemera.  I have a rather large pop bottle collection and not only is my computer room a shrine to Carbonneau, it also features some vintage pop advertising.  I don't know though, I think $6 might be a bit too much to pay for 13-year-old Coca-Cola.  ;)

Finally, the blog Greatest Hockey Legends has done a feature (after some encouragement by myself and some others on Twitter) on Guy and his hometown of Sept-Iles, Quebec.  You can read it here.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Some World Poker Tour videos.

First, Carbo in the shootout with Phil Kessel:


Next, L'Antichambre has done a wonderful feature on Carbo's poker experience last weekend (in French, though the dialogue at the poker table is in English).  I can't link/embed the videos directly but if you go to the L'Antichambre home page you can access the videos via the selection bar at the bottom of the page.

Enjoy!

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Carbo on the Forum closing; plus, a memorabilia update

Recently this blog mused about the arenas Guy played in.  Today, NHL.com published an article about the closing of the Montreal Forum with some choice quotes from Carbo.

"I felt really lucky at that time," said Carbonneau, the captain of the '93 team. "I was in Dallas and it just happened that the last game at the Forum was against the Dallas Stars.  We had a few guys who played in Montreal and it was definitely a date that was circled in the calendar. On top of that, the Montreal organization asked me if I wanted to switch jerseys after the game and come back on the ice and carry the torch. It was really a great day."

In collecting news, I recently broke down and bought a case for my Carbonneau game-worn jersey.  This purchase was spurred on because I wanted to have something to protect the jersey from my mother's cigarette smoke (she's working on quitting) and my curious orange kitten.  I ended up going with a case from Frozen Pond here in Ontario, which meant that luckily I didn't have to pay customs.

Here is the result:


It's not a hinged cabinet -- the front pops off if I wish to remove the jersey.  I also had room to place the photo of Guy wearing the jersey inside the frame.  And it's UV protective as well.  Overall, I'm very pleased.

And yes, I own a Coach Carbonneau bleacher creature.  Don't judge.  

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Before he was a star

Happened upon this in the archive of a Sept-Iles newspaper:


Yes, that is our Carbo at the left in the striped jacket, at the tender age of 15.  This photo pre-dates him even playing in the QMJHL!  (photo source:  L'Avenir Week-End, Sept-Iles, December 6, 1975)

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

The Guy Carbonneau FAQ

UPDATED December 1, 2015:

From the search terms that people use to find this blog, and from the questions Carbo himself gets asked, it appears that there are certain things people want to know about Guy.  It also occurs to me that some of the folks who wind up here are not as well-versed in Guy's career as I, and come to this blog looking for info.  For that reason, I have compiled a basic list of questions which I call the Carbonneau FAQ.

The Guy Carbonneau FAQ

I.  Personal

  1. How old is Guy?  Where was he born?  What is his family background? 
Guy was born in Sept-Iles, Quebec on March 18, 1960 to Charles-Aime Carbonneau and Mary Ferguson, the second of five children.

  1. Is he married?  Does he have any children? 
Guy has been married since 1981 to Line Boivin, a businesswoman.  They have two grown daughters, Anne-Marie and Kristina.

  1. But isn’t one of his daughters married to Brenden Morrow?  And they started dating when Morrow was Carbo’s teammate?  Boy, that must have been awkward! 
Yes, Anne-Marie has been married to former Stars captain, Brenden Morrow, since July 20, 2002.  They have three children together.  And yes, they started dating during the 1999-2000 season (Morrow’s rookie season, and Guy’s last).  To paraphrase Guy, all he heard at home was about Morrow, and all he heard in the locker room was about Anne-Marie, and while Morrow was apprehensive, Guy encouraged the rookie to talk to his daughter.  The rest, as they say, is history.


Guy, Anne-Marie, Line, and Kristina (photo credit:  La Semaine)


II.  Playing Career

  1. What position did he play?  Did he shoot left or right?  What about his height and weight? 
Carbo played center and shot right.  On hockey cards he is generally listed as being 5’11” and 185 pounds.

  1. What junior team did he play for? 
Guy played for the Chicoutimi Sagueneens of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League from 1976 to 1980.

  1. What NHL teams did he play for? 
The Montreal Canadiens, St. Louis Blues, and Dallas Stars.

  1. When was he drafted by the Canadiens? 
Guy was drafted on August 9, 1979 by Montreal in the 3rd round, 44th overall.

  1. But he paid his dues in the AHL, right?  What team did he play for there? 
Guy played for Montreal’s farm team at the time, the Nova Scotia Voyageurs, from 1980-82.

  1. When did he begin playing in the NHL? 
Guy made his debut on March 21, 1981 at the Montreal Forum against the Vancouver Canucks, but didn’t become a part of the Habs’ regular roster until the 1982-83 season.

  1. What was his career like as a junior? 
He had 182 points during his final year with Chicoutimi and has his number retired by the team.  That should tell the tale. 

  1. But he was a defensive forward in the NHL. 
Yes, he was asked by the Canadiens to become more defensive-minded and did so.

  1. What NHL awards did he win? 
Guy won the Frank J. Selke trophy (for best defensive forward) three times (1988, 1989 and 1992).

  1. What Stanley Cup teams did he play on? 
Guy won the Stanley Cup in 1986 and 1993 with the Canadiens, and 1999 with the Dallas Stars.  In addition, he was on two teams that lost in the Stanley Cup Final:  in 1989 with the Canadiens (who lost to the Calgary Flames) and 2000 with the Dallas Stars (who lost to the New Jersey Devils).

  1. Why did the Habs trade him?  And what’s the story about the finger photo anyway? 
The official story at the time was that the Canadiens needed to unload Guy’s contract.  And yes, Guy was caught on camera giving the finger at a golf course in Montreal in 1994 shortly after the Canadiens were eliminated from the playoffs, which ultimately made the front page of Le Journal de Montreal.  This was misinterpreted at the time as Guy giving the finger to Montreal fans (and many believe this was the reason for the trade), when in fact he simply wanted his privacy while playing golf and wanted the photographer to stop taking pictures.  Guy was traded to the St. Louis Blues on August 19, 1994 for Jim Montgomery.

  1. When was Guy traded to the Dallas Stars? 
Guy was traded to the Dallas Stars on October 2, 1995 for Paul Broten.

  1. How many regular season NHL games did Guy play in?  What about playoffs? 
Guy played in 1,318 regular season games, and 231 in the playoffs.  In fact, he only missed the playoffs once in his career (1996 with the Dallas Stars).

  1. How many points did he have? Goals? Assists? Penalty minutes? 
663 points –260 goals and 403 assists. He had 820 penalty minutes.

  1. When did he retire? 
At the end of the 1999-2000 season. His last game was on June 10, 2000, in which the Dallas Stars lost in the Cup Final to the New Jersey Devils in double OT.

  1. Was he ever named to any All-Star Teams? 
Guy was named to the QMJHL Second All-Star Team in 1980. He never appeared in an NHL All-Star Game during his playing career, but in 2009 he served as assistant coach to Claude Julien during the All-Star Game in Montreal.

  1. Did he ever represent Team Canada? 
During his playing career, no. He did coach the Canadian U-18 team in the World U-18 Championship in Belarus in 2010, and he also coached the Canadian men's hockey team at the Maccabi Games in Israel in July 2013, bringing home the gold medal!

  1. What other honours has Guy received? 
Guy is a member of the QMJHL Hall of Fame, and the QMJHL has also named an award after him (the Guy Carbonneau Trophy, which is presented annually to the league's best defensive forward). There is also an arena named after him in his hometown of Sept-Iles, Quebec. He is not yet a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame.


III.  Post-Playing Career

  1. What did he do after retiring from Dallas? 
He joined the Montreal Canadiens in the summer of 2000 as the director of youth development, but became an assistant coach under Michel Therrien in November 2000.  He served in that capacity until 2002 when he moved back to Dallas to work as assistant GM. 

  1. Didn’t the Stars place a one-year moratorium on his number being worn immediately after his retirement?  Have any teams retired his number?
Yes, that’s true.  However, #21 has been worn in Dallas since his retirement.  His number 21 is retired by the Chicoutimi Sagueneens, and it is this blog's opinion that it should be retired by the Montreal Canadiens as well (though that has not yet happened).

  1. When did he become head coach in Montreal? 
Claude Julien was fired by the Canadiens in January 2006.  Bob Gainey, the GM, then took over as interim head coach with Guy as assistant.  Guy took over as head coach in May 2006 and served in that capacity until being fired on March 9, 2009.

  1. Why was he fired by the Habs? 
No one seems to really know, not even Guy himself.

  1. But wasn’t he nominated for the Jack Adams Award for best NHL head coach?  How could he get fired right after that? 
Yes, in 2008 he was nominated for the Jack Adams Award but lost to Bruce Boudreau, who was then coach of the Washington Capitals.  And you tell me.  I honestly have no idea.

  1. What was his record as Montreal head coach? 
230-124-83-23.

  1. What did he do after being fired by the Habs? 
During the 2009-10 season he worked as an on-air analyst for CBC’s Hockey Night in CanadaIn 2010 he also coached Canada’s U-18 team in Belarus, and starred on a TVA reality show about hockey, La Serie Montreal-Quebec.  And for a few months in 2011 he was head coach of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens.

  1. What is he doing now? 
Since the 2010-11 season, Guy has been working as an on-air analyst for RDS (Reseau des Sports; Quebec’s 24-hour sports channel).  He appears during Montreal Canadiens games and on the sports discussion series, L’Antichambre.  Most recently, he served as coach of Team Canada at the Maccabi Games in Israel (July 2013), winning the men's hockey gold medal.

  1. But didn’t he have to have his hips replaced? 
Yes, because of the wear and tear of his playing career.  This occurred in 2008 and 2009.


IV.  Miscellaneous

  1. Did he really dent the Cup when he threw it off Vinnie Paul’s balcony? 
Somehow the Stanley Cup got dented after the Stars won it in 1999.  Vinnie Paul, drummer of the band Pantera, claims that Guy dented it when he threw it off his balcony during a celebration party at Paul’s house, intending for it to land in the swimming pool.  Carbo denies this story.  The official keepers of the Stanley Cup also say it is not true.

  1. Are Carbo and Bob Gainey still friends after Gainey fired him from the Habs? 
As far as I know, no.

  1. How many times did Guy break his nose? 
According to a 2010 interview with TSN's Michael Landsberg, Guy broke his nose four times during his playing career.

Monday, 26 November 2012

The ice he skated on

(warning:  this post will be image/media heavy)

I've been meaning to do a blog post about this for a while -- the NHL arenas Guy played in have always been of particular interest to me, especially those that he played his first NHL game in...and his last.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Guy at Playground Poker Club

As part of this weekend's World Poker Tour festivities in Montreal, Guy participated in a shootout challenge with the Leafs' Phil Kessel.  Guy was pitted against professional poker player Phil Laak.  





credit for images:  Twitter / @AceKicker_19 (first image) @BartsBytes (second image), CanadaPoker.com (third image)

Also, yesterday at the event Guy spoke with Diana Cox about his poker experience.  Have a listen here.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Carbo in rare PSA

Found this while surfing YouTube this evening.  It always delights me when new Carbonneau material gets posted, especially stuff from the early years.  This is a 1983 public service announcement for Grands Freres (Big Brothers), in Quebec.


Happy Thanksgiving to those in the USA who celebrate!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Another game for charity, Carbo on divers, Sags management change, and a personal aside

  • Held last Saturday, the eighth annual CN Hockey Greatest Stars challenge raised $350,000 for charity.  Guy was on a Canadiens alumni team alongside players such as Stephane Richer and Patrice Brisebois, and was coached by Guy Lafleur.  The Marie-Vincent Foundation, the Ted Nolan Foundation, and Big Brothers Big Sisters (Canada and U.S.) will each receive $75,000.  The remaining money will be divided among beneficiaries in Canada and the United States.  (link)
  • Guy was on the bench during a playoff game in June 1989 when his teammate Claude Lemieux lay on the ice without a visit from trainer Gaetan Lefebvre.  Pat Burns, the Canadiens' coach, stopped Lefebvre from going on the ice to teach Lemieux a lesson about diving.  According to the English translation of the article, Carbo said there was a time in his playing career when diving was popular but he never dared to question his teammates' dives and that the onus was on team management to enforce rules about diving.  When Guy became coach, he imposed no such limit but did speak to players such as Maxim Lapierre.  He did not think Lapierre was a diver, but that he talked too much and had to focus more on what he had to do on the ice.  (La Presse)
  • The team led by Guy has managed the Chicoutimi Sagueneens since the summer of 2000.  This past spring, the city of Saguenay issued a tender to see if any new managers would come forward.  Five groups came forward, showing interest to obtain management of the Sags.  After a process that lasted several months, the team led by ex-Sagueneens player Pierre-Marc Bouchard was successful, signing an agreement to lead the team for seven years.  (RDS)
  • And as an entirely personal aside, after four years of owning them I finally found a way to display my game-worn Carbonneau skates!  These prized items in my collection were just sitting on the floor while other useless junk was taking up precious wall space.  Ridiculous.  Anyway, I devised a way to hang them using cornice hooks from the hardware store and this is the end result.  Very pleased!  (These L-shaped hooks are also great for hanging game-used sticks, by the way.)  Also, I received an income tax receipt for the alumni game I attended on November 10, since the ticket purchase was a charitable donation.  What, I got to meet my hero and write it off on my income tax?  Is this real life?

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Another photo find

More vintage photos are popping up on eBay:


Here's Guy and coach Jacques Demers during practice on Great Western Forum ice in Inglewood, CA during the 1993 Stanley Cup Final between the Canadiens and the Los Angeles Kings.  Love Guy's Gretzky-style JOFA helmet!

(photo credit:  eBay/The Sporting News)

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Carbo and the '94 lockout

With talks between the NHL and its players' association at a standstill, let's go back in time eighteen years to the lockout of 1994.  It began on October 1, 1994 after a year of NHL hockey being played without a collective bargaining agreement.  The big issue was the implementation of a salary cap -- the owners were in favor of it while the players were opposed.

Guy was traded from Montreal to the St. Louis Blues on August 19 of that year, a move that stunned him.  Still, he found himself acting as the Blues' player representative for the NHLPA in negotiations with the league.  This role was not new to him -- he became the Canadiens' player representative in 1991 after Ryan Walter, the previous rep, was traded to Vancouver.

When the 1994 lockout was happening, Guy was quoted as saying that he wanted nothing more than to play hockey, but he'd rather be kept in the loop in negotiations than be left in the dark.  He also said of being a player representative with no formal education:

"It was really hard at the start.  There are so many things you have to remember, and I'm not an English (speaking) person, so there was a lot of vocabulary that I never heard of before. I got out of a few meetings with a headache. 
Now, it's a lot better. I understand a lot more. It's easier for me."

Guy also raised a few eyebrows at the time when he said of the NHL:  "I wonder why they don't ask Mike Keenan or guys who want to start the season."

When asked about the 1994-95 season being cancelled, Guy said:

"I don't think it'll be the end of hockey because you'll still have 650 of the best hockey players in the world, and we can do a lot of things.  If you have 26 owners without players, they're nobody...They have the contacts to bring the money in, but without us, they don't have the product to play and bring in that money.  We don't have (the contacts) now, but it could come. We can still play hockey without them. I hope that they realize that. I'm not going to make that much money, but there's still going to be hockey.  In what league and what form, it's really hard to say. A lot of ideas have been put on the table, but I don't want to talk about that. I want to wait a week or 10 days and see what their actions are going to be." 

The season wasn't cancelled, though -- the lockout was settled on January 11, 1995 and the season was shortened to 48 games.  Guy would play only one season in St. Louis before being traded to the Dallas Stars on the eve of the 1995-96 season for Paul Broten. 

(with quotes from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch; December 11, 1994)

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Small roundup

Here's a photo of Guy taken at Saturday's alumni game in Ottawa:


Photo source:  Facebook / Fondation franco-ontarienne

A few video links I found:  Here's Guy (in English) on why you shouldn't buy a counterfeit jersey (from last year's awareness campaign) and a brief Dallas Stars highlight video (the blood in that first shot!).  

Finally, here's a State of the 'Stache update, screencapped from RDS this evening:


As my friend Ron says, it's a pubestache with 36 years experience.

The first encounter.

Since I've recently posted about meeting Guy at the Match des Etoiles in Ottawa, I decided that I may as well do a write-up about the first time I met him.  Yes, the encounter on Saturday was actually my second time meeting him.  The first was in October of 2008 in Montreal.

I learned in the spring/summer of 2008 that the parking garage at the Bell Centre is a great place to meet Habs players after practices.  By then, I'd pretty much determined that I was going to try to meet Guy no matter what it took to do it, so I enlisted my friend Aisys (WordPress link), who'd been at the garage before, to help me.  Also involved were the Montreal contingent, Kathy (who writes the Drummondville Voltigeurs blog Seven Thousand Volts and also writes at AllHabs.net) and Alex.

We got to Montreal via Greyhound.  The bus happened to stop right outside the Bell Centre, which was rather convenient, so we headed straight to the garage.  Players spotted right away (the Habs were hosting the Bruins that night, it was the first home game of the season actually):  Phil Kessel, Cam Neely, and Aaron Ward (who was wearing his ENORMOUS Stanley Cup ring he'd won with the Hurricanes).    

It took a while for the Canadiens players to start exiting the garage, and by the time they did, there was a good amount of people waiting.  (Enough that security had to put up a barrier.)  Some of the players gunned it out of the garage, which I honestly couldn't blame them for because I'd been told that autograph seekers in Montreal can be crazy -- there've been stories of them chasing the players' cars down the street.  But many stopped to sign and take pictures.  I'd been forewarned that the coaches are the last to leave, so I braced myself for a long wait.

I was actually not paying attention when Carbo finally appeared.  I heard Aisys say "Lisa..." and then a huge swarm of people around Guy's car (a beautiful convertible).  First impression of Guy Carbonneau:  incredibly gracious.  I'm not kidding when I say there was a huge swarm, but he signed for everybody.  I had my Dallas Stars replica jersey for him to sign, which I handed to him quietly because honestly, how do you find words when your hero is right in front of you?


Guy signing my jersey (photo by Aisys Adona)

Through my absolute terror I asked for a picture, and Guy removed his sunglasses.  (I wonder how many players think to do that when asked for pictures.)  Aisys then took this photo:


Look at me.  I really do look terrified.  Furthermore than that, I don't have any piercings!  (I didn't begin to get really actively interested in body modification until 2009.)  I should note that the young woman next to Guy in the car is his daughter Kristina, and I couldn't help but think that it must be strange to have all this attention centered around your father.  The Carbonneau daughters grew up with it and I'm sure they're used to it, but still.

My impressions of Carbo from both encounters -- he's very kind and obliging but also very quiet.  Whereas the other alumni players on Saturday were quite chatty, Guy was over there doing his thing.  Which is in line with what I've read about him in the locker room.  Quietly leading.  Words are not his forte (unless you incur his wrath) -- he shows you what he can do.  Which, in turn, reminds me of myself.  I'm much the same way.  (Though I can be quite long-winded on this blog.)

I guess it can be seen as somewhat crazy that I travelled all the way to Montreal for an autograph and a picture, but it was something I wanted to do, and in the end I'm glad I did it.  We spent the rest of the day touring the city, ate lunch at St-Hubert (yum), visited the Bell Centre store (yikes are souvenirs ever expensive in Montreal), relaxed in a park (I won't tell you what I wrote on a park bench, though perhaps you can guess), almost got interviewed by CBC News (Aisys told the reporter in regards to me "she's a big Guy Carbonneau fan"), and then jumped on the subway to catch the bus back to Ottawa (it was interesting to watch the throngs of people in Habs jerseys come up from underground, on their way to that night's game).

The other thing I learned:  hockey is very serious business in Montreal.  Which was underscored later on in the season and the following March, when the Canadiens relieved Guy of his duties as coach.

So that's the story of the first encounter.  I would wait four years to meet him again, and four years has seemingly made a huge difference for both of us.  Guy went from coach to TV analyst, undergoing two hip surgeries which were necessitated by the wear and tear of his playing career; and I found my way out of a huge personal rut, losing my own father along the way.  (My father's thoughts on the first meeting at the time:  "You need your head examined."  Oh dear.)

Will there be a third time?  Who knows.  For now, I'm grateful for the first two.  

Monday, 12 November 2012

And we're going for the hat trick

Third post, then this is it for today, I promise.  You may notice that the blog has a new layout.  Yes, after doing this blog for over a year, I decided to give it something other than the basic Blogger layout.  

The header photo is by photographer Bob Fisher and originally appeared in the December 1986 issue of Les Canadiens.  (Note the then-new Stanley Cup ring on Guy's hand.)  Image edited by me.


A post that has nothing to do with Carbo

I hope the readership will forgive me for doing this, but I'm going to do an off-topic blog post.  Well, maybe it's sort of on-topic because it is about hockey.

There are very few current players that have managed to capture my imagination and my loyalty the way Guy has.  That is not to say that I don't love the current NHL (lockout aside), but I guess I just like the old guys.  One of the exceptions to this rule has been goaltender Pascal Leclaire.  Regulars to this blog will know that I am an Ottawa Senators fan, and Leclaire came to our team in 2009 when he was traded from the Columbus Blue Jackets for Antoine Vermette.  At the time I was furious -- Vermette was one of my favorites (and a player who I believe has a lot of parallels with Carbo).  But in time I warmed to the goalie.  I was struck by his personality and humility.  Those who have played with him have said that he's a great teammate.

Unfortunately, Leclaire battled injuries throughout his career and the expectations when he came to Ottawa were high.  The injury bug hit him again with the Senators and he never did live up to those expectations.  But I was still a fan anyway.  Being a goalie fan is tough -- goaltenders have so much responsibility and often are the first to get blamed after a loss.  I'll admit that I got into a few Twitter fights defending Leclaire.  

Tonight on L'Antichambre, Leclaire announced his retirement from hockey at the tender age of 30.  It's very sad -- he had such great potential, drafted 8th overall in 2001 by Columbus, but again, in the end the injuries were just too much.  As of last season (while rehabbing from hip surgery) he was working as a hockey analyst with Radio-Canada, the French language arm of the CBC.  I hope that he can continue his TV career, or perhaps even become a goaltending coach at some point.  (Edit:  per RDS, he is working as an agent, consulting with young players.)


Best of luck in your retirement, Pascal.  I'll miss you on the ice.

A brief update

Found this neat, short promo for Guy on RDS the other day.



Also, of course this blog is doing updates on Movember -- here's a good read from the blog Hab It Her Way on why the cause is so important.


Sunday, 11 November 2012

The blogger meets Guy

This afternoon I was fortunate enough to attend a Habs alumni game in Ottawa, at the University of Ottawa sports complex.  This event was sponsored by the Franco-Ontarienne foundation and Desjardins.  And yes, Guy was on the roster.  I feel so lucky to have now seen him play "in person," even if it was years after he retired from the NHL.  He may be older and he may perhaps be a little slower, but everything that Diane Lau wrote in her marvelous 1999 essay Carbonneau at Ice Level still holds true today.  The man is absolute magic on the ice.  It is quite easy to imagine him taking flight.

After the game, there was an after-party at the Draft sports pub, which is also located in the sports complex. This is Guy Carbonneau, after all, and I found myself needing a beer to shore up my confidence to talk to him.  (Fortunately refreshments were provided with the price of the ticket.)  I finally made my way to the table where the Habs alumni were signing autographs, got my program signed by the team, and made my move.  I asked Guy for a picture.

I was temporarily thwarted by a malfunctioning camera flash.  Oh no!  "The flash is not on!" said Carbo, attempting to instruct the person I'd enlisted to take the picture.  This man, kind soul, absolute class act that he is, patiently waited through FIVE failed pictures.  In a panic, I hit every button on my camera that I could possibly think of and finally got the damn thing working.  Then, Guy graciously stood for another picture.

Here is the result.


Yes, that is your blogger, complete with blue hair and piercings.  As for Guy, this post could also serve as a State of the 'Stache update as the Mo is coming along quite nicely.  I didn't mention the blog -- I thought that would possibly be overkill -- but I did shake Guy's hand and tell him that I was one of his biggest fans, which I'm sure he's heard a million times before but in my case I believe it is really true.

I wonder if he noticed my necklace.

As a final note on this encounter, while I was waiting in line someone gave Carbo an absolutely beautiful photo of him to sign, a black and white of him when he was quite young.  It's rare when I find a Carbonneau photo I haven't seen before.  I wish I'd thought to ask the person where they got it.

I'd like to thank the Franco-Ontarienne foundation and Desjardins for putting on such a great event.  It was a blast!  Thanks especially to Philippe who was so kind and helpful when I ordered the tickets.

Finally, from heroes on the ice to heroes who I believe are far more important -- today is Remembrance Day.  I capped off my day by attending Poppy Day at my local tattoo studio.  Please take a moment today to remember those who have served and who currently serve, who protect us and fight for our freedom.


Lest we forget.  (tattoo by Genevieve Soulard, The Wizzard's Den, Petawawa ON, Canada)