It’s the holidays, Christmas movies, fantastic tales, happy legends. This is real, real. The story of a man whose name you have often heard without really knowing who was … Georges Vézina.
He didn’t like school. As a teenager, he became a baker like his father. Georges loved to play hockey and keep goals on the rinks or in the streets of Chicoutimi. It was before 1910, the goalies were not allowed to throw themselves on the ground, prohibition to catch the puck with the hands and the goaler could not immobilize the disc either. Vézina held his staff in both hands, he played in boots, he had no leggings, but he stuffed his pants with fabrics. He was over 16 when he started skating. All the other young goalkeepers wanted to copy his unique style. Both lively as a cat and Olympian calm, he was fantastic.
The legend took on its full meaning in February 1910 when the powerful professional team of the Canadiens and their stars came to play an exhibition game against an amateur club in Chicoutimi. Everyone was amazed, and for weeks, we would hear only one name: that of Goerges Vézina who repelled all the attacks of the big club, giving the victory incredibly to the local team. It was beyond comprehension.
Less than a year later, we went to find Georges Vézina in his hometown and, at a rate of $ 800 per season, he signed his first contract with the Montreal Canadiens. The world of hockey will then be enriched by a man of exceptional talent, with a sober, modest attitude, a brave and determined athlete. He will keep the goals 328 times without missing a single game. Six times, he won the title of the best goalkeeper on the circuit, he won two Stanley Cups. He was the first goalie in history to achieve a shutout, the first to collect an assist on a goal.
THE HORRID END
Fall 1925, Georges arrives at training camp, but he does not run. He has lost over 30 pounds and is frequently feverish. He persists, insists and wants to be in front of his goal for the inaugural game of the season at the Forum against the new team of the Pittsbrugh Pirates.
In the first period, he vomits blood. During intermission, he will lose consciousness and again, on the ice this time, in the second period. We’ll take him to the hospital.
A few weeks later, Georges returned to the locker room to announce to his teammates that he would never see them again, being so severely affected by tuberculosis. He was crying and he asked to be given his sweater. He returned to Chicoutimi where he died on March 27. He was only 39 years old. That year, the Canadian finished last.
From the enclave
- The LNH just crossed the number of 8000 players registered in the registers since its foundation. Ten percent are goaltenders.
- On these 810 goalkeepers in the history of the circuit, only 96 were catching or catching from the right.
- Since the start of the NHL Draft (1963), only 55 goalkeepers were first-round picks including … Carey Price.
- One of the smallest goaltenders in NHL history was Darren Pang | (Chicago) at 5 ft and 4 in.
Ben Bishop of the Dallas Stars is the tallest goaltender to work on the circuit at 6’7 ”.
- Sure 8002 skaters and goalkeepers, 5286 throw or catch from the left. So 67% of the players.
- Jacques Martin is going to work with the New York Rangers. His ninth team in the NHL. Jacques, Franco-Ontarian, has been in the circuit for 3 decades.
- Happy Birthday Paul Stastny, 35 years. According to my sources, he is the last player in the NHL to have used a wooden stick. It was a Sherwood.
- Are there more or less snowmobilers on the slopes during the 2020 holiday season? Be extra careful, because 24 people lost their lives on a snowmobile last year in Quebec. Very important before going into the forest: do not forget to check if your refreshment points are open.