"A SPECIAL MOMENT" with Terry Sawchuk.
“A SPECIAL MOMENT!” with Terry Sawchuk.
Like most kids growing up in Québec, I loved hockey and the Montreal Canadiens. For as long as I can remember, I was fascinated with goalies. One of my favorites was Montreal Canadiens, Jacques Plante. But my real hero was Terry Sawchuk from the Detroit Red Wings. As I was learning to become a goalie, I admired him the most and imitated some of his style, his low crouch stance and the way he moved.
The movie “GOALIE”, about the life and career of Terry Sawchuk will be in theaters soon. It reminds me of my special encounter with the Hall of Fame goalie.
It was my first game at Madison Square Garden in New York. As a rookie for the Montreal Canadiens, playing in that iconic building was very exciting. But my biggest thrill that day, was playing opposite Terry Sawchuk. THAT WAS VERY SPECIAL!
The Rangers beat us 2-0 and Sawchuk played great. I was disappointed losing the game, but I felt that I also played well. The game could have gone either way.
In those days, at the end of the game, both teams left the ice from the same door at center ice. As I was stepping off the ice, Terry Sawchuk skated towards me. He tapped me on the butt with his stick and said: “Good game kid! Keep it up! You’ll do great in this league!” I still get “goosebumps” when I relive that moment. My “hero” had praised my performance! What a moment it was for a rookie trying to make his mark in the NHL!
That moment taught me a very important lesson. Throughout my career as a Pro Athlete, my relationship with people, with fans, has been very important. “A thoughtful gesture or an encouraging word can go a long way to inspire someone!” From experience, I know that it can have a big effect no matter how simple or insignificant I think it is. It can be a life changing event for some people like it was for me.