In addition to school obligations, Shadow and light is the first book I read in my life. My fingers held me back, not fast enough to turn the pages I devoured. The pen of Georges-Hébert Germain was there at its best.
I met Guy Lafleur at best, he suspected. It was in Grandma Flore’s TV cabinet with lamps. I was 5 years old, I was dazzled by so much speed and beauty. The blond Demon, frank and conquering gaze, shaggy hair. This decamps to the wing, “along the fence” according to Gilles Tremblay. Then draws it. Powerful and precise shooting. The goal. Guy Guy Guy’s deep breathing, back to the bench. Then his smile. Then the goal… again and again… the goal.
Happy in a locker room
At the Grondin arena in Granby, alumni game. Three hours before the game, Guy was already in the locker room in overalls. Relaxed and happy. For Guy, a locker was a Lay-Z-Boy. He was there like in his living room. That day again, he flew over the ice. A good two hours after the match, Guy was still in the locker room. He carefully signed his name and his famous number 10. He had no time. He was happy and well.
What Guy Lafleur has done in people’s hearts cannot be explained. He is one of the three stars of the CH’s rich history. The last to reach the sky after Maurice and Monsieur Béliveau. Mike Bossy, Wayne Gretzky and Alex Ovechkin’s nine-season mark of 50 or better goals could very well have been Guy’s. Alas, he had to endure the purgatory imposed by Sam Pollock and Scotty Bowman for three long seasons. I still don’t understand why his center player and alleged friend Jacques Lemaire benched him in the early 1980s.
A free man is gone
If we understand that the locker room was Guy’s main house, we understand that he was more than the ultimate teammate. He was a brother among his brothers. The Canadian was his family, all his life. One of the last free men has just left. A good and devoted man. Invested in doing good as much as in telling the truth. Still. The notables do not like these genuine men of honor very much. Fortunately, they can do nothing against the heart that beats in each of the mere mortals. It allowed the ordinary world to love the imperfect Guy Lafleur with a love that was as deep as it was unconditional.
Seems that we must take advantage since it passes too quickly. Like the Ferrari in which Guy rode in the middle of the night when leaving Thursday’s after a drunken evening. Guy was sitting on the passenger side. Her boyfriend Gilles Villeneuve was driving. The other idol of a whole people wanted to show off the speed of his new mount. Gilles knew that at night the traffic lights were synchronized. He crossed Dorchester Boulevard on the same green. The two “Mohicans” sped from west to east, from Dorchester towards what became René-Lévesque. From what they never wanted to be to what they always were. Extraordinary ordinary men.
I believe that we, living, no longer have the weight. The Good God club is now much better. Guy can finally rest. I’m sure he will do it in peace. It can’t be otherwise when it comes to the idol of all idols. When it comes to an immortal. Hi Guy, thanks for everything. Your gin is in my freezer, just like you suggested. It’s going to be sweet to my throat and to my bruised heart tonight.