And then there was one...

I've been trying for a few days to say something about Patrice Brisebois retiring. I know he was not the most popular player in Montreal and many people were happy to see him retire. For me, it was sad. I liked Patrice, as I mentioned back in March when he played his 1,000th game. I always thought that, considering the situation he was in, he handled himself very well. I won't go to far into praising him, as I'm not privy to a lot of what goes on in Montreal. The language barrier is one thing, also the fact and fiction rolls so seamlessly there that I never know what to believe anyway. But at least publicly, he seemed for the most part to carry himself well. He was took a lot of criticism and outright disrespect aimed towards him and still remained to be positive and appreciative. He was booed every time he touched the puck, but he still said how much he loved Montreal and how much of an honor it was to play for his home team. He was lucky and he knew it. And despite exaggerated and unfair vitriol directed to him by "fans" and the media, he came back to Montreal. In a world where Sergei Kostitsyn demands a trade because he was demoted to the minors and Dany Heatley demands a trade because his "role" was reduced (and then turns a trade down because it wasn't where he wanted to go), Patrice Brisebois... well, Kostitsyn and Heatley may have been born with more talent, but they aren't fit enough men to hold Treesy's1 game worn underwear.

I wish Patrice all the luck and good fortune in the world in whatever lies ahead for him next. He's hoping to devote more time to auto racing and maybe working in hockey in another capacity. He'll have more time to spend with his lovely wife, Michèle, and their daughters, Alexandra-Caroline and Patricia-Rose. My lose is their gain. I'll miss him, but he's on his way to a new chapter. And as they say... one chapter ends and another begins, and often that chapter is better than the previous.

Another thing about his retirement that hit me kind of hard: Mathieu is now the last member of the 1993 Stanley Cup winning team still playing in the NHL. That pulls at the heart strings a bit. Wow. Wow.

1 When Mathieu retires, I'll reveal my nickname for him. It remains just between my friends and I until then.

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