Friday, February 5, 2016


There are 30 games left in the regular season. The Canadiens are mired in one of the biggest slumps in team History. What would you tell the team if you could address them for a few minutes...

Do not ask if you’ve had a good game.

People will tell you that you’re walking in the footsteps of Béliveau.

You’re not.

They’ll say the torch you carry which is yours to hold high defines you.

It doesn’t.

They’ll say you have to win because you’re wearing the jersey.

It isn’t true.

You want to win?

Forget the city, the fans, the jersey, the legends, the history. Forget that.

You want to win?

Think of you. Who you are, where you come from, who raised you, who you were raised with. Who you share your life with, who you raise today.

Think of that. That’s where you are. That’s where you’ll find the win.

Because it isn’t the city, the torch, or the legends that got you here.

And getting here is such an achievement, isn’t it.

Think about that. You’re here. You’re in this room. Together.

How did you get here? Was it all luck, good fortune, good genes?

Or was it all you, where you come from, who loves you, who you love and who you are.

Because you are special, aren’t you. It’s why you’re here. What you do is special and how you do it is extraordinary.

Go there.

Go to who helped make it possible. What you are capable of. The sacrifices you’ve made. The pain you’ve endured. The sadness in losing. The overcoming. Your story is built on a series of accomplishments and setbacks.

You’re in a setback. You’re here now. You’re writing your pages. In that book with the wins and the losses, the accomplishments and the setbacks. You’re more than this setback, aren’t you. It’s actually such a short part of the story, isn’t it.

Do not ask if you’ve had a good game.

Go to how you became who you are. Go to the dark bedroom in the early morning before practice. Go to the quiet drives to the rink with your parents. Go to the fear of your first important game, your first playoff game, the first game of every season. Go to the times you discussed with your family if you could all sustain this life.

Do not ask if you’ve had a good game.

Go to your children. Think about the wonder that they are and how blessed you are to have them. Go to the notion that some of your biggest achievements on the ice have been dwarfed by the most insignificant things your children have done. Feel your pride in that. Reward yourself for who you are and what you have accomplished and step on the ice every time in comfort of that truth.

Do not ask if you’ve had a good game.

You want to win? Be who you are. Be unafraid. Because you are from everyone who loves you – you are from Mom, Dad, brother, sister, family, friend, son, daughter, life partner. That is a formidable source of the self. It’s impenetrable. They are unafraid in their commitment to you. Be that to yourself.

The results are secondary. Playing unafraid, uncompromising – that’s where you will find your win. The results will come. They’re aren’t magically handed to you through the torch. The aren’t bequeathed to you by the daunting stare of the Rocket on an antique photo.

Think of the real footsteps you’re walking in. You are here because people before and now believe in you. They love you, they won’t love you an ounce more if you win by 5 or an ounce less if you lose by 10. They stand by you unconditionally.

Be unconditional. Believe in yourself unconditionally and extend that to everyone in this room. Because you all share this similar, if not altogether improbable story. Look at each other, unconditionally. You’re all here. Together. And it’s amazing.

Do not ask if you’ve had a good game. Drive your own story, believe in your history, believe in that - it's you, isn't it.

Do not ask if you've had a good life. Rather, do you live life well. Do not ask if you've had a good game. Do you play well.

Turn off the lights of the Bell Centre. Take down the banners. Take off the jersey. Let the images of the greats fade. They don't matter now.

Only you do. And in those moments of hardship and doubt, reflect on something. You have made it to here, to now. And that means you are the mere definition of win. You can't win if you haven't experienced loss. 

Accept it, embrace it. Hell, even dare to love it. 

And do something about it.


Alex Rabbat said...

Whatever. Tank for a top 3 pick. Hippy.

Oleg Petrov said...

I keep coming back here, looking for a farewell. Are there no words?