Kukla's Korner

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Hockey In Montreal

from David Shribman of the LA Times,

“The Canadiens are a major part of character of this city, even in times like this when they are not doing that well,” says Daniel Beland, director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada. “Its players are icons in Quebec. It’s not just a franchise. It is one of the major institutions of Montreal.”...

That mystique developed because the Canadiens are intimately linked with the French language and with French heroes. The old Montreal Forum, where the Habs played until 1996 and where the rafters were crowded with Stanley Cup banners, was where Francophones could compete and excel in a place dominated by Anglophones.

“In drama, in fiction, in television and movies, it is front and center in the culture,” says Christopher Kirkey, director of the Center for the Study of Canada and Institute on Québec Studies at the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh. “Life in many families in Quebec still revolves around hockey — practices, games, Saturday night on television. You can walk into a sports bar with 24 televisions, and 24 of them will be tuned to the Canadiens.”

Everyone is watching — everyone, that is, except those who on winter evenings are playing hockey themselves. The game is so ingrained in the city that the father of hockey icon Mario Lemieux, now one of the owners of the Pittsburgh Penguins, would cart snow indoors and onto the family home in the Ville-Émard district of Montreal and let it freeze so they could play in the living room.

“The way people in Montreal think about hockey is not the way other people think about hockey,” says Brian Kennedy, a Pasadena City College English professor who played youth hockey in Montreal and has written several books on hockey. “The mind of a Montrealer is not like the ordinary mind. Everybody in Montreal still has the hockey sweater they had as a child. I have the programs from my first games and the tickets too.”

much more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink


PierreC's avatar

i have to agree with that…

Posted by PierreC from Montreal, Canada on 11/10/19 at 12:33 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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