Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: Georges Laraque
from Chloe Fedio of the Ottawa Citizen,
Former NHL player turned deputy leader of the Green Party, Georges Laraque, fended off an accusation of fraud made public Monday morning in a press release from a company in the United States, claiming instead that the real fraud was committed by his Canadian partner.
Florida-based Global Synthetic Ice announced Monday that Laraque’s company, Super-Glide Canada, has been dropped as a distributor after an internal investigation revealed “unethical business practices” involving $54,000 worth of funds and products.
Company president Perry Boskus said he decided to sever ties with Super Glide based on allegations of fraud from Laraque’s partner Marc Filion. Filion and Laraque are both listed as directors of Super-Glide Canada, which was incorporated in Nov. 2009.
via Sportsnet, All Laraque wants is a tryout with an NHL team, then the rest is up to him.
from Randy Starkman of the Toronto Star,
Georges Laraque is angry at being compared to baseball whistle-blower Jose Canseco in the wake of claims he made in his new book that steroid use was common in NHL dressing rooms.
“Some people are stupid enough to say that I’m the new Canseco of hockey,” Laraque told the Star in a telephone interview Sunday. “First of all, I’ve never taken steroids. Second of all, I never threw out any names. There’s no comparison at all.”
Laraque has been inundated with calls from reporters since the release of his book, Georges Laraque: The Story of the NHL’s Unlikeliest Tough Guy. Everybody wants to talk to him about drugs in the NHL.
It irks Laraque that he is now being painted in some corners as an opportunist who wrote about drugs in the book to boost sales. His motivation for the book had been a Jackie Robinson autobiography he read as a kid that helped him persevere after facing a barrage of racial taunts while growing up playing hockey in Quebec as the son of Haitian immigrants.
“And when you retire, most of the tough guys aren’t set (for life). You don’t make a lot of money as a fighter, so they’re thinking ‘OK, now what do I do?’ So they go back to drugs and alcohol. There’s no options. Then, there’s the people who say ‘let’s take fighting out of hockey.’ Are you kidding me? Whoever decides to make that rule (no fighting), then you’re really going to have a problem with these guys. If there’s depression when you retire, how bad do you think it’ll be if you take 75 jobs out of the NHL so they can’t even earn a living? You create a bigger problem by trying to fix the problem.”
-Georges Laraque, retired NHL tough guy. More from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal.
From the NHLPA:
Recognizing a great need for help, Georges Laraque and the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) teamed up with World Vision Canada to raise funds for the re-construction of the Grace Children’s Hospital in the capital city of Port-au-Prince, a project that has been on-going for over a year now.
In a follow-up to an initial trip to the island by Laraque, NHLPA Member Dan Hamhuis and NHLPA staff members in June of 2010 to announce that $1-million had been raised (the total is now over $1.3M), Laraque has once again embarked on a trip to the Caribbean island nation. Joining Georges on this trip representing the NHLPA is Montreal Canadiens defenceman, P.K. Subban. The energetic and effervescent young player is someone who values the work being done by World Vision and the NHLPA on the Hockey for Haiti project and was eager to participate and help-out, any way he could.
Laraque and Subban will spend a few days in Port-au-Prince and on Wednesday they will visit the Grace Children’s hospital to meet with patients, staff and to tour the hospital to see first-hand the progress being made through the donations to Hockey for Haiti.
From Georges Laraque, guest posted at Michelle Kenneth’s Hockey & Musings:
Yes, in an 82-games season every team has a chance to win, but if you look at the stats over the last couple of years, it’s always the same teams that make the playoffs and have a shot at success. Even with a salary cap, players choose where they want to play. Sometimes the best players, or the best free agents, are willing to take a pay cut just to fit under the cap so they can play with a top team. Sure, they’re perfectly within their right to do that, but it’s still unfair for the bottom teams. And when these guys choose their destination, they always chose the same few teams, so if you’re a bottom team, you will have to overpay top guys to attract them to your team, but you will never win. Some teams in the NHL develop great prospects, and every year they look like they’re slowly rebuilding their team, but after a couple of years, those prospects that become star players go somewhere else and the rebuilding process starts all over again. Without a good free agent or two on your team, you cannot win, and without a winning team, you cannot attract the right players to get your club to win.
Georges Laraque shares his thoughts about Derek Boogaard and his recent treatment in New York, mentioning, among other things, that Boogaard told him he had been cleared to play at the end of the season.
Audio provided courtesty of “NHL Home Ice” on Sirius XM Radio, with Gord Stellick:
Update 5:57pm ET: QMI at Slam!Sports pulls some material from the audio above—
Laraque said that Boogaard, who died Friday in Minneapolis, told him he had been cleared to play after recovering from a concussion and shoulder injury he got during a fight with Ottawa Senators enforcer Matt Carkner in December but was told to sit out by the Rangers. That, Laraque said, had Boogaard “a bit down” the last time they talked.
“He was cleared to play at the end of the season and the team just told him to take the rest of the year off,” Laraque told NHL HOME ICE on SiriusXM Radio. “You know how much pressure that puts on a guy? He was ready to play with the contract he had and the team says, ‘It’s OK, just take the rest of the year off.’ On top of that, he told me his coach was not a big fan of him.
“I don’t want to insinuate anything that happened and the cause (of his death) or whatever but I would have been frustrated if I was in that situation. The fact he was inactive so long and those two incidents happened, it clearly didn’t help him.”
“Gordie was the ultimate. He could put the puck in the net and everyone was scared of him too.
“Today in the NHL you’ve got to hire a guy like me when you have a Crosby on your team or an Ovechkin, guys like that, so then you don’t have to worry about it. With Gordie Howe, you didn’t have to do that.”
—Georges Laraque on Gordie Howe, speaking at a charity event today
from the CP via CTV,
Former hockey pugilist Georges Laraque is offering up $100,000 if the City of Edmonton will move Lucy, a zoo elephant he says is suffering from cold and isolation.
Laraque has written a letter to Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel, saying he will put the money toward a new downtown hockey rink or to other projects if the city will move the 35-year-old Asian elephant to a warm-weather elephant sanctuary.
Georges Laraque received 12 stitches after his partner’s skate slashed his face during practice, Saturday.
Skating a run-through on the eve of their first live performance on Battle of the Blades, Laraque was executing a move with partner Anabelle Langlois when they lost control.
from John MacKinnon of the Edmonton Journal at the Vancouver Province,
The Oilers and (Edmonton) Capitals, said Oilers president Patrick LaForge, will conduct in-house diversity training for both the staff and athletes on both its baseball and hockey clubs, also welcome news.
Those who believe any of this makes it more likely that a gay athlete employed anywhere in North American pro sports will feel secure enough to declare his homosexuality while an active player may be in for disappointment. There have been gay players in major league baseball, NFL football and basketball who have gone public, but only after they retired. No male hockey pro has ever come out.
“In a way, I don’t blame them because in the changing room, where everything is wide open, for a lot of players, they just don’t want to [declare], if they’re not comfortable,” said Georges Laraque, retired NHL player and deputy leader of the Green party. “For me, I couldn’t care less.
“But, a lot of times, if you’re a member of a team, you just don’t want to make guys uncomfortable around you. They shouldn’t be, but you know that if others know [about your sexual orientation, the atmosphere) could be colder.”
from Dave Stubbs of Habs Inside/Out,
A Swedish newspaper this morning reports that the NHL has blocked Georges Laraque’s intended move to AIK Stockholm. “It’s a complicated situation we can’t resolve for the moment,” the boss of the Swedish club says.
The problem seems to revolve around Laraque’s no-movement clause, which is puzzling since he’d presumably waive that clause if he wanted to play in Sweden. If BGL waived it, then it’s the league or the Canadiens that have an issue with this.
Georges Laraque will not play another game with the Montreal Canadiens.
TSN’s sister station in Quebec RDS reports that the club does not intend to play him for the rest of the season and will buy him out at the end of the 2009-10 campaign.
Laraque, a Montreal native, signed a three-year, $4.5 million contract in July of 2008 and has one year remaining on his deal.
added 10:32am, from Darren Dreger of TSN,
Laraque, who told TSN he was on his way to practice in the morning when he received the call to meet with Gainey, insists he’s been a good team player and said there were no issues with the team or Martin, whom he believed was behind the decision.
“Jacques Martin doesn’t like me and doesn’t believe in toughness,” Laraque told TSN.
Laraque added that Martin never shared any concerns directly with him and is furious with the Canadiens’ approach based on the emotional issues he’s dealing with following the devastating earthquake in Haiti and the impact this disaster has had on both him and his family.
“Classless,” Laraque said angrily. “To do this in the midst of all I’m dealing with in Haiti, the timing is awful. I’m not going to sugar coat anything.”
“When I talked to you guys after the game (Saturday), I didn’t really know what I did. I didn’t think it was that bad. Sometimes in the action you don’t know what you did until you see it. After I saw it, I clearly thought it deserved a suspension.”
-Georges Laraque on his knee-to-knee hit on Niklas Kronwall. More from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
“I really don’t think he’s a dirty player whatsoever,’’ Kronwall said. “I think he’s one of those guys that has a really good reputation, plays hard. I think this was more of an accident.’’
Kronwall said he is satisfied with the five-game suspension the NHL gave Laraque.
“I think it was fair,’’ Kronwall said. “It was kind of in the range I thought he would get. We have people in the league who look over things like this. They’ve done their job.’’
Darren Dreger via his Twitter reports Laraque received a five game suspension.
added 7:00pm, via TSN,
The National Hockey League handed Montreal Canadiens tough guy Georges Laraque a five game suspension for his knee-on-knee collision with Red Wings defenceman Niklas Kronwall on Saturday night.
“Mr. Laraque’s actions were dangerous and caused a significant injury to his opponent,” said NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell.
Montreal Canadiens’ tough guy George Laraque may be in a bit of trouble with the league.
The NHL has decided to review Laraque’s knee-on-knee collision with Red Wings’ defenceman Niklas Kronwall that occurred half-way through the first period of Detroit’s shootout victory over the Habs on Saturday.
Wings announced Kronwall will not return to the game after taking a knee on knee hit from Laraque. Earlier on the same play, Laraque high-sticked Darren Helm so Laraque received 4 for high sticking and 2 for tripping.
added 8:15pm, video of the hit…
added 10:10pm, Mike Babcock on the Wings post-game show said Kronwall injury is not pretty and will wait until Detroit doctors look at him. Babcock said the hit by Laraque is unacceptable in the game of hockey.
added 10:53pm, Scott Morrison on the iDesk (HNIC) said the Wings fear Kronwall has MCL damage. Will know more tomorrow.
added 10:59pm, from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
The Red Wings anticipate being without top-four defenseman Niklas Kronwall for a minimum of two weeks after he was injured Saturday in what general manager Ken Holland flat-out called a dirty hit.
Kronwall, 29, suffered what Holland said early examination revealed to be a second-degree, possibly third-degree MCL sprain to his left knee. In 2005, he needed that knee operated on after tearing his ACL, and ended up missing 52 games.
The Wings are hoping it won’t be nearly as long this time, but won’t know for sure until Kronwall undergoes further testing today (Sunday).
from the CP at TSN,
NHL tough guy Georges Laraque is pumping out apologies faster than he pummels his opponents’ faces.
The Montreal Canadiens enforcer says he’s sorry for appearing in an ad being slammed as sexist.
Women’s groups have decried the ad for an alcohol drink in which Laraque plays street hockey with a group of scantily clad women.
from Cheryl Cornacchia of the Montreal Gazette,
“At the end of the day when I retire I don’t want to be remembered by how many people I’ve beaten up,” said Laraque, who was born in Montreal in 1976, the eldest of three children of Haitian parents who arrived here in 1975. “I want to be remembered for the impact I have had in the community.”
After seeing Earthlings, a powerful documentary on the exploitation of animals for the pet, food, clothing and entertainment industries, and for which he is now doing narration for a French-language version, he said he decided to do something to help animals.
Quebec is known as the puppy mill capital of Canada, he notes. Unlike the guys he roughs it up with on the ice, “willing combatants,” he said, they have no choice.
Thanks to Habs Inside/Out for the pointer…
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
But this autumn, the “Cirque Georges Laraque,” as he calls it, has pulled down the big top. If you want the Ringling Brothers, he said on the eve of Canadiens training camp, you’ll need to go elsewhere.
Inside and out, this is a new Laraque, one who aims to focus purely on hockey and his role on a virtually new team.
He dropped 20 pounds over the summer, his current 245 the lightest he’s been since he was drafted into the NHL by Edmonton in 1995.
He dramatically changed his diet. As a vegan, Laraque now eats no meat, fish or dairy products.
He says he’ll no longer be the go-to guy for an insatiable media machine whose talk-shows and frothing panelists covet him for the ratings spike he provides.
I caught this yesterday but did not post. However, I took Georges recommendation and watched Pay if Forward late last night. He was right!
We caught up Georges Laraque and put him on the hot seat to get his take on life’s little necessities. Here’s what the veteran Habs enforcer recommends checking out to read, watch or listen to if you’ve got a few spare hours to kill.
Movie everyone has to see:
Pay it Forward. That’s my favorite movie of all time.
Hi everyone, I’m pleased to finally launch my new website. I know it took a while, but I will make sure it’s updated regularly and that my blog has new entries on a weekly basis. This site will be a way for me to share a bit of information about myself with you my fans.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
Montreal Canadiens forward Georges Laraque is outraged by recommendations made by general managers participating in the annual NHL GM meetings in Naples, Florida.
“All of their recommendations are a joke!” Laraque charged after reading the NHL’s plans on TSN.ca….
It’s that proposed penalty - a 10-minute misconduct - which really angers Laraque.
“Stupidest thing ever!” Laraque told TSN. “I think it’s a joke. They might as well take fighting out of the NHL…fighting won’t be safer; it will be eliminated because an added 10 minute misconduct is too much.”
From David Singer at HockeyFights.com:
Yesterday there was a lot of talk about Georges Laraque expecting to be traded from the Canadiens. Laraque was asked if he was frustrated about not playing the last couple of games for the Canadiens. He said he was and there were reports that he said he wouldn’t have signed with Montreal last summer if he knew he wasn’t going to be a regular in the lineup.
He confirmed with us that he did not ask for a trade, and added that he won’t.
I asked Laraque hypothetically where he’d want to go if he was traded. His reply was “nowhere, I would retire.”
Knowing Big George’s love for the game, I have my doubts about that, but I do think it shows his frustration, not just with his lack of playing, but with the media attention what he says is a misinterpretation of what he said.
from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,
Slightly used hard man for sale, still feared, no reasonable offers refused. Inquiries should be directed to B. Gainey, Bell Centre, Montreal, Que.
Yup, Georges Laraque says he’s on the trading block, assuming the Canadiens can find a taker for the $3-million remaining on the three-year contract he penned in the off-season.
“I haven’t asked for a trade, but with my salary and the way they’re using me, I’m definitely expecting it. The coach has told me he doesn’t like tough guys, he said I’ll be in and out (of the lineup) until the end of the season,” a dejected Laraque said after practice today.
from Ryan Corazza of ESPN The Magazine,
Montreal Canadians tough guy Georges LaRaque had been penning an insightful, well-written blog this season for Sportsnet in Canada. Like most athlete blogs, it was rarely updated, but when he did write LaRaque’s work was top-notch.
Perhaps it was too good.
At the beginning of his latest entry, LaRaque said it would be his final one, citing a Canadiens team rule to be fair to all media entities that ask for their players to blog. Say no to one, say no to all….
But was there more to it? Had this been an issue of censorship? His latest entry touched on the code of fighting in the league and racism he’s been on the receiving end of—his entries have been anything but vanilla. Or was this just a move to transport LaRaque scribing to the Canadiens’ site, a move to have the team disseminate the media to the fans, instead of another outlet?
from Georges Laraque at Sportsnet,
I want first to offer my condolences to Don Sanderson’s family. Don is the 21-year-old man who passed away on Friday after hitting his head on the ice in a hockey fight on Dec. 14….
So this incident brings the first subject that I wanted to talk about and that’s simply that fighting is not just the toughest job in hockey, but in all professional sports. Fighting is not easy, not easy physically nor mentally. During a fight, you pretty much fight for your life because as you know, many things can happen and on top of that, you are being watched by millions of people. And whether or not someone watches your game live, your fight will end up on YouTube forever.
From the Canadian Press,
Several NHLers consider Laraque the league’s top heavyweight and make sure to give the six-foot-three, 245-pounder ample space.
“He’s probably the toughest in the league,” says Ottawa Senators enforcer Chris Neil. “He’s strong, he’s powerful. It’s one of those things where you watch his fights, meanwhile, when he’s out there on the ice, he’s coming after you, so you’ve got to be aware.”
Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla, no stranger to the rough stuff, agrees.
“I wouldn’t want to get caught in a line brawl with him,” he says with a smile.
“I admire Zack because he’s an agitator and he fights ... it’s not easy doing both. But he knows he’s not a true heavyweight. He’s trying to fill a role and he does a good job at it. Man, he had 25 fights last year. Even in my rookie year as an Oiler, I never did that. I fought 16, 17 times, tops. People should admire Zack for doing what he’s doing. If everybody had his heart. ...
-Georges Laraque on Edmonton’s Zack Stortini. More from Laraque from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal.
from Derek Van Diest of the Edmonton Sun,
“It’s still surreal. I live here in Edmonton and I haven’t lived in Montreal in a long time and I haven’t really gone back there in the summer.
“I think it’s going to hit home when I get there, when training camp starts and I get to wear the jersey for the first time. I don’t think it’s totally sunk in yet.”...
“My dad lives in Edmonton, my mom lives in Montreal. My mom was begging me to come back home.
“I love it here, if it wasn’t for the fact that my mom was there, I would have stayed here.”
from Empty Netters,
Laraque was unlike anything we’ve seen here in Pittsburgh. He was a black hockey player of Haitian heritage who had corn rows, spoke two languages and dominated just about any fight he was a part of. He was so dominant of a fighter, many opposing goons just simply weren’t all that eager to drop the gloves with “BGL.” And when Laraque did get a chance to go at it, more often than not his fights were fairly boring due to Laraque’s immense strength.
Our first chance to see Laraque ply his craft came in a game against the Rangers March 10, 2007. Colton Orr was the brave soul who decided he wanted to test Laraque:
more with many fight videos…
From TSN’s tracker:
Montreal Canadiens sign UFA forward Georges Laraque (3-year, $1.5 million)
3:50pm ET: TSN—
The native of Montreal, Quebec has signed a three-year contract with the Canadiens, reportedly worth $4.5 million. The deal includes a partial no-trade clause.
from John Glennon of the Tennessean,
Predators General Manager David Poile said on Wednesday the team made an offer to Georges Laraque, but that the player’s agent, Steve Kotlowitz, told Nashville that Laraque was looking to sign elsewhere….
Some of the tough guys still on the unrestricted free agent market include Atlanta’s Eric Boulton, Tampa Bay’s Andre Roy as well as Aaron Downey and Darren McCarty of Detroit.
From Channel Canada:
Pittsburgh Penguins forward Georges Laraque drops the gloves and calls the shots when he slides into the main chair as guest host of Off The Record (OTR), tonight at 6 p.m. ET on TSN.
Not one to back down from a good fight – or a good debate – Laraque will ask the hard-hitting questions to the show’s guests, which include Penguins teammate Gary Roberts, who will be featured in-studio during the Up Front and Next Question segments of the show. [...]
The other guests on tonight’s show will include Detroit Red Wings Senior Vice-President Jim Devellano. Together, Laraque and the guest panelists will take on the key newsmakers and hottest sports topics of the day, including NHL free agency.
In nearly 2,600 episodes, Laraque is the first NHLer to ever host the show.
This is appearing on Canada’s OTR only, not the ESPN version. But it should be available in the online video archives at TSN after the show, for anyone (Pens fans!?) who may be interested.
From Daniel Malloy at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Away from the ice, though, the ferocity disappears, replaced by an aggressive philanthropic spirit.
Mr. Laraque doesn’t turn down a request for his time—“There are no bad charities,” he says—and spends about four days a week during the season working in the community, mostly with children.
“A lot of athletes will talk about doing good things, a lot of them do good things, but Georges takes that to an entirely different level,” said Cliff Benson, who has collaborated with Mr. Laraque on various charitable initiatives around town.
“He makes that a purpose in his life. That makes him different from most.”
“At the end of the day, what really defines you?” he said. “Is it how much money you make? How many Cups you’ve won? No, what matters is your community. There are people out there without parents. People who can’t afford to go to a hockey game. People who can’t afford cable to even watch a hockey game.
“I wasn’t always fortunate when I was a kid. But, with the image we have as hockey players, it’s amazing the impact we can have. How fortunate am I to play in the NHL? What percentage of people get to do that? I just want to show that I appreciate it. That stuff is important, more important than hockey.”
more on Laraque at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette…
from Lynda Klym at Black Athelete,
Georges Laraque had just checked into a hotel in Calgary. Hadn’t even unzipped his bag when a secretary of a friend called his cellphone. Everybody gets Georges’ cell number.
“She asked me if I could come to Edmonton,” he said. “There was this kid who was going to die. He had a couple hours to live, they thought, and his last wish was to see me.”
Georges Laraque has been suspended 3 games for his elbow on Buffalo’s Nathan Paetsch.
More to follow.
added 7:07, from TSN (same link as above),
The incident occured during the second period of Wednesday night’s game between the Pittsburgh Penguins’ and the Sabres. Laraque appeared to deliver an elbow to Paetsch’s face as he skated past the Buffalo defencemen. Laraque was given a five-minute major for elbowing and was ejected from the game.
From Marcie Garcia at NHL.com,
Four years later, Laraque credits yoga for sharpening his competitive edge against the younger, bigger foes trying to make a heavyweight name for themselves in the NHL.
“Most guys that fight use the weights, weights, and weights, and they’re so big in their bodies that the muscle doesn’t matter,” Laraque said. “Yoga helps your core strength and that is way better than weights. I’m not the strongest guy weight-wise with enforcers in the NHL, but I’m strong, but not because I bench press six plates. If you do yoga, you don’t need to do weights that much because it’s like a weight exercise, but instead of using weights, you’re using your body.”
from the Courier Post,
As a player, Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren made a living out of checking opponents into the third row.
So he chose his words carefully Tuesday when asked about Colin Campbell’s decision to let Georges Laraque’s hit from behind on Steve Downie last week go unpunished.
“The fact that Steve was able to come back, does that mean there shouldn’t be a suspension?” Holmgren asked rhetorically. “I’m sure there’s something to that.”
via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
The only thing on which the Penguins and Flyers could agree was that Laraque was assessed a major penalty for hitting from behind and a game misconduct. Get past that, and everything became a matter of partisan perspective.
When Flyers coach John Stevens looked at the sequence, for example, he saw “a vicious incident” and “a very, very dangerous play.”
When Laraque reflected on it, he saw an incident in which he pushed Downie, not cross-checked him, and did so with absolutely no malice, let alone intent to injure.
“If I want to hit somebody from behind,” Laraque said, “he’s not going to get up.”