MONTREAL - Gilbert Dionne and Patrice Brisebois will always remember the events that transpired following the Canadiens' last Stanley Cup triumph.
It was June 9, 1993. The Habs claimed their 24th title in franchise history with a 4-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings in Game 5 at the Montreal Forum.
Back then, Dionne was in his second season with the CH. The Drumondville, QC native enjoyed a standout playoff run, amassing six goals and 12 points in 20 games.
Winning hockey's top prize was an unforgettable moment for Dionne, as were the noteworthy moments that occurred after the final buzzer.
"There was a huge riot. We stayed in the Forum. I think I kept my equipment on until 1:00 a.m. I still had my skates on my feet and we were walking around the Forum," recalled Dionne, who was a fourth-round selection of the Canadiens in 1990. "People were trying to break the windows to get into the building. The police told us to hide so people couldn't see us. We ended up hiding until things calmed down. I think I left the Forum at about 3:00 a.m. or 4:00 a.m."
Despite the chaos in the streets, the players celebrated their accomplishments.
Brisebois remembers that one of his teammates actually marked the team's incredible achievement with a "first" of sorts.
"We partied hard. There was champagne and beer. But, we were told that there was zero chance we could go outside. There was a big riot. We were watching everything on TV and it didn't make any sense. It was something to see. Speaking of that night, Stephan Lebeau never had a drink in his life before winning the Stanley Cup," said Brisebois. "He never drank a beer, drank wine or champagne. It was the first time in his life he tasted alcohol. Stories like that are something special. Even Celine Dion was there that night."
SHOP: Set of 6 Canadiens glasses
Being stuck in the Forum with the Stanley Cup and Celine Dion sounds pretty good, doesn't it? It's not every day that you can hoist one of the toughest trophies in sports to win alongside a world-renowned megastar.
Dionne took full advantage of the singer's presence to bring joy to someone special.
"Not everyone had cell phones back then. I asked Eric Desjardins to lend me his to call my mother," explained Dionne. "I told Celine that I was on the phone with her. She took the phone and said to my mother: "Hi Mrs. Dionne, you should be proud of your son." I heard my mom scream on the phone: "Celine, Celine!" They talked for about 20 seconds. I was losing it."
As expected, the days after the Cup-clinching victory were super busy.
One moment, in particular, however, will always remain etched in Brisebois' mind.
"We were still partying the next day. Then, there was the parade. It was an unforgettable event. Those are magical moments. I had watched the organization win Stanley Cups since I was a kid. In 1986, I missed school to attend the parade. I never told my parents that. I asked my mother to go and she didn't allow it. I went to watch the parade, and a few years later I was actually a part of it," shared Brisebois. "I grew up in Montreal. That's why winning it was so special. It was about the way we won, too. We weren't the best team, but we really wanted it. During our first meeting with Jacques Demers, he told us: "We're going to shock the hockey world and win the Stanley Cup." That was his message on the first day of training camp."
Presented by ScotiaAdvice+, The Alumni Lounge and Le Salon des Anciens podcasts feature in-depth interviews with some of the organization's most popular players of the past.
Hosted by Brisebois, the inaugural season of the pod will include 10 episodes, which will alternate languages each week under two separate titles in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and other podcast hosting platforms.
They will also be available as full video episodes on the Canadiens' YouTube channel.