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Ask Gerv! No. 3

Canadiens equipment manager Pierre Gervais answers fan questions

by @canadiensmtl /

Have questions for Canadiens equipment manager Pierre Gervais? He's got the answers! Every week, Pierre will answer questions from fans submitted through social media. Here's the third edition of Ask Gerv!

To read the previous edition, click here.

1. Question from Sebastien Ritter, via Twitter

"How many turtlenecks does Tomas Plekanec order?"

A dozen will get him through the season.

2. Question from Brianna, via Twitter

"What is the weirdest piece of equipment you've seen?"

The weirdest… It's all pretty standard, except sometimes there are players that have add-ons for their elbow pads, on their backs, below their shoulder pads, for example. Some guys will add extra protection. Unfortunately, for professional hockey players it's generally the less they have, the better. We try to get them to keep as much of their equipment intact as possible. Gloves will come with little protectors on the inside and the guys take that stuff out. But here in Montreal, we're very strict with those kinds of things.

Some of their equipment just doesn't make sense. We'll see guys who come with some pretty old stuff, like Steve Ott, most recently. I think he played with the same shoulder pads he had in Junior. And don't bother trying to get him to change; forget about it! He's used to it that way and he just doesn't want to hear it.

3. Question from Stephane M. Pichette, via Facebook

"How do you assign jersey numbers?"

Marc Bergevin is pretty involved in how the numbers get chosen for players who are with us for the full season. Some general managers are, some aren't. Marc likes being involved in the decisions on numbers. Not in training camp, but when a new player arrives, he is. If we sign a new player, we'll call him and I'll tell him what's available. Generally, Marc will choose for the the player, unless he sends me a request. If he really wants a certain number - as long as it's not retired - I'll tell Marc, but he has the final say.

If a transaction happens while we're on the road, I have some jerseys without names or numbers. I can do anything. If I don't have a lot of time, I can make one up on-site. We always bring a sewing machine with us and my assistant Pat Langlois is very, very good with it. He can get a jersey ready pretty much right away if we need one. If I have a bit of warning, unless we're in the United States and there'll be a wait with customs, embroidery works quickly so that we get the jersey on time. Sometimes, I'll know about it right before we leave and they'll bring it to me last minute.

As soon as a transaction takes place, I check which number the player had with his former team. I'll often call the player myself. Andrew Shaw, for example, wore No. 65 with Chicago, and it was available here. I told Marc that he wanted to keep the same number and he said he didn't have a problem with it.

In training camp, I assign them by order of jersey size. The number doesn't really matter; the young guys are just happy to be here!

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