Have questions for Canadiens equipment manager Pierre Gervais? He's got the answers! Every Thursday, Pierre will answer questions from fans submitted through social media. Here's the first edition of Ask Gerv!
1. Question from Alexie, via Twitter.
"Do the players have any pre-game rituals?"
Players all have their own rituals. If the game is at 7:30 p.m., the team meeting will be at 6:00 p.m., so that's the first thing the players will do all together. Before that, they each have their own routine. Some like to come a bit later, like Alex Galchenyuk and Alexander Radulov. Carey Price will come earlier - he's usually one of the first to arrive. Some of them will eat, or do other things. Pierre Allard will sometimes set up a station for stretching for those who want to come see him - the ones who have a little routine with him. Other players will have headphones on and listen to music, concentrate, do their own thing. That's pretty much it - who does what, when. But there's no video session, or anything like that.
2. Question from Mel, via Twitter
"Has a woman ever done this kind of job in the NHL?"
On the equipment side, no, but on the medical staff, yes, there have been one or two. I don't know about in Junior, though.
3. Question from Brianna, via Twitter.
"Did you always know you wanted to be an equipment manager?"
To make a long story short, I started in it when I was really young: I was 15 years old when I started working for a Junior club in Trois-Rivieres. I loved hockey, I followed it. I knew it when I got the big job there in 1980 - still in Junior, but now I was the one in charge - and one of the guys who was in Sherbrooke before me went on to work for the Canadiens for 10-12 years. That made me start thinking about what I could do for work. But until then, I didn't really know where it was going. I did two years in Junior and then when the AHL came to Sherbrooke - the Sherbrooke Jets - I became a professional in that league, so it was even more real. I saw the guys who worked in the NHL in Quebec City at the time, and Eddy Palchak was in Montreal, so I started dreaming about it. Of course you have to speak French in Quebec and there wasn't a lot of turnover anywhere higher than Junior. It finally happened in 1986. They called me for the playoffs in Montreal and I started for good there in 1987. I wasn't full-time with the team at first, but I still got to experience the Cup run in 1986.