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Just one of the boys

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
MONTREAL - Once again hundreds of Canadiens fans got to share the ice with their idols. Nothing but smiles greeted the players upon their arrival and in no time flat that cheer snowballed among the Habs who smiled right back.

“This is a perfect time to spend a little time with our fans. They were all pretty fired up to see us,” said defenseman Ryan O’Byrne. “There were more than enough autographs and photos to go around.

“You can really tell how magical a moment this is for all these kids. But they’re a pretty shy bunch, let me tell you,” continued O’Byrne. “We were all trying to get them to chat with us and we finally managed to get a few words out of them.”

The Habs love-fest was the first for newcomer Benoit Pouliot, who was blown away by the reception he and his teammates received.

“I know exactly how kids are,” smiled Pouliot. “After meeting us, they're going to go to school in the morning and be kings for a day with all the stories they’ll have. It’s all about getting all the autographs you can. Trust me, I did the same thing when I was their age!”

All the attention he’s received since arriving in Montreal is a far cry from Pouliot’s former anonymous reality in Minnesota.

“I’ve never experienced anything like this before,” admitted the big winger. “It’s the first time people know who I am anywhere I go. They don’t just recognize me on the street; they encourage me whenever they see me.”

Also living his first “Skate with the Canadiens” experience, Marc-Andre Bergeron was just as impressed as Pouliot.

“You know what, the parents are just as pumped up as their kids,” marvelled Bergeron. “They want photos and autographs, too. This was a really special day.”

Vincent Cauchy is a writer for Translated by Manny Almela.

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