MONTREAL – Hockey teams are like family, and for the Habs’ Samuel Montembeault, family is everything.

That explains why he’s so well liked by his peers in and around the rink, and away from it, it’s much of the same.

Earlier this season, the Canadiens’ content team caught up with Montembeault’s girlfriend, Daryanne Ayotte, who explains why the Habs’ No. 35 is an All-Star teammate at home as well.

This interview was conducted on Oct. 17, 2023. Questions and answers have been modified for clarity and conciseness.

How did you guys meet?

We met at the Festival du blé d’Inde à Saint-Célestin (a corn festival in Quebec). I was with one of my friends, we were going to meet up with her boyfriend at the time and Samuel was there. The next day, I got a message asking if I was the girl from yesterday, and I replied, “Yeah, who is this?” because I had no idea who was texting me. When I found out he was a hockey player, I hesitated a bit before saying yes to going on a date, and the rest is history.

How was your first date?

I met up with him in Blainville and we went to Juliette & Chocolat. The date went super well. We spoke about hockey and family. One of his top priorities was that his girlfriend got along well with his family and that she was well received by his parents. He told his mom, “I met someone. You’re going to love her.” Today, his parents and I have a great relationship. We’ll have been together six years in August.


What initially attracted you to him the most?

His sweet charm. He loves to laugh and he’s always smiling. Life’s always great when he’s around, there are never any problems. If something ever happens, he calms me down and tells me, “Don’t worry about it, we’ll figure things out.” So, I think that’s what made me fall for him.

What’s his best quality?

He’s someone who’s extremely generous in all walks of life. Whether it’s in his own time or in our love life, he has a huge heart.

His teammates nicknamed him Snacks. What’s his favorite snack at home?

We always have a bag of chips. It runs in the family, everyone likes to eat at his house [laughs]. And this year we agreed that for every game he wins, he’s allowed the dessert of his choice.

What’s his favorite dessert?

If I’m baking, it’s my chocolate pie. If his mom is baking, it’s her “Crunchie cake.” You bake a pecan cake, pour in a can of Eagle brand [condensed milk] and add whipped cream and Crunchie chocolate bars on top. It's incredible.

You and Sam modeled for the Tricolore Sports x Dime collection. What was it like doing that photoshoot together?

It was a lot of fun. I recommend all the spouses on the team do it. It’s fun to share those moments together. Oftentimes, the guys do stuff with the team, but to be included in activities with them is very enjoyable.

00 Vitor Munhoz Club de hockey Canadien inc

Does he have a particular pastime or hobby to get his mind off of hockey for a bit during the season?

Spending time with his family. His parents are so important to him. Whenever we have the chance, we invite them to the house. Oftentimes on Sundays, we go for walks with our dogs. We also love going to the movie theatre.

Speaking of dogs, have you had yours for a while?

We've had our male dog, Gucci, for four years, and it’ll soon be two months since we got our little female dog, Gigi.

Between the two of you, who’s the strictest and who’s more lenient?

I’m the strict mom, and we’ll call Sam the “cool dad.” [laughs]

You went to the World Championship with Sam last spring. How was that experience?

It was among my most memorable experiences so far, second only to Sam’s first game in Montreal. That was a rewarding experience for us. I met other spouses and made new friends. I have no words to describe how incredible it was.

Article written by Helene Cloutier, translated by Evan Milner

Related Content