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Cousins: Showing some love for a fellow No. 21

Habs forward chose to honor newly-minted Hall-of-Famer Guy Carbonneau for the Captains Reunion on December 3

by Dan Braverman @CanadiensMTL /

MONTREAL - When it came time for Nick Cousins to make his pick of which Canadiens legend to honor for the upcoming Captains Reunion at the Bell Centre, he didn't have to think too hard about his decision.

"Two-one!" he exclaimed.

Of course, Cousins is referring to Carbonneau's jersey number - 21 - which the 26-year-old has sported since joining the Canadiens as a free agent in the summer.

The Habs' current No. 21 wasn't yet born when Carbonneau captained the Canadiens to their 24th Stanley Cup - although with a July 20 birthday, it's likely Carbo was still busy celebrating when Cousins came into this world.

Still, the Belleville, ON native was more than familiar with the former captain's achievements, especially his efforts in holding Wayne Gretzky to a one-goal, three-point output in the four remaining games of the Cup Final after Carbonneau requested to shadow the Great One.

"He didn't shut [Gretzky] down, but he contained him," described Cousins of Carbonneau. "I don't know if you can shut down Gretzky. [Carbonneau] is the type of player you win with."

As a player with a defensive role in the League, there's no doubt that Cousins is a big admirer of Carbonneau's vast body of work over his 1,318-game, 19-year career.

"There are so many players out there who model their game after him. I admire the way he played. He played the game the right way, he played the game hard," praised Cousins of Carbonneau, who had 663 career points (260G, 403A) with the Canadiens, St. Louis Blues, and Dallas Stars. "He was a 200-foot player. Coaches probably loved to have him on their team. He's a guy I look up to, for sure."

Getting to take part in the festivities surrounding Carbonneau's induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame might've played a part in his decision to wear the Sept-Iles native's jersey during warmups on December 3.

"It was cool to see him the other night, going to the Hall of Fame. He played here for [13] years. He was a great player. He won three Selke Trophies," added Cousins. "He's a legend in Montreal Canadiens history."

Video: OTT@MTL: Canadiens pay tribute to Guy Carbonneau

Fans are invited to be in their seats by 6:45 p.m. for the pregame ceremony, which will feature 11 of the team's 12 retired captains - plus current captain Shea Weber. Henri Richard won't be in attendance due to health issues, but will be honored during the festivities.

Tickets are still available for this historic evening and can be purchased HERE.

The jerseys will be auctioned off and all proceeds will be donated to the Montreal Canadiens Children's Foundation in support of the 11th annual #ourGOALtoASSIST RadioTéléDON, which will take place during the game.

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