MONTREAL – With 14 seasons with the Canadiens already under his belt, Patrice Brisebois knows exactly what playing in Montreal is all about. The unparalleled pressure to win, demanding fans, as well as the weight of skating for the NHL’s most storied franchise are nothing new to the now 36-year-old defenseman, and Brisebois wouldn’t want it any other way.
Back in the Canadiens’ dressing room under the familiar bright lights of Montreal’s media glare, a refreshed Brisebois admitted to already counting the days until the start of training camp in September.
“This is an amazing day for me,” admitted Brisebois after happily sitting down a few spaces from his old spot in the Habs’ dressing room. “What else can I say? I’m back with the team that drafted me and my family couldn’t be happier to be coming back to Montreal. I feel like a little kid. I even taped my sticks up yesterday I was so excited.”
The veteran blueliner already sits seventh on the Canadiens’ all-time list among defensemen with 791 games played in a Habs uniform.
“Once I found out the Canadiens were interested, I told my agent Don Meehan that I really wanted things to work out with Montreal,” said Brisebois. “There’s no better place to play in the NHL. Montreal is where it all happens.”
Brisebois is so pumped up to once again call the Bell Centre home, he appears ready to do anything but drive the Zamboni between periods just to be a part of the Canadiens’ family.
“Like any player, I just want to play as much I can,” said Brisebois, who is itching to get back on his skates on Monday. “It’s up to Guy to decide how he wants to use me. I’m ready to do whatever the team needs, penalty killing, the power-play, you name it. I just want to win.”
Brisebois also knows a thing or two about his new head coach with Carbonneau having been his first roommate on the road when Patrice was just breaking into the NHL with the Habs in 1990-91.
“Guy and I are still really good friends,” said Brisebois. “He knows my game inside out and understands what I can bring to a team. He was my first captain, we won together and we enjoyed a lot of great times. Kirk is an awesome guy, too. We all won the Stanley Cup as teammates in 1993. It’s going to be special to be all together again.”