Patrice Brisebois awarded the Jean-Béliveau Trophy
/ Montréal Canadiens
MONTREAL – The recipient of the Jean Béliveau trophy for the 2008-09 season will be honored during a ceremony prior to the game between the Boston Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday at the Bell Centre. All-time great Jean Béliveau will be presenting the award to Canadiens defenseman Patrice Brisebois for his charitable endeavors and implication in the community. The NHL veteran will also be announcing that his playing career has officially come to an end after 18 seasons, including 16 years as a member of the Montreal Canadiens.
The selection committee, comprised of members of the Board of directors of the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation, evaluated the candidates according to the effort, enthusiasm, implication and time invested in both collective and personal initiatives. They were also evaluated on their commitment, leadership and financial assistance to the causes close to their heart.
Patrice Brisebois always had a passion for the game he loved and played so well. Along with his wife Michèle, he also had a strong dedication to the community and was especially committed to the well-being of children. For Patrice, that’s how it has been throughout his entire career and why he was chosen as the Canadiens nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Award in 2009 and a finalist for the 2007-08 Jean Béliveau Trophy.
While his hockey career was blossoming, Patrice remained true to his values and his dedication to the community got even stronger. He was committed to making a difference in the lives of those who needed it most and got involved with the Sainte-Justine UHC Foundation and in minor hockey, giving back to the neighborhood where he first learned how to play the game. Every year he takes the time to attend the Saint-Michel Novice and Atom Tournament where he encourages young hockey players and donates equipment.
Whenever he donned the Canadiens jersey, Brisebois played with his heart out. Away from the rink, he had a heart of gold giving time and financial resources for charity causes he privately endorsed. Along with his wife Michèle, they donated close to $200,000 to the Sainte-Justine UHC Foundation and discretely visited children at the hospital. During his last two seasons with the Canadiens, Brisebois became the spokesperson for the SPVM campaign against violence in elementary schools and participated in several fundraising events for various causes, while being involved with Centraide Greater Montreal and Unicef.
The Jean Béliveau trophy is awarded annually to the Canadiens player who best exemplifies leadership qualities in the community. In honor of Jean Béliveau’s devotion, attentiveness and commitment to the community, the award is accompanied by a $25,000 donation from the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation which Patrice has chosen to remit to the Sainte-Justine UHC Foundation, the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation and, Dreams Take Flight
The Montreal Canadiens are proud to contribute to Montreal and Quebec’s heritage not only through their on-ice accomplishments, but also their commitment to the community. Accessibility, authenticity, generosity, commitment and team spirit are the values cherished by all members of the organization as they unite their efforts to make a difference for the present and the future.
Patrice Brisebois enjoyed a glorious 18-year career in the NHL, but for most hockey fans his 16 seasons with the Montreal Canadiens, from 1990 to 2004 and from 2007 to 2009, will remain the most vibrant ones. The Canadiens 2nd pick and 30th selection overall in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft, Patrice completed his Quebec Major Junior Hockey League career with 370 points along with two gold medals at the World Junior Championships, in 1990 and 1991.
Brisebois was barely 20 years of age when he was given a chance to crack the Canadiens’ line-up. He played his first regular-season game on January 27, 1991 recording his first ever NHL point. Over the course of the next 17 years, he would total 420 points in the NHL. He also became one of a handful of players to skate in 1,000 NHL games. On March 14, 2009 he reached the milestone becoming just the 11th player to play his 1,000th game in a Habs jersey. A very consistent player, Brisebois played in 896 games with the Canadiens, third among defensemen in team history behind only Larry Robinson (1 202) and Serge Savard (917).
A defenseman blessed with excellent offensive skills, Brisebois tallied 371 points with the Canadiens ranking him 5th all-time among defensemen behind Hall of Famers Larry Robinson (883), Guy Lapointe (572), Doug Harvey (447) and Serge Savard (412).
Brisebois’ name is also among the top goal scorers on defense. His 87 tallies put him 4th on the all-time list behind the defensemen who made up the legendary Big Three, Larry Robinson (197), Guy Lapointe (166) and Serge Savard (100).
Patrice Brisebois also wrote his name in the Canadiens record book when he scored the Canadiens’ 9,000th home goal in the NHL. The milestone goal was scored on March 20, 1993 and to top off a magical season, Brisebois and his teammates captured the team’s 24th Stanley Cup.
The career and statistics put up by Patrice Brisebois over his career are eloquent and earned him his rightful place in the Canadiens’ glorious history, but for thousands of kids who benefited from his commitment and generosity, he will always be more than a great hockey player who made his team and his fans proud. He will always be remembered as a hero and a role model.