BROSSARD -- After four weeks of action and hundrerds of happy kids, the Canadiens Hockey School gets to wrap up for the summer.
More than ever this year, the Canadiens Hockey School showed its global reach, pulling in participants from nearby areas like Montreal, Quebec and Chicoutimi as well as more exotic locals the likes of Colombia, Singapore and Dubai.
Coming from a small town of 30,000 people in Northern Italy, Michael Gellon didn’t think twice about getting involved, signing his 10-year-old son Daniel up to take part in the hockey school for the second consecutive year.
“About two years ago my wife was looking for a hockey school online that we could send our son to and she came across the Canadiens. Of course we also have ice hockey in Italy, but here, this is real hockey,” explained Gellon, one of the Habs’ newest fans. “My son would ask me every night “Dad, why don’t we just live here?” And I have to admit, he sometimes even got me wondering the same thing myself.”
Recently back from a humanitarian trip to Haiti, P.K. Subban
made sure to make an appearance at the Bell Sports Complex to meet a slew of his young fans.
“It’s great. I mean, these are the kids that support me. These are the people that are really supporting our job in the end. It’s special that they look up to us – not just myself, but everyone on the team – so it’s great whenever we can come out, give something back and show support for them,” said Subban. “They do so much for us and the organization, so it’s nothing for me to take a day and come out here, spend some time with them, sign some autographs and put some smiles on their faces.”
For a fifth year, more than 750 kids came down to take advantage of the advice from the Habs training staff both on and of the ice, while making friends at the same time - all in a uniquely Canadiens environment.
“The kids are all huge fans of the game and they really identify with the players that come to take part,” explained Angelo Del Peschio of his two sons Anthony and Alessandro, taking part in the Hockey School for the fourth time. “It’s all they talk about every night. They love everything they’ve gotten out of this – both on and off the ice.”
And you can bet they’ll likely be back for a fifth time when next summer rolls around.Vincent Cauchy is a writer for canadiens.com. Translated by Justin Fragapane.SEE ALSOPictures of the Hockey SchoolMontreal Canadiens Hockey SchoolThe Gatekeeper Proving ground Veteran Presence Josh Gorges inks one-year deal Top 'Dog