MONTREAL – Crowning an NHL career with a Stanley Cup is a nice addition to any player’s resume. Having an arena named in your honor – not bad either.
|Maurice Richard rink in Montreal
Quebec alone is home to more than 380 indoor arenas where residents can hit the ice to play a few periods of their favorite sport. While most arenas tend to take their names from local businesses or their surrounding communities, you can find a select few proudly emblazoned with a hockey player’s name.
A good gauge of an individual’s involvement in and dedication to a community, having an arena named after them can represent the ultimate honor for a player. La Belle Province boasts 27 different rinks named after former (or even current) members of the Canadiens.
Only two players, so far, in Canadiens history have had the chance to see their names grace not one, but two different arenas. Jean-Claude Tremblay is one, with arenas in the town of L’Annonciation in the Upper-Laurentiens, and La Baie in Saguenay, both sharing his moniker.
|Guy Lafleur rink in Thurso |
The other player is, of course, the legendary Jean Béliveau whose NHL exploits led to the naming of the Colisée Jean-Béliveau, located in Longueuil as well as the Pavillon Jean-Béliveau in Victoriaville.
In a few cases, two players might even share the same address when the arena in question has two separate rinks to be named. Brothers, George and Sylvio Mantha shared nearly everything over the course of their lives, and today, their names also share space on an arena’s sign in the southwest district of Montreal. The same goes for Jacques Laperrière and Réjean Houle, both Rouyn-Noranda natives, who both share the honor of having the local arena at 222 Dallaire named after them.
Most players don’t get to see their names on arenas within on only a few years their retirement, let alone when they’re still playing in the NHL – but a few of the lucky ones do. Current Hab, Francis Bouillon can add himself to that list after the Raymond-Préfontaine Arena was renamed the Francis-Bouillon Arena on August 8, 2011.
Either way, one thing is certain. Whether you find yourself playing at the Stéphane-Richer Arena in Saint-André-Avellin, the Guy-Lafleur Arena in Thurso or the Jacques-Lemaire arena in LaSalle, the most important thing is to always keep hockey alive and well within your community.
In the hopes of helping you do just that, here’s a map highlighting each and every one of those arenas.
If you had the chance to name the next rink, which player would you name it after?