The winningest golfer of all time visited the NHL's top team on Tuesday, as The Golden Bear, Jack Nicklaus, addressed the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre.
It started when a friend of Canadiens coach Michel Therrien was told a friend was coming to the game with the very special guest.
"When I received the phone call and he was saying that Jack Nicklaus was coming to the Bell Centre, my buddy was asking me if it was possible that he could visit the dressing room," Therrien said. "So I started to think of a scenario where we could do [that] and I came up with the idea of [having] Jack talk to the players and give the starting lineup. I think it took a few seconds for the players to realize who was in the dressing room."
The players were surprised to see the legend.
"It threw me off actually because he had his back to me. I was doing my stuff, I looked up and there was somebody standing three feet in front of me," goalie Carey Price said. "It kind of threw me off. I was kind of awestruck. I don't get awestruck very often."
"It was a neat experience," defenseman Shea Weber. "You saw a lot of shocked faces in here. I don't think a lot of guys expected to see that tonight."
"That was cool," captain Max Pacioretty said. "That was really, really unexpected. I was looking down tying my skates and then I saw Jack Nicklaus. You could have given me a million guesses as to who was going to be here he wouldn't even pop up. That was really cool, I'm a really big fan."
And, while golf and hockey are obviously very different sports, the players were able to take a lesson from Nicklaus.
"Every sport's so different, but champions all have the mindset in every sport," Pacioretty said. "He gave a speech about two things that he always keeps in mind, and it's just cool to hear from one of the best in any sport."
"Basically he just said that he always played within himself, never tried to do things that were out of his character," Pacioretty said. "But he also said he worked hard at what he was good at and suggested we do the same thing. That was a very motivating speech that he gave."