Last Friday was the Classique Daniel Brière Jean-Gabriel Pageau Golf Tournament in Gatineau and we caught up with #44 to talk about giving back to his hometown, not being able to watch the Stanley Cup Final, his current contract negotiations and more...
On how he became involved in the "La Classique Daniel Brière Jean-Gabriel Pageau" golf tournament:
It started last year at the end of this tournament. Daniel came to me and asked if I wanted to join him next year just to help. He's always been there for me not only on the ice but away from the rink too so it was an easy decision for me to say yes right away. He's helped me a lot through my career so to be able put my name next to Daniel Briere's for this great event is really an honour for me..
On how this tournament benefits the community in Gatineau:
All the money raised is going to the Gatineau Hospital specifically in the kids sections. We went and visited the hospital a few days ago and it's great to see the impact. There are stickers on the machines with the name of the foundation that bought them and they explained to us how much it helps. Sometimes you go to charity events or give money away and you're not sure where it's going so to see the impact it's having in Gatineau is big reason why I'm so happy to be a part of this golf tournament.
On being able to give back to his hometown:
All my family and friends live here so it's easy for me to come back here and do something like this tournament. I've already played in 4 other golf tournaments in Gatineau since the season ended and I always try to be involved with the ones I really like…especially when it's for the kids. Last year when Daniel asked me I knew this tournament was all about the kids and how much money they've raised so it was a pleasure for me to join him in this event.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Daniel Briere pose for a photo at their annual golf tournament to raise money for hospitals in Gatineau.
On how his golf game has been this year:
I've mostly been playing "best ball" in these tournaments so it's hard for your personal game to get better. We've had a pretty good summer so far though so I'm trying to enjoy the days and I always play in some good groups which makes it more fun.
On the Stanley Cup Finals:
To be honest, I didn't really watch it and I'd see the scores at the end. It was hard to watch since we wanted to be there and we were so close to having that chance to play for the Stanley Cup. Now that we've had some time to look back at what we did, I think we can be satisfied but you still wonder about what more you could have done to get there. Pittsburgh's a good team and they deserved to win so I think we can say that we lost to the champs.
On how getting so close to the finals can be a big motivator for the team:
It makes the challenge even bigger and the expectations will be higher. That's something that the players really like around here…that little pressure to do it again. We had a taste of it and now we want to do it again. We know what it takes and everyone is on the same page for next season.
On his plans for his offseason training:
I went to the gym the other day and a couple of guys were already there so I'll probably start next week just slowly to get back into it. I think it's important to just get your mind away from the rink for a few weeks and relax. I think your body needs that when you play 100+ games in a season.
On his current contract negotiations:
We don't know how long it's going to take but hopefully everything goes smoothly. I love playing for the Ottawa Senators and it's a team that I take pride in playing for. This is the team that gave me my first chance and I love it. Plus it's close to all the people I love and I've met so many people over the years I've played here. I love it here.