22 questions to the future retiree Pierre Gervais

Pierre Gervais, after his 31st season with the Canadiens organization, will retire at the end of the season as equipment manager. Originally from Trois-Rivières, his career began with the youth training of the Draveurs de Trois-Rivières whose head coach was Michel Bergeron before Georges Guilbault invited him to join the Castors de Sherbrooke under the direction of Ghislain Delage.

Pierre was part of the Sherbrooke Canadiens, who won the Calder Cup in 1985, and of the 1993 edition of the Canadiens, who won the Stanley Cup. On the international scene he participated four times in the Olympic Games, but also with the Canadian team that won the World Cup in 2004.

Describe your parents to me.

I am fortunate to have wonderful parents, including my father, Marcel, a government accountant, and my mother, Madelaine Champagne, who has always been there to guide us.

Respect is essential.

My parents’ message was clear: Respect is essential.

You spent your summers at Lac-aux-Sables.

We were heading for the Lac-aux-Sables chalet. I’m a woody type, so I used to like to go fishing. Also, the forest has always been very important in my life.

Your dad used to make you skip school to go fishing with him.

Dad thought it was important to share a day of fishing together. Think about it, a kid who skipped a day of school to go fishing with his dad. This magical moment that I still keep in my heart today.


You worked at your sister’s convenience store.

My first job was as a street vendor before working at my sister’s convenience store for one summer.

At 16, you joined the Draveurs de Trois-Rivières.

Michel Bergeron believed in me. Bergie hired me for home training and matches as assistant to Normand Beaudry, the equipment manager, who became my mentor.

Michel Bergeron gave you one of the most important messages of your career.

“Young people, what happens in the locker room stays in the locker room … otherwise you get fired. I have never forgotten his message.

What were your challenges?

Doing the laundry, keeping the locker room spotless, however, the real challenge was mastering the skate sharpener.

Businessman Georges Guilbault has played an important role in your life.

Georges invited me to meet him in Sherbrooke, because he wanted to offer me the position of equipment manager for the Sherbrooke Castors.

I had to borrow $ 20.

There were two obstacles in front of me. The first, I did not inform my parents of the place I was offered, because they were at the cottage. Second, I had to borrow $ 20 from my brother to pay for the bus ticket.

Georges Guilbault is seated well in his red Cadillac.

George, who has played an important role in my life, was waiting for me sitting in his red Cadillac. He showed me around the city and I accepted his offer.

You left the house with $ 60 in your pocket.

My parents were happy that I accepted the position in Sherbrooke. I leave for Sherbrooke with the modest sum of $ 60 in my pocket.

Your first apartment was near the arena.

That is to say, I lived in the attic of a house. I had no television or sound system.

For 3 months you have only eaten peanut butter at home.

Let’s be more precise, I couldn’t afford anything else.

Your first car was a used white Camaro.

White car, white interior seats and the famous 8 tracks for listening to music.

Two guys from Trois-Rivières who worked in the NHL.

The equipment manager for the Vancouver Canucks was Pat Dunn. When I saw him at Aigles de Trois-Rivières baseball games, I wanted to become an equipment manager. He was my idol.

You participated in two Stanley Cup conquests with the Canadiens.

The first time, in 1986, I was a guest assistant. In 1993 I was assistant to the director of equipment, Eddy Palchak.

Winning the Stanley Cup in 1993 is the most important thing in your career.

This victory touched the entire people of Quebec, my friends, the parade in downtown Montreal was dazzling. No championship can replace 1993.

You have four beautiful children.

My daughter, Anne-Michèle Gervais, who is a Crown attorney in Montreal, and my son Louis Gervais, who has a masters degree in finance, studied at Sherbrooke University. I am so proud of them.

You have two younger children.

Gabriel Gervais, 12, is a fishing enthusiast. Last year we went fishing on Vancouver Island and he caught a 37lb salmon.

Alexandre Gervais, 10, is the cheerleader of the family. He is passionate about cooking, which allows us to enjoy great meals that he cooks for us.

You are very grateful to your wife.

14 years ago, Sophie Picard and I got married. She is an amazing mother who has taken care of both boys with so much love. She was often alone with the children because of my many travels, she found a way to complete her university studies.

Your roles will change when you retire.

I will start a career in the health sector and it will be up to me to stay at home and take care of the children. I would like to add that: “I love you very much, Sophie, and I will try to complete the same task you did with our children.”

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