November 30, 2012

Hometown Heroes: Guy Carbonneau, Sept Iles, Quebec

Check out the hair on Guy Carbonneau in this photo!

This photo was taken in 1976. Carbonneau's midget B team won the Quebec provincial championship that year. That was a pretty rare title for the tiny northern town of Sept Iles.

Sept Iles, which translates literally to Seven Islands, is the northern most city in Quebec with any significant population. Nowadays somewhere around 27,000 people live there. Three other players besides Carbo have made it to the NHL from Sept Iles - Steve Duchesne, Karl Dykhuis and Rob Zettler. There is no doubting that hockey is the at the heart of this beautiful community.

As special as that midget title must have been, Carbonneau dreamed of bringing home a different championship trophy to Sept Iles one day - the Stanley Cup!

Carbonneau won two Stanley Cup titles with the Montreal Canadiens - in 1986 and in 1993, the latter as team captain. But the NHL did not allow the Cup to travel with the players back then like they do nowadays.

So when Carbonneau, by now a member of the Dallas Stars, won his third and final Stanley Cup in 1999 there was never any doubt about what he would with his day with the cherished trophy. He had promised his dad he would bring it home to Sept Iles.

He and the Cup arrived in the summer of 1999. He took the cup to the golf course and around town, and of course to the local rink where his hockey school was about to start up.

Then he finally took the Cup to see his dad, as promised.

It was a bittersweet moment in the harshest of ways. The family celebrated the moment in a very private ceremony - at the cemetery. Charles-Aimé Carbonneau had passed away from a heart attack just a few weeks before his son lifted the Stanley Cup for a third time.

1 comment:

RonNasty said...

Is it me or is there a drought of good Quebec-born NHLers recently?