(Tampa) Chantal Matchabe warned us when it was time to coordinate the meeting with Martin Lafleur. “He is as fine as his father, he does not refuse any request!”
Posted at 6:00 AM
As a matter of fact, on Tuesday morning, Martin LaFleur invited us to arrange a meeting after the NHL Cup Gala.
So we meet in the evening in front of his hotel. An hour earlier, he had presented the Ted Lindsay Trophy, which is awarded to the most important player in the National Hockey League, as voted on by the other players. An award his father, Jay, won for three consecutive years, from 1976 to 1978, when the award was named after Lester B. Pearson.
Accompanied by fellow Sportsnet teammate David Amber, he presented the trophy to Auston Matthews. The announcement follows a tribute to hockey players who passed away last year, a video that began with Clark Gillis and Matis Kevlinics, and ended with Mike Bussey and J. LaFleur.
He used his evening to chat with Matthews, but also with Claude Lemieux and Joe Sakic, who played for two years with his father in Quebec Nordic, from 1989 to 1991. Martin LaFleur has very specific memories of Sakic, and no, these aren’t stories of mini hockey games in Nordiques dressing room …
“I remember Joe, along with Tony Harcak, they always tried to invite me to Dagobert to go have a drink with them! The 47-year-old divorces, and is still amused. My parents weren’t too happy, for example! But I was happy to see them again. I took the reins The initiative to shake hands with Joe. »
Martin LaFleur with his wife Angelica. “The league has taken care of everything, and he invites us here with my wife, and we have been very well received,” he explains.
And no, there was no question of saying no, because anyone who knew the father knew that it was never in his choices for an answer. Even when he was sick, he continued to give interviews when his health allowed it.
Martin Lafleur was scheduled to leave Tampa around 4 a.m. Wednesday to go to Ontario for another event on his father’s behalf.
I also represent my family and am honored to have these events, because my dad would have done it.
“We lived it in the Ardent Chapel. It completely changed the perception we had of the fans. For us, it was always a challenge. We appreciate them the fans, but they take a lot of moments in our lives. But we don’t blame them! It was positive, it was for a photo” and sign.
“But at the Ardent Chapel, people came to see us to tell us about the person. Not for hockey trivia. They were people who were affected either by a call my father made or by a visit to the hospital. Or it was a father who wanted to help his son as my father did to my brother. He was a human being and he changed me, because I find that it is It is very important to continue with this charity.”
Martin LaFleur would continue his father’s work by serving as an ambassador for the Chaum Foundation, a role that Guy LaFleur held until his death. He says the Jay LaFleur fund raised $1.7 million. Martin, he dreams of 10 million.
This is a way to deal with grief. Wednesday will be two months since we left the blond devil.
“It hasn’t entered my head yet. I worked with him, played with him seven years at Anciens Canadiens, I’ve been working with him. A big part of my life is gone. It will take a long time before I feel better. The comforting thing is events like this, with our hockey world, In a hockey environment, these are beautiful moments that allow me to try things through.
“Events like tonight [mardi], It is positive, to pay tribute to exceptional people. I try to look at it differently. This gives me a kind of closure. It allows you to live it in a more positive way, because I know there will always be events related to my father. It is important to keep the Lafleur name alive. »
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