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A White Welcome
 
MONTREAL | November 20th, 2009
A White Welcome
More often than not, an impromptu visit from a team's general manager or owner can be a little nerve-racking for the players, who are wise to be on their best behavior for its duration.  As top Canadiens executives in the late 70’s and early ‘80s would discover, though, it wasn’t just the players who had to be on their toes. 

Renowned as much for his ability to execute the perfect prank as he was for his talent as part of Montreal’s “Big Three” on the blue line, Guy Lapointe struck early and often with any target he could find.  Word has it, when general manager Irvin Grundman or team president Ronald Corey did make a rare trip down to the Habs’ dressing room, “Pointu” never missed his chance to make sure he left a lasting impression.

“Back then, all of our executives used to wear these dark blue Canadiens blazers everywhere they went,” recounted former Habs defenseman Gaston Gingras, who was Lapointe’s teammate for three seasons.  
    
Strolling into the room in their perfectly-pressed sport coats, any special guest in the team locker room had no choice but to eventually stride past one stall in particular. 

“Someone important like Mr. Grundman would come down to the room and Pointu would get to work,” recalled Gingras. “He would squeeze some baby powder into his hand, give him a big pat on the back and say something like ‘Nice to see you again!’”

While his teammates struggled to stifle their laughs, Lapointe remained stonefaced as he watched dust from the powder form a little cloud over his victim. In some cases, it would be hours before his unsuspecting mark noticed the souvenir he had received from Lapointe. 

“Poor Mr. Corey - Pointu got him a few times like that," Gingras reminisced with a laugh. "He would be walking around for the rest of the day, going into meetings or whatever, with no idea that he had a big baby powder handprint right on his dark blue jacket. Guy would do it to Mr. Molson, Mr. Grundman, anyone - with Lapointe, no one was off-limits.”

See also
Boss' Orders
Birds of a Feather
Howe could you?
Three players, one name
A history of numbers and pride