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Mikey Scissorhands
MONTREAL | April 15th, 2010
Mikey Scissorhands
No one likes to be late. But if you were playing for the Canadiens in the early 1990s, sleeping in or getting caught in morning traffic before practice was simply not an option.

For most NHLers, missing the start of practice is one of those major no-no’s that usually results in getting an earful from  the head coach. According to former Habs forward Benoit Brunet,  though, a tongue-lashing from Pat Burns or Jacques Demers was only the half of it.

“We had to be in the room 45 minutes before practice and if ever a guy was late, Mike Keane would spring into action,” recalled Brunet of his former teammate and the prankster with whom he won the Stanley Cup in 1993. “The first thing Mike would do is pull out his trusty pair of scissors and cut whatever strings or laces were in the player’s bag. He would start with the skate laces and then move on to the shoulder pads and the hockey pants. Then Mike would tape the guy’s gloves together with like an entire roll of the stuff.”

 When the unsuspecting tardy player would rush into the room trying desperately to avoid appearing overly late, he would discover that it was going to be little while before he could join the boys on the ice.

 “Tracking down new laces to tie up your skates and then getting all that tape off your gloves wasn’t easy - believe me, I’ve been there,” laughed Brunet, who, like most of his teammates, lived in the suburbs and was often cutting his arrival time close. “We’d all sit there and watch as the late guy tried to get dressed. Sometimes a guy could end up 15 to 20 minutes late for practice. It was hilarious when it wasn’t happening to you.”

 To make matters worse, when the player finally reached the ice, the nightmare wasn’t over.

“The coaches were often in on it, and then they made sure to yell at the player and give him an extra hard time,” said Brunet, who spent 13 years with the Habs, including eight with Keane. “I always felt a little bad for Mike’s victims, but that kind of stuff would cut the tension and keep the guys loose.”

Not to mention punctual.

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