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My Draft Day: Andre Racicot
MONTREAL | June 19th, 2012
My Draft Day: Andre Racicot
Over the course of two emotion-filled days in late June, hundreds of hockey players worldwide will be anxiously waiting to hear their name called.  It’s a day that players never forget, least of all goaltender Andre Racicot, who got the call two decades ago.   

Twenty years have passed since the 1989 Draft in Bloomington, MN, but some of the baby faced teenagers plucked from the crowd that day are still making their presence felt in the NHL ranks.  The Quebec Nordiques welcomed Mats Sundin and Adam Foote to La Belle Province, both of whom have suited up for over 1,000 career games since.

For their part, the Canadiens found a 1,000-gamer of their own in Patrice Brisebois that afternoon.  It was also the day Racicot got a surprising call from one of his boyhood idols.
After going undrafted the year before, the 20-year-old backstop finished up his 54th game of the season with the QMJHL Granby Bisons and headed home to Abitibi.  

“I was at my parent’s place when I got the call.  I was already so surprised that I’d even been drafted in the first place, but to top it off, it was Serge Savard on the other end of the phone giving me the news personally,” recounted the 1993 Stanley Cup champion. “Given my age at the time, I would have been jumping for joy to be drafted by any NHL team.  That it was Savard and the Canadiens, though? I was ecstatic.”

Like thousands of kids across the province, the young Habs fan had spent countless hours on outdoor rinks emulating Canadiens greats like Ken Dryden and Patrick Roy.

“It’s such a special feeling to pull on that jersey.  There’s just so much history there,” explained that year’s 83rd overall pick.

Racicot found himself in familiar territory with the Canadiens family, since his childhood friend Eric Desjardins was already a regular in the Habs’ lineup.   

“Although training camp was a really tough step in my development with the team, I knew I had someone there to talk to and who could help me out in terms of what to expect from the whole thing,” confided the former No. 37.

While the young netminder was excited to be embarking on his career in Montreal, his friends and family may have topped even the man himself in the enthusiasm department.

“It really caused a commotion back home,” admitted Racicot. “For sure, anytime someone you know has a chance to play for the Canadiens, there’s a real sense of pride that comes with that.”