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Where are they now? Gaston Gingras


MONTREAL | July 19th, 2009
Where are they now? Gaston Gingras
The Canadiens didn’t pile up 100 years of history without the blood, sweat and tears of the over 750 players to have ever worn the uniform. From the likes of Donald Audette to Zarley Zalapski, there are former Habs scattered all over the world. Although many hardcore Canadiens fans can rattle off the career accomplishments of hundreds of their old heroes, the question remains: what are these guys up to today? On the hot seat today: Gaston Gingras.

Where do you live now?
I live just west of Montreal in Pierrefonds. 

What are you up to these days?

I’ve managed to stay really involved in hockey.  I run skating and stickhandling clinics in Nunavik and Baie-James and I give courses at every level from novice players to adults learning for the first time.  I went to the Eastmain region of Baie-James with the Nadeau Leblanc Hockey School about four or five years ago and I’ve been doing it ever since.  I also had an amazing opportunity to go to Iqaluit a few years back and it really made an impression on me.  They really love their hockey there.  It just brought me back to my youth as a kid in Temiscaming 40 years ago, when I spent all my free time out on the street with a ball and my hockey stick. They’re passionate about hockey – especially when it comes to the Canadiens. 

Other than that, I also work a little bit with the Canadiens’ rookies and I’ll be with the National Women’s Team in June.  I just really love being involved in the sport any way I can.

How often do you lace up the skates per year?
I’m always on the ice.  In addition to the clinics, I also play about 40 games a year with the Canadiens Alumni team.

Are you still in touch with your former teammates?
Playing with the Alumni team definitely helps me see a lot of the guys, especially the ones in Quebec and Ontario.  What’s especially fun is not only catching up with former teammates, but really getting to know some of the old rivals.  Back when we played, it was literally like war out there.  These days, we’re there having fun and now we can appreciate that our former enemies are normal people like everyone else. 

How many Canadiens games do you watch each season?
I watch them occasionally.  It’s been five or six years now that I’ve been involved with the rookies and the development camp so it’s fun to watch how far they’ve come and how much some of them have developed with the team.

Who is your favorite player on the current roster?
I really like Andrei Markov.  He’s our best defenseman and I really appreciate the nuances of his game.  Without great defense, it’s tough to go very far. 

What’s your most valued souvenir or piece of memorabilia that you’ve held on to since your playing days?
I’m not really very materialistic.  I kept my miniature Stanley Cup and the little trophies we won, like the two mini Prince of Wales replicas.  I have a lot of great memories stored in my head, but not a lot of material things from back then.

Where do you keep your Stanley Cup ring?
Sometimes I’ll put it on my key chain when I’m giving a talk, just so I can show it to the kids.  I don’t wear jewelry so I never have it on my finger or anything, but I bring it along with me so the kids can see it.  When you see that kids are really into something and they have a goal in life, it’s important to give them the hope that they can and will achieve their goals; the ring represents that hope.
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