NHL Network
This content requires Adobe Flash Player 10


Where are they now? Marcel Bonin


MONTREAL | July 26th, 2009
Where are they now? Marcel Bonin
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: Marcel Bonin.

Where do you live today?
In Joliette.

What did you do after retiring from hockey?
When I hung up my skates I became a police officer, a job I held for seven years. After that I worked in the school system for 16 years as a drug education counsellor.

What do you do at the present time?
I read a lot. At 77 I’d have to say I spend most of my time relaxing. I have a passion for the history of New France. I got the bug when I was working in the schools and became friendly with the history teachers.  I have a collection of 2600 books on the subject that were published over a century ago.

Have you kept in touch with former teammates?
I belong to the Canadiens Alumni. We have our annual meeting every September where I run into a few former teammates. I also drop by the Bell Centre a few times every season and make a point of going to the Salon des Anciens, where I meet former teammates as well.

What piece of Canadiens memorabilia that you’ve held onto is your favorite?
I can’t really claim to have kept any collectors items. Like most of the players from my era, I sold most of the items; with the exception of a few things I gave my children.

Where do you keep your Stanley Cup rings?
I won three Stanley Cups with Montreal. I got one ring, to commemorate the three championships because they didn’t give out rings every year in the 1950s. Forty years ago I lent it to a friend in Florida and I haven’t seen him or it since.

I just got a ring for the Stanley Cup I won with Detroit in 1954-55. When the Red Wings won last year, they decided to make new rings for all the former players who had previously won a Cup but didn’t get a ring.

How did you get the nickname l’Ours de Joliette? (The Joliette Bear)
Joe Louis, who was the former world heavyweight boxing champion, was touring with the Dailey Brothers Circus. His job was to referee bouts between a trained bear and people from the crowd. They offered $1,000 to anyone who could knock the bear down. I had made a small wager with a friend and climbed into the ring. Let’s just say that I found the ground before the bear did.

What about the stories about you eating glass?
I used to do that when we were on the road. I’d seen someone do it and I felt like giving it a try. It’s as if the glass melts in your mouth and becomes almost like sand. I could have swallowed it without any problem but I stopped myself from doing that, just in case.

Did any of your teammates try to imitate you?
Yes, but I’ve sworn not to reveal their names.

Read also:
Where are they now? G. Gingras
Where are they now? M. McPhee
Where are they now? P. Mahovlich
Where are they now? T. Ewen
Where are they now? M. Lalor