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Where are they now? Peter Popovic
Montreal | August 16th, 2013
Where are they now? Peter Popovic
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: Peter Popovic.

Where do you live now?
I now live in a city called Västerås in Sweden. It’s about an hour’s drive away from Stockholm. I’ve been back in Sweden since my last season in the NHL with the Bruins in 2001.

What are you doing now?
I’m now an assistant coach for the Swedish National Team. I’ve been involved in coaching for a few years. During my playing days, I never really thought about becoming a coach. It’s something that just happened. A few years after I retired from pro hockey in 2005, I’d been offered a job as a coach with a junior team in my hometown and that’s how it kind of started. I’ve been working my way up through the ranks and I’ve been involved with the National Team for the past two seasons. I’m having as much fun coaching as I had when I was playing, but there’s a lot more work to do when you’re a coach!

How many times per year do you lace up the skates?
Other than when I jump on the ice for practice, I don’t play for fun in a pick-up league or anything like that. I’m getting old and as a former pro player, playing for fun doesn’t get me going. If I’m going to compete, I have to compete!

Are you still in touch with any former teammates?
No, I’m not. It’s hard to do from Sweden.

When was the last time you were in Montreal to watch a game?
I haven’t watched a game in Montreal since I left, but I came back two years ago to visit some friends over the summer. We had a great time. It was the first time I’d been in Montreal since 1998. I still have some friends outside of hockey in Montreal that I’ve stayed in touch with over the years.

What’s the thing you miss the most about Montreal?
I really loved the restaurants in Montreal. I loved being downtown and in Old Montreal. It’s tough to name only one thing. I really, really enjoyed my time playing for the Canadiens.

Do you still follow the Canadiens?
Yes, a little bit. I follow them on the Internet and when I talk to my friends in Montreal sometimes they tell me what’s happening with the team.

Is there a game in particular from your career with the Canadiens that stands out the most?
I’d say my first game in the NHL in 1993 stands out the most. It was against the Penguins in Pittsburgh. I didn’t play in the first game that season, but they used me in the second one and it was just awesome. I’ll always remember my first career goal. It took a while before happening because I didn’t score too often. It was at home against Washington and unfortunately we lost that game. I still have the puck from that goal at home.