The fear of a forced retirement

The haunting of a forced retirement


Carey Price and Shea Weber have everything to be happy. Charming wives, beautiful children and money in their pockets. Their professional hockey career has allowed them to secure their future and that of their descendants.

They miss hockey, however. 

Typically, a 37-year-old top defenseman and 35-year-old top goaltender are still on the ice. But, as we know, injuries thwarted the plans of Weber and Price. 

In this sense, they must feel great frustration.

Because every athlete wants to be able to choose when to retire. Already this decision is difficult, they do not want to be forced out.

It is a fear for them.

Cournoyer has been there

Yvan Cournoyer knows where Price and Weber go.

During the last three seasons of his glorious 16 year career with the Canadiens , his back let go of him little by little. 

He underwent two operations and it was in a complete tie that he lived the conquests of the Stanley Cup in 1977, in Boston , and from 1978 at the Forum, against the New York Rangers. Serge Savard acted as captain in his place.

In 1979, the day after the first day of training camp, he remained a prisoner of his bed. His body didn't want to follow. 

His career ended like this.

The shock was hard to take. 

“&nbsp ;I felt like a worker with 35 years of service suddenly losing his job, says Cournoyer, who would turn 36 later that year.

“Hockey having been my whole life up until then, it was easy. I had been doing this since I was 17,” he adds, going back to his years with the Canadian junior.

The young people on this team rubbed shoulders with the players of the big Canadian. They were playing at the Forum and wearing the same uniform.

It was just the amount of the check that was different.

In his last junior season, in 1963-1964, Cournoyer was called up to play five games with the big club. Over the next 15 seasons, he engraved his name on the Stanley Cup 10 times.

Cournoyer and his teammates were the kings of the city.

One year to get over it

Then, everything suddenly stopped for the brave captain. The memorable evenings at the Forum, the great conquests, the spectacular parades on Sainte-Catherine Street. It was all over.

“The first year, I was down, continues Cournoyer.

“When you're 30 or 35 and suddenly you don't have to get up in the morning because you don't have a job, it's hard.

< p>“Since that time, every time I see someone losing their job, I know how they might feel.”

But Cournoyer never saw himself as either. a privileged person of society.

It must be said that the gap between the salaries of hockey players and those of workers was much less pronounced in his time.

” I was just doing my job although I recognize that hockey was a great way to earn a living, he says.

” It's true that it is not cheap everyone to pursue a career in hockey. On the other hand, it is important to do a job that you enjoy. If you don't like what you do, you'll be bored. »

12 years in the restaurant industry

Compared to other athletes, Cournoyer still got back on his feet quite quickly after the premature end of his career. He opened a restaurant called Brasserie 12, which found success in Lachine, Montreal.

“The 32nd Avenue was practically deserted when the idea came to me, he recalls.

“ I bought land that belonged to CN and I participated with an architect in drawing up the plan for the building that housed my brewery for 12 years.

“I had a great team of 40 employees. I ran it like a hockey team. It was a lot of work and I was present as the leader of a company should be. 

Cournoyer had a less fortunate hand with a chain of restaurants specializing in burgers. But he recovered well and his fame remained intact.

Fans love him and he pays them well in his role as ambassador for the Canadiens. 

< strong>Price will speak on Monday 

Carey Price will meet the media on Monday. But it won't be to announce his retirement from competition, as he still has hopes of returning to the game. 

Price continues to receive treatment at the Canadiens' infirmary and remains in the entourage of the team.

The goalkeeper will respond to the many interview requests he has received since training camp.

Fans have not forgotten him either . 

We saw the monster ovation he received during the opening game last week at the Bell Centre.

Yvan Cournoyer was touched.

” I was there and I thought it was very nice of the spectators, to tell me the glorious number 12 of the Habs yesterday. 

” It's pleasant to seeing fans recognize the contribution of players who have had long careers with the Canadiens.”

At home in Montreal

Price had a another good reason to come back to Montreal for the season.

Towards the end of the summer, his two daughters, Liv and Millie, aged 6 and 3 respectively, asked him when the family would return to the Quebec metropolis. 

They were eager to meet up with their friends and indulge in their regular activities.

For them as for their mother, Angela, it Montreal is their home.

Price had no choice.

When you have three women at home, you have to listen to them!

We should mention that the Price couple are also parents of a boy, Lincoln, who had 2  ns in June.