The 1986 Stanley Cup Final pitted the Calgary Flames against the most enduring legacies in sports, the Montreal Canadiens. The series went five games, and history was made in Game 2 when Brian Skrudland scored the winning goal nine seconds into overtime. This series is best remembered by the emergence of Patrick Roy, nicknamed Saint Patrick, who is considered as one of the greatest goalies of all time.
On Saturday, May 24, 1986, the 23rd Stanley Cup was raised by Nos Glorieux. They beat the Flames 4-3 at the Saddledome.
MONTREAL, QC. — It’s not everyday the Montreal Canadiens win the Stanley Cup.
That was going to be his argument if his dad said “no.” Peter was in Grade 9 and attending John F. Kennedy Comprehensive High School in St Michel. The night before, the Habs won the Stanley Cup and the parade was scheduled for Monday May 26, 1986.
Peter had already planned his escape from school if he didn’t get dad’s approval. He was going to go to his uncle’s depanneur with his cousin John on Monday morning and, from there, the two teenagers would make their way downtown.
He just hoped his dad said “yes.”
Monday morning, Peter was getting ready for school, and was eating cereal in the kitchen. His dad walked in and matter-of-factly stated “Aren’t you going to the parade?”
He was thrilled!
Peter would be going to the Stanley Cup parade with his father’s blessing!
Peter called his cousin John, told him the good news and off they went.
It was 10 am. when they arrived at the Guy metro station. The fans had already started gathering on the street.
The boys asked a police officer what the route of the parade would be. The officer replied that it would be coming from the east, from Main, and ending up at the Forum.
Peter and John walked to Place des Arts.
By the time they reached the corner of Jeanne Mance and Ste-Catherine, the parade had already begun.
The players were standing on Chrysler convertible K-cars, unprotected from the throng of fans, practically in the crowd!
Then Peter and John saw him.
The Greek God of the ice!
Without missing a beat, they jumped on the car and put their arms around Chelios’ shoulders. They told him they were Greek and he told them to stay!
Chelios was slightly inebriated. The fans were tossing beer cans to the players and they were celebrating their victory!
Who could blame them?
Peter and John stayed in the car with Chelios all the way to the Forum. The car made a couple of pit stops at clothing stores along the route.
Chelios was slightly inebriated, remember!
Upon arrival at the Forum, where a huge party was underway, the boys were stopped by security and asked if they had entrance tickets.
They did not.
John decided to put his bus pass in Chelios’ back pocket as a reminder of who they were.
They boys were elated!
When they disembarked from the car and said goodbye to Chris, they were stopped by a reporter who was covering the parade for Pulse News.
The reporter was Howard Schwartz!
He invited Peter to be interviewed for the 6 pm news — the teenage boy proceeded to recount the events of the day.
When Howard Schwartz asked him why he wasn’t in school, Peter simply replied “Screw School! The Habs won the cup!”
Fast forward to 2008.
Chris Chelios went to dinner with some friends at Baton Rouge on Decarie. Peter approached Chelios and recounted his story to him of that fateful day. Funny thing is, Chris couldn’t remember it at all!
As mentioned, he was slightly inebriated!
Memories of Nos Glorieux never fade. They become the fabric of our being.
Peter will never forget that day.
Peter is a bon vivant who will never refuse good food, good drink and good company. He plays hockey and is an avid golfer. He is a lifelong Habs fan and a huge New York Jets fan. He owns Baton Rouge on Decarie Boulevard in Montreal. You can find him at the bar after the evening rush enjoying his vodka and chatting about hockey, football and any other sport. You can follow him on Twitter @peteypops13
Want to share your favorite Habs memory? Contact me here: effie at allhabs dot net
Category: Fan Focus