Georges Laraque has launched a new website. It seems obvious that Laraque intends to pursue a media career when his hockey days are over.
Some say that Laraque’s had an eye on his second career throughout this past season. He was always there for a media appearance or to voice his opinion on a league issue. Yet Laraque didn’t have the same enthusiasm for hits, fights, and standing up for his teammates.
Laraque’s first entry is his new blog appears below. I know that Kyle will be happy to see it.
Georges’ Blog – April 24
What a year it was for me, my first with the Montreal Canadiens. I think I can truly say that this was a year I will never forget, we surely made this 100th year anniversary a memorable one for our fans, maybe not in the way that we all wanted, but as you know in life, things don’t always happen the way you hope.
For me, things didn’t start the way I wanted. I was hurt right from training camp and pretty much had to deal with injuries all year. It’s the first time in my career I have ever gone through such bad luck. I had to deal with two cases of herniated disks in my back and at times this year I couldn’t even move. So you can imagine for a tough guy, doing your job with that problem is not easy. I thought at one point I would need surgery and that my season, or even at one time my career, would be over. Thankfully with the help of our medical staff and personal trainer, we were able to deal with it and keep me in good enough condition to play through the problem. I knew even though I wasn’t 100 per cent, that my presence in the lineup was making a difference whether I played lot or not.
Teams would play us much differently when I wasn’t dressed and no one needed a degree in rocket science to see that, so because of all that, I wasn’t always playing the way I knew I could, I had some good games but I also had some bad ones. So you can imagine how some of the media here had a field day with me. But that’s the way it is here in Montreal, they all knew that I was hurt, they eventually all knew what the problem was, but as I have come to realize, a lot of them have no idea what it’s like to play with this problem. As a result of all this, I only played 33 games this year.
At the beginning of the year our team was on fire, we were rated the best team in the league and had our fans raving and dreaming about the Stanley Cup. Then the weirdest thing happened, for some reason we started running into some bad luck and went through a stretch where everything went wrong. We started having injury problems, and when I say a lot, I couldn’t be more precise. Without getting into it, we had all those distractions off the ice and our team was starting to crumble. At one point, we went from thinking we would win the Cup to wondering if we were going to make the playoffs, and in a city like Montreal, that’s never a good thing. With our struggles continuing and our team going down in the standings, our GM did what every GM would in that case, make a change, and that was to fire the coach.
At the end of the day, there’s only one way to analyze this move and you can come up with your own conclusion because I’m not going there, well for this one time anyway! LOL! If we didn’t fire our coach, would we have made the playoff with the way the team was playing? When Gainey replaced Guy our mission became making the playoffs, which was at that time a huge challenge. We started playing for our Cup, which was our survival. And we did, on the second last game of the year we clinched and what a relief it was.
We were set to play our first round of the playoffs against the Bruins. At that time, my back felt better and I was as close to 100 per cent as I ever was this year, so it was good timing. I played my best hockey in the playoffs, and I must say, everyone played hard and I’m proud of everybody’s effort against the best team in the conference. It is unfortunate we were swept, especially at home. We gave everything we had, the only things is, I don’t really like blaming the loss on injuries, but playing the best team in the East without our top two forwards, Tanguay and Lang, our top two defensemen, Markov and Schneider, we didn’t stand much of a chance against a healthy Bruins team. It’s like taking Chara, Wideman, Savard and Krejci away from the Bruins and see what you get. But despite that, we always believe in ourselves and give our best effort. I don’t regret anything this year, I’m proud to be a Montreal Canadien and it’s not because I went through a tough time that I would feel otherwise. If there’s only one thing I was ashamed of, it would be the reaction of some of the fans at our last game against Boston. Some were booing Carey Price and some were chanting Carbo, or Guy to mock our coach Gainey. This was unacceptable when you are a true fan and bleed Montreal Canadiens. You don’t want that, you support your team in victory or defeat and our entire team was embarrassed by this behavior. I do want to thank the majority of the fans that stayed in the stands and kept cheering for us and were proud of their team.
Next year, I don’t know what the future will hold for us. We have a lot of free agents and no idea what our team will look like. The only thing I’m certain about is that I will be there, healthy and ready for another big season. Thank you for your support all year, God Bless!