The one about…playing in Montreal
When Maxim Lapierre was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens 61st overall in 2003, his mom jumped up and down and screamed as if the Lapierre family had won the lottery.
In a way, it did.
“They were saying I was going to get drafted in the early 20s, so when I fell so far down it was tough, but then the Canadiens took me and things couldn’t have worked out better,” said Lapierre, outside the Bell Centre Sunday morning.
“It was perfect for me to start my career here, I had my family to support me and sometimes you don’t think about it, but being 20 in the NHL is pretty young and it’s good to have your family and friends around you. My name is in the books now and my dad is proud to have his family name as part of the history. It was a good beginning and now I’m happy in Vancouver.”
The one about…Celine Dion
The first time Maxim Lapierre was in the storied Bell Centre was for
a rough and tumble manly sporting event a Celine Dion concert.
“I’m not ashamed of that, I like her,” said Lapierre, matter-of-factly, and ready to pummel me with his iron fists if even the slightest smirk emerged on my face.
“I was with my whole family, in fact my parents and sister are in Las Vegas right now to see Celine.”
This Celine conversation went down at about 9:14 a.m. and with a full day of interviewing Lapierre on the horizon, I did not prod into his love for Celine any further.
Journalism lesson of the day: Don’t tick off the subject first thing in the morning, especially not about their guilty pleasure.
The one about…getting the call
“I remember when I first got called up to Montreal I was in Hamilton and I had a bad fever, I was feeling really bad, but I knew I could not say no to a call up,” laughed Lapierre. “That first moment I put on the jersey was a great moment for the family and I remember a couple of the guys were clapping in the dressing room as soon as I put it on.
“I played two minutes that night, but it was the best two minutes of my life.”
The one about…his first NHL goal
On December 12, 2006, Lapierre made his NHL debut and had an instant impact picking up his first career NHL point assisting on Guillaume Latendresse’s game-winning goal in a 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins.
The very next game Lapierre picked up his first NHL goal in a 4-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The puck is on the mantle in his TV room, the memory is always on his mind.
“I remember seeing the puck coming right at me and it just hit my stick. When I heard the crowd I knew it was me that scored. It’s an unreal feeling, you can’t explain that. You talk about that goal for years after.”