The Hometown Hockey events downtown were GREAT!
Here's a terrific video...
Some of Ron MacLean's Essay (VIA)
BY RON MACLEAN ON JAN 11 2015
When I started my NHL broadcasting career 31 years ago, I was based in Calgary, hosting Flames games.
One of my favourite players to interview was a defenceman from Moncton, Charlie Bourgeois.
In about mid-December, I went to each of the Flames players to ask them for a childhood holiday memory, to prepare a story for Christmas. When I got to Bourgeois, normally my go-to guy for a quip, or fun anecdote, his response was merely lukewarm.
“Ron, nothing really special, for me. The Christmas tree and tourtiere meat pie on Christmas Eve I suppose. ”
I was flustered. Another player, Colin Patterson, was watching the exchange and when I was done with Charlie, he pulled me aside, and explained.
“I’m sorry that had to happen,” said Patterson. “You didn’t know, but the reason Charlie had no answer and went somewhat cold on you is that his father, Aurele, was an RCMP who was murdered at Christmas time in Moncton in 1974, when Charlie was 15. It just caught him off guard and he couldn’t fake a better response.”
I apologized to Charlie and he, for no good reason, apologized to me. Charlie won a CIS hockey crown with Moncton, enjoyed a decade in the NHL and was a great coach after his playing days. We’ve remained great friends. I attended Flames training camp in Moncton in 1985 and Charlie took us to dinner at Fisherman’s Paradise in nearby Shediac N.B. I came to his golf tournament around 1990 and hit Ziggy’s bar next to the Beausejour Hotel.
I was in town to help Charlie with a university fundraiser a few years ago, and I recall a great dinner at Little Louis’ Oyster Bar. Then, following my speech, a few beers at the Old Triangle Irish Alehouse and St. James Gate.
This summer we shot our Rogers Hometown Hockey promos in Moncton. I stopped by Charlie’s hockey school. I remember earlier in the day, while filming on Main Street, the ladies at Gifts Galore shop invited me in and gave me a beautiful Christmas ornament.
And that made me think of that day in 1984 when I asked Charlie for a yuletide memory.
When I was working on our Stanley Cup Final coverage this past June 4 in L.A. and got word that the City of Moncton was in lockdown with a manhunt underway, five Mounties shot with three killed, well you can imagine what I felt.
I knew that for everything I’ve ever said and done with Charlie, nothing could change 1974 for a kid who would honour his Dad’s legacy with every breath and every deed for the rest of his days.
And I knew five other families were now thrust into that reality. The only thread of solace was the work of Antonine Maillet, and the example of Jean Beliveau.
There is such dignity here. The authority of each new day rests entirely with themselves.