My son knows quite a bit about hockey. Nic’s acquired his knowledge through the usual channels, like playing NHL 2014 on the Playstation, watching games on tv, watching videos on YouTube. I know he watches a lot of YouTube videos on players and techniques, and, more recently, goalies and techniques: this season, he’s between the pipes half the time. The other half of the time he’s playing defence.

He’s got a pretty high hockey IQ. I’m not sure if he could argue statistics, but I think he’s got enough knowledge so that he’d be able to take a stab at it. Especially current stats..

All I’m saying is when he makes a statement about hockey, I generally believe what he says.

The other day, I was watching some playoff footage between the St. Louis Blues and the Montreal Canadiens from the years 1968-70. I love watching old hockey clips: those guys, mostly helmet-less, skating so fast, shooting on goalies with such little protection.

And the crowds! There were no fans wearing jerseys: the men were in suits and the women were all dressed up, hair done, looking ready to go out for dinner, not to a hockey game.

Back to the clip

So back to this clip. I’m watching it and there’s a shot of a beautiful woman in the crowd, it goes back to the action, and then there’s a shot of the Canadian Prime Minister, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, aka PET.

I want to show this to Nic. So I start the clip over again and explain to him that just before we’ll see the Prime Minister, we’ll see this beautiful woman but I have no idea who she is.

The video plays, we see that woman, and Nic says, “I know who that is.”

“What do you mean, you know who that is?” Come on. I was 10 years old when that game was played. How can a 12-year old, even a hockey savvy one, possibly know who that was.

“I don’t know why I know it, but it’s Rocket Richard’s wife.”

Suddenly, showing Nic that Pierre Elliott Trudeau was at that St. Louis Blues – Montreal Canadiens game was far less interesting.

At the end, I don’t know if it was Lucille Richard, Maurice (the “Rocket”) Richard’s wife after all, he’d already been retired 10 years before this game was ever played. But the Rocket, like Guy Lafleur, Jean Beliveau – and others – are hockey legends here in Quebec, their stories well known and repeated at the rinks, in the locker rooms, even in schools.

Here in Quebec, hockey is a part of the social fibre. It lives year round, not just during hockey season.