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Exciting day for Raymond Bourque in Saint-Laurent

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It is with great nostalgia that Raymond Bourque attended the reopening ceremony of “his” arena in the Saint-Laurent neighborhood of Montreal on Saturday.

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The amphitheater that saw the growth of the member of the Hockey Hall of Fame has been renovated, for the benefit of all young athletes in the area. The iconic Boston Bruins captain was one of those guys who, when the complex opened in 1968, aspired to a career in the National Hockey League.

“It allowed me to live a dream, from an early age. I was spoiled watching the Canadian game, then it made me dream of playing in the National League. The city of Saint-Laurent and the bullring, here at [boulevard] Thiemens, he allowed me to make it happen, ”explained Bourque, who took charge of the ceremonial game after a thirty-minute ceremony.

“It took work, sacrifice and determination,” he added, delighted to see others follow in his footsteps.

Huge impact

Despite retiring more than 20 years ago after realizing his dream of winning the Stanley Cup – with the Colorado Avalanche – Bourque is a character who draws crowds. Dozens of young hockey fans have always surrounded the 61-year-old on this special day.

“What gives me the creeps is that there are young people here who have never seen Raymond Bourque perform, people a little less young who have heard of him and people of my generation who have had the great privilege of having seen him. […] We are talking about a model that has the ability to unite a community, “said former hockey player Danièle Sauvageau, one of the event’s ambassadors.

Also present at the ceremony was Kim St-Pierre, who played under Sauvageau with the Canadian national team. Now he lives in Saint-Laurent and trains his two boys, aged 8 and 10, in hockey. For the retired goalkeeper, Bourque is a true role model.

“When you enter the arena, you see his shirt on display. We all know the exploits of him. He is a boy from here, from Saint-Laurent, and it is always impressive to know that someone has succeeded. He allows young people to dream ”, he explained with a big smile.


More ecological

The city of Montreal and the Quebec government have invested $ 28.8 million in the renovation project of the Aréna Raymond-Bourque, which has been named after the legendary defender since 1990. The place has a new look and, above all, it has been modernized becoming more ecological.


The amphitheater could achieve LEED Silver certification from the Canada Green Building Council as it meets several program criteria, including access to public transportation, use of environmentally friendly materials, and the addition of a roof to avoid islands urban heat.


In terms of improvements to the arena, the two tracks have been renewed, 1,100 seats have been replaced and the entrance hall and external cladding have been updated. The refrigeration systems, lighting and display board have also been modified.

“Saint-Laurent is a great city and deserves such an elegant arena,” said Bourque. It was nice to see. When I got back, I couldn’t believe it. I had tears in my eyes with my wife. You hit us pretty hard ”.

Free skating in the arena was resumed from 22 July, but it is on 6 September that the clubs will be able to resume their activities. In addition to hockey, fans of ringette and figure skating will also find their account.

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