Gilles Gilbert #tbt

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Look at those beautiful, blonde locks….and complete lack of protective equipment for his upper body.  That would be NHL great and CHE staff member Gilles Gilbert, star of today’s edition of the CHE blog.

If you’ve ever brought a team to one of our adult or youth tournaments, especially Montreal or Lake Placid, chances are you’ve met Monsieur Gilbert.  In fact, he’s probably yelled at you to hurry up and get your team ready so your game starts on time, because if there’s one thing Gilles is known for, it’s his extreme respect for punctuality….and his perfect penmanship, I’ mean look at that signature!

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Born in Saint-Esprit, QC just outside of Quebec City in 1949, Gilles was a fantastic athlete from an early age, excelling in hockey as a goaltender in the winter and baseball as a pitcher in the summer.  By the time he was 17 years old he had both the MLB and NHL knocking on his door and had to make a choice, ultimately choosing to pursue a career in hockey.  He was drafted 25th overall by the Minnesota North Stars in 1969, but didn’t really find his groove until he was traded to the star studded Boston Bruins in 1973 where he helped take the team to the Stanley Cup finals and being invited to the All Star game that same season.  He played 6 more seasons with Boston before trying his luck with the Detroit Red Wings for his final 3 seasons.

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Known for his athleticism and cat like reflex’s, Gilles still holds a couple of NHL records: points percentage earned by a starting goalie (0.843) and most consecutive wins by a starting goalie (15) both attained during the 1975-76 season where he had a record of 33-8-10.  It’s always a fun time when a current goalie gets to 13 or 14 wins these days as we get to watch Gilles yell at the TV, cheering adamantly against said goalie.  We get to see a similar demeanour every time Don Cherry replays their overtime game 7 loss (Gilles was in net) against the Montreal Canadiens in 1979.

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Since his retirement, Gilles has worked with CHE as an instructor for our Adult and Youth hockey camps, and as a rink manager/celebrity during our adult tournaments.  That’s right, this NHL great will be the kindly gentleman handing out game sheets and room locks this weekend in Montreal, but ask him for an autograph and he’ll be happy to give you his time.  Always a professional, no matter what his profession is.

Graydon Crowley

Canadian Hockey Enterprises

NEW @ CHE!

As the hockey camp season comes to a close it’s always an exciting time at CHE as we transition into our Youth and Adult Tournament season.  Even though most of the events don’t start until mid-November, this is the time of year when we get to play around with ideas, talk about new locations, possible new features and generally figure out something we and the hockey community can get excited about.  We’ve already committed to a few new ideas, so take a look and let us know what you think.

QUEBEC CITY!

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For a number of years we ran a youth tournament in Quebec City that at one point was as big as 40 teams.  After a couple of quiet years we took the location off of the roster, but after much demand we’re heading back to Quebec City January 10 – 12, just to make sure participants get to enjoy and experience the frigid cold of a Quebec City winter.  I can assure you, it’s freaking cold.  Cold as in the thermometer reads the same temperature in Celsius and Fahrenheit, watch your breath freeze and fall to the ground cold.  So knowing how cold it’s going to be, participants better bring all of their winter gear so they can make the most of their trip to this unique and amazing city.  Quebec City is like visiting Europe without the expense or the jet lag.  400 year architecture combined with the French Canadian culture, the worlds largest winter recreation park, great hotels and arena, this tournament will certainly be the highlight of your teams year.  Just make sure to bring your mitts.

Banff in the Fall!

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We’ve decided to expand our Fall Adult Tournament line-up of Montreal and Las Vegas and added the November 22 – 24 weekend in Banff.  Why not start your rec season off with a bang by heading to Banff at the beginning of ski season.  While the rest of the country goes to work, heads to the rink for their hour long game, then home and repeat, you and the guys can head to Banff, eat delicious Keg dinners (and caesars), play a few hockey games at the beautifully re-designed Banff Arena and maybe get in some early season skiing/riding.  The town will be a buzz as alpine enthusiasts from around the world come to warm up on these world class slopes.

Pond Hockey in Jasper!

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Hockey is an amazing game in it’s own right, but there’s a special feeling you get when you take it back to its roots and play on a frozen lake on a crisp winters day.  Since the first outdoor NHL game was played in Edmonton in 2003 there’s been a massive revival in pond hockey as players want to leave their equipment at home, grab their skates, stick and toque and play a super fun game.  Suddenly search for a puck in a snow bank is the coolest thing you can do on the weekend.  This February 7 – 9 we’ll be hosting an event in beautiful Jasper, AB, surrounded by glacier capped mountains, teams might have to toe drag a moose to win this amazing event.

There’s a number of ideas still on the table, but we’re pleased to announce these new events and hope to see you in one of these amazing locations.

Graydon Crowley

Canadian Hockey Enterprises