What We Learned on 24CH: “A Noble Gesture” [S3:E12]

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by Erica, Staff Writer and Fundraising Specialist, All Habs Hockey Magazine

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MONTREAL, QC. — A hockey franchise is only as good as its players, on and off the ice. Luckily, this episode of 24CH proved that the Habs are a very good team, even when they don’t win games. Here’s what we learned:

The Canadiens love to give. The Habs are always generous and community-oriented around the holidays. This year was no different. First, there was the annual visit to Montreal’s children’s hospitals. A camera crew followed the players, accompanied by Geoff Molson, as they visited patients at Sainte-Justine hospital. Molson joined the team’s visit in memory of Jean Béliveau, who started this annual tradition. One young fan named Kim had her Habs jersey all ready for autographs, but didn’t expect P.K. Subban to surprise her with a pair of game tickets. P.K. didn’t let a language barrier stop him from interacting with francophone patients – instead, he practiced saying “Joyeux Noël” over and over again. Brendan Gallagher was eager to bring gifts to the children (and tried to take one for himself.) I’m hoping he got to visit the little Habs fan who showed off a favourite stuffed toy, also named Gallagher.

The Canadiens’ spouses took part in an initiative called Opération Père Noël (Operation Santa Claus), sending gifts to less fortunate children and teens. Brandon Prust and his girlfriend, television personality Maripier Morin, stopped by an electronics store to buy iPods, headphones, and other gifts requested by teenagers. Once purchased, they headed to the Bell Centre to join other Canadiens spouses in wrapping the gifts before sending them off in time for a Christmas delivery.

By now, you’ve probably seen the video where P.-A. Parenteau “pranks” unsuspecting customers by going undercover as a retail employee at Sports Experts:

Behind the scenes, Parenteau looked excited to surprise people, and somewhat unprepared for the challenges of retail work. “People sure ask a lot of questions, don’t they?” Yes, P.-A. Yes, they do. It’s strange to think that most NHL players today didn’t grow up working part-time jobs – but it was pretty cool to see a “store employee” hand out $100 gift cards to random customers. One boy, who’d been trying to hide the fact that he recognized Parenteau, was given a gift card to pay for the hockey stick he wanted. (He’ll be draft eligible around 2022.)

Every time I talk about a Canadiens player doing something good, I can’t help but be reminded of the captain I grew up with.

Saku Koivu is happy to return to Montreal. Honoured by the team on December 18th, Koivu walked into the arena he used to call home, greeting everyone who helped him during his 13 seasons with the Canadiens. He shook hands with equipment managers and longtime security guards, clearly happy to see them again. He was joined by his family, introducing (or rather re-introducing) his father and children to Michel Therrien, noting that his son plays hockey. Koivu was nervous to step onto the Bell Centre ice, but found his groove right as he started his speech. He wasn’t expecting the fans to welcome him back in the way that they did, but he knew that they loved and respected him for many years – I’m not sure why he thought things would be any different.

If 24CH were a scripted show, this episode’s ending would have been a cliffhanger: the Canadiens lose to the Ducks, visibly upset over Clayton Stoner‘s debilitating hit on Max Pacioretty. There are no updates on his condition. Luckily, Canadiens fans know how that story ends and don’t have to wring their hands until next week’s episode.

Best bits. Mike Weaver wearing a Christmas sweater to the team’s official holiday party, because why wouldn’t he? – Prust, during his hospital visit, was greeted by a doctor wearing an oversize Brandon Prust mask. – The new Canadiens collection at Off The Hook contains a lapel pin that is really, really cool and probably not for general sale. – Alex Galchenyuk scoring a hat trick and chirping Prust about his superstitions.

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