MISE À DAY
“My passion for hockey comes from the Quebec Nordiques. When I was little ass, I was Daniel Bouchard in the street. But later, I was fascinated by Maurice Filion as a hockey man.
The talking man grew up in Lévis, south of Quebec. He had the Nordiques logo tattooed on his heart. He now has that of the Colorado Avalanche.
At 49, soon to be 50, Jérôme Mésonéro lifted the Stanley Cup for the first time. He succeeded in a job in the shadows, that of amateur scout for the Avalanche.
Former general manager of the Victoriaville Tigres from 2005-2006 to 2013-2014, Mésonéro made the leap with Colorado in 2014-2015. For him, it was a logical choice.
“My attachment to this team, in addition to being my job and my livelihood, is immense,” he recalled less than 48 hours after his team's six-game victory against the Tampa Lightning in the final. I couldn't have had a better time to start my NHL career by finding myself with the Avalanche, the former Nordiques.
Memories of Quebec
“I wasn't in Tampa for Game 6, I stayed in Denver after the loss in of the fifth meeting. But we had a party in Denver on Monday when the players returned. We took turns taking the cup. Before lifting it, I relived several memories. »
“I was a big Nordiques fan when I was young. There are former Nords who work as scouts with the Avalanche. Curtis Leschyshyn is a pro scout, Alexei Gusarov is an amateur scout, and Joe Sakic is our GM.
“I've told the guys before that I remember their first game with the Nordiques at the Coliseum de Québec and their last playoff game with the Nordiques against the [New York] Rangers. I was in the buildingfor the Nordiques' final NHL game at the Coliseum. Today I work with them. And today, I won the cup with them. »
The pinnacle of emotions
Mésonéro was still on cloud nine during his telephone conversation with Le Journal.
“I said that to my mother on Monday. I don't know what the height of emotions is, but I imagine it's close to what I'm experiencing now. I was so happy when we won Game 6 in Tampa. At our party in Colorado, I had the chance to lift the cup. If that's not the top of the emotions, I don't know what is. »
150 nights at the hotel
In his job as a recruiter, Mésonéro lays his head on a pillow in a hotel room as often than in his own house. He spends his autumns, winters and spring traveling from one arena to another to scrutinize the best prospects of the QMJHL, but also elsewhere on the planet.
“I was talking with the other recruiters, we were eight of our staff at the party, he said. We were just talking about the sacrifices we have to make. It's as if everything was suddenly erased. I don't know if “sacrifice” is the right word, but there are pitfalls with this job. Yes, it is exciting work, but it is also demanding. You spend a lot of nights in hotels in a year, a lot of nights in arenas and a lot of time in airports or on the road driving. Today, I no longer think about the fatigue of travel. »
When asked if he has an idea of how many nights he has spent in a hotel, he pauses to look at an app on his cell phone.
“I have 126 nights at the hotel this year, just with the Marriott chain, he replied. You can add another 30 with other chains. I would say 150 nights is a good number. »
Artturi Lehkonen, the last piece
If he looked with wonder at Maurice Filion as general manager of the Nordiques in his youth, Jérôme Mésonéro now has a large dose of admiration for his boss with the Avalanche, Joe Sakic.
“Joe is a thorough man, he replied. He built this team piece by piece with a well-established plan. He navigated the constraints of the salary cap. He did it with finesse. »
“The exchange for Artturi Lehkonen is a good move at the right time, he continued. We needed him to complete our puzzle. And we had the pieces to lure him to Colorado. Lehkonen is our big acquisition. He scored the game-winning goal in Game 6 against Tampa, he also has the game-winning goal in overtime in Game 4 of the Western Finals against Edmonton.
To get Lehkonen, Denver sacrificed a former 2020 first-round pick in defenseman Justin Barron and a second-round pick turn in 2024.
“When I say that Joe is meticulous, it is a good example with the exchange of Lehkonen, specified Mésonéro. Artturi- had a phenomenal impact. »
- By tradition, the Stanley Cup will visit Quebec this summer in the company of Samuel Girard and Nicolas Aubé-Kubel, but we do not yet know the dates. Jérôme Mésonéro, Jean Martineau (vice-president of communications) and Daniel Laperrière (professional recruiter) also have links with the Belle Province.