Thank Bobby Hull on his knees

Kneeling to thank Bobby Hull


It's so obvious. Maurice Richard has been exploited all his life by the Montreal Canadiens. Exploiting and despising too often.

Émile Bouchard was robbed. Jean Béliveau had to work his entire career during the summer for the Molson Brewery to get the dollars he deserved for each appearance on the ice.

Jacques Plante, Doug Harvey, Jean-Claude Tremblay, all operated and treated as personal possessions by the owners.

Elsewhere, Gordie Howe, Bobby Orr, Bobby Hull, Frank Mahovlich and all the great players who built arenas in cities.

< p>And the owners, thanks to the complicity of a true fraudster like Alan Eagleson, could have continued in what was the dream of all the capitalists of the world. A monopoly.

Here comes the World Hockey Association. In October 1972.

With Gerry Cheevers of the Boston Bruins moved to the Cleveland Crusaders. With Derek Stevenson, jumped for a few games in the WHA, with Jean-Claude Tremblay, who became captain and savior of the Quebec Nordiques.

But the player who created the World Association, the one who gave it credibility, the one who was punished by being expelled from Canada's ice hockey team for the Century Series against the Soviet Union, c is Bobby Hull.


Bobby Hull received a US$1 million bonus to sign a contract with the Winnipeg Jets . This bonus was paid by all teams in the league. We understood that Bobby Hull was going to save the AMH.

He has been incredibly generous to the Jets, to the WHA and to the fans. I was a young reporter covering regional politics part-time for Progrès-Dimanche in Quebec's second largest city when Hull came to Quebec with the Jets. He had learned words of French by “sleeping with beautiful Quebecers”, he explained without false embarrassment. It was the era of Peace and Love, it must be said, of Woodstock and free love. Love in the sense of sex, of course. It was eight years with AIDS.

Except that thanks to Hull and the WHA, the owners of the National League had to stop greedy exploiting their good players. They now had an option. They were dozens and dozens, including Réjean Houle and Marc Tardif, to double their salary by “jumping” into the World Association.

The owners wanted to restore their lucrative monopoly so badly that after eight seasons of the World Association, they accepted WHA teams into their league to end this competition.


But it was too late. Their accomplice Alan Eagleson, who betrayed Bobby Orr among others, was replaced by real union bosses and the balance between players' income and that of the League was finally achieved.

Mind you, today's real agents may have gotten too strong and some players, who are making millions a year by dragging their feet and giving very little back to fans and their team, are fattening their steak without giving a damn.

Look around the Canadiens' payroll and tell me which ones are really worth the millions we pay them?


But they are fat tough and they should thank Bobby Hull. He was the one who stood up to Bill Wirtz and the Chicago Blackhawks. It was he who went to spend his winters in Winnipeg and a few nights in Quebec.

On their way to the bank to invest their millions, they should spare a thought for this imperfect man who used a “banana” stick and who scared goalkeepers who made themselves small in front of their goal.

Bobby Hull the pioneer and the liberator, hello.

A doctor on the plane

Doctor Martin Lapointe, one of the young emergency physicians who helped me in the 1990s writing Emergency, has the sting of writing. He has designed a series whose concept will be presented in the coming months to Netflix, entitled High Blood Pressure.

It is the story of a doctor who breaks down in his emergency one evening of big accidents and who abandons the profession. He decides to leave with a backpack and says goodbye to medicine.

Obviously, every week he finds himself in adventures where he has to save lives. Theatre, beach, plane…


Returning from London on Monday, a call rang out. “Is there a doctor on the plane? “. I saw Doctor Francis Fontaine coming back from London. He is the doctor of Artur Beterbiev and many athletes from Quebec. In fact, he's going back to Milan with the ski team next Saturday.

But it doesn't stop there in the High Blood Pressure scenario. The patient, a violent asthma attack, was an admirer of Artur Beterbiev who was returning from London after the fight. The young woman sitting next to him is a friend of Artur's and was at Wembley on the Saturday night.

When the patient was stabilized I went to ask Dr Fontaine which actor he would like to see his story performed . He didn't understand the question…

I thought of Brad Pitt. Or in Quebec at Peter Miller.

It could always be Sébastien Delorme or Roy Dupuis.

Kneeling to thank Bobby Hull