Alouettes, inspirational role models for Canadians

First, I would like to congratulate the entire Alouettes organization on winning the Gray Cup. Whether it was the players who gave themselves body and soul, the coaching staff led by Jason Maas, general manager Danny Maciocia, a St-Léonard guy like me who I really like, or owner Pierre Karl Péladeau, each of them gave is his contribution to this championship. It’s totally deserved.

It’s an inspiring story, considering the journey the team had to take to reach the final. The Alouettes had every excuse in the world to fail with the oversight imposed before the start of the season. Macioci’s hands were tied. The arrival of Péladeau, a man close to the people, was a breath of fresh air for the team and its fans.

I remember very well the speech he gave to the players at training after acquiring the concession. It is rare that we see this from an owner. He took home the same message his father gave him: “We play to win.”

Winning the Gray Cup shows that when a group of people have a strong will to win and are dedicated, they can achieve great things. It takes a concerted effort to achieve this, from the players to the support staff.

Many people can be inspired by the Alouettes. This is especially the case for Canadians. But be careful, let’s put things in perspective: unlike the Alouettes, they can’t dream of a Stanley Cup right away. On the other hand, we want to see progress every season and that the team always shows a winning attitude.

Photo author: Photo agency QMI, JOEL LEMAY

A defining journey

Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened in a while. There are a few things I don’t like right now. I hope that things will settle down during this trip which promises to be decisive for the future.

After recent poor performances and the way Martin St-Louis approaches training, I expect the players to take a “business” attitude. I often told my players to be “businesslike”, that is, to be focused and have a winning mentality. I reminded them before every game that we have to do our best as soon as the puck hits the ice and that we have to be ready to pick up the pace and be better than the opponent.

In this stay abroad, the players must show character and play aggressively, which has been lacking in recent weeks. The opportunity is ideal, as CH meets clubs that are not NHL powers. In addition to the comments of fans and analysts, it is important for the players to prove to their teammates that they take this to heart. To earn their respect, you have to work hard for the team, regardless of your role. To advance, we must do everything to win. We cannot play just to play.

Winning mentality

In their backyard in Montreal, the Canadiens have a perfect example of a group of players who believe in themselves. All members of the Alouettes are committed. They are models to follow.

Their Gray Cup triumph is inspiring considering the way they achieved it as they have come a long way. They also had this kind of ending, they never gave up even though they were behind by points for most of the game. As during the whole season, they saved the best for last!

They could have been satisfied with the performance in the final, that was an achievement in itself, but they played to win and that mentality paid off for them.


Photo author: Photo agency QMI, JOEL LEMAY

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