In a lively interview with Chris Ryan, hockey legend, Yvan Cournoyer looked back on his career and shared his thoughts on how the game is played today. Cournoyer grew up in Drummondville, Quebec and played his entire career for the Montreal Canadiens from 1963 to 1979. He played on 10 Stanley Cup championship teams during his Hall of Fame career. Cournoyer, who was only 5’7”, was so fast that he was nicknamed “The Roadrunner”. In 2017, he was named one of the 100 Greatest Players in NHL History.
Yvan Cournoyer reminisced about playing his entire professional career, even as a junior player, in the Montreal Forum. He gives us a glimpse of what hockey was like before expansion. There were no helmets, lots of fights, only six teams, long train rides, no fraternizing with players on other teams, and no guaranteed contracts. The modern off season and in season training facilities and methods didn’t exist. Playing for the Canadiens was he ever wanted to do and all he has ever done.
When his playing career ended, he coached in their organization; and, today, Cournoyer is an “Ambassador” for the Canadiens. He joked that during his playing days, a teacher asked his son what type of work that his father did. His son told his teacher that his father didn’t work.
Cournoyer was a high scoring right winger on great teams. In the interview, he discusses what kind of chemistry and attitude that it takes to make a dynasty. He discusses how teammates can help each other and the importance of leadership. Having a rival can push you to be better. He talked about the heated rivalry in the 70s between the Bruins and the Canadiens. He is also proud of his play on Team Canada against the U.S.S.R. in the 1972 Summit Series.