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Hockey tough guy Laraque planning a swing at federal politics?

MONTREAL - Former NHL tough guy Georges Laraque appears poised to take a swing at federal politics.

The former hockey enforcer has an announcement planned tomorrow with Green Party Leader Elizabeth May in Montreal.

The party has issued a statement saying there will be an announcement tomorrow at a reception hall "regarding the riding of Bourassa."

That Montreal riding faces a byelection with its longtime MP, Liberal Denis Coderre, leaving to run for mayor.

A former Edmonton Oiler, Pittsburgh Penguin and Montreal Canadien, Laraque racked up 1,126 penalty minutes in an NHL career where he was better known for his left jab than for his wrist shot.

But in recent years he's also become known for his political activism as a vegan, animal-rights crusader and environmentalist.

Laraque was quoted in a recent news report saying he planned to eventually seek a seat in the House of Commons with the Greens.

His Twitter feed now carries a more recent message: "Big news coming soon!" he said last Friday.

It's not yet known when Prime Minister Stephen Harper will call a byelection for the riding, which is in a diverse north-end area with different economic classes and ethnic groups and which has a large Haitian population.

Laraque, whose parents were born in Haiti, has been involved in humanitarian work there since the Caribbean country was devastated by an earthquake in 2010.

The Greens finished a distant fifth in the riding in the last election, with 1.6 per cent of the ballots, less than 500 votes ahead of the Marxist-Leninist party.

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