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Marc Denis

Marc Denis finished with the Montreal Canadiens, a team he was tied to throughout his NHL career. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/NHLI via Getty Images)

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Marc Denis finished with the Montreal Canadiens, a team he was tied to throughout his NHL career. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/NHLI via Getty Images)

Status: NHL goaltender from 1996 to 2009 for Colorado, Tampa, Columbus, Montreal.
 
Ht: 6-foot-0 Wt: 188 pounds
 
DOB: Aug. 1, 1977 In: Montreal, Que.

First Hockey Memory: "Backyard rink. First pair of skates. First game as a forward where I really wasn't too good. And then the first time that I wore the big pads. That's my best first memory. I was seven. It was at a novice camp. No goalies. About 10 raised hands went up in the room when the coach came in with the big, brown heavy pads. I wore the big pads for that practice and never left ’em I guess."
 
Hockey Inspirations: "Well, I guess my dad and uncle were earlier inspirations. Then Patrick Roy came into the NHL - I was only eight. And he's a role model, not just for the way he played, but for the character guy that he was. A character type of goalie. And I got to be his teammate later in my career. That was pretty amazing."
 
Last Book Read: "I just finished the last John Grisham. He's a guy that I read quite often. The last sports book was Theo Fleury’s (Playing With Fire)."
 
First Famous Hockey Player You Met Or Encountered: "Right before the Quebec peewee tournament. We represented the Montreal Canadiens at that tournament. And I got to step on the ice and face Denis Savard on five consecutive breakaways, shootout type of breakaway. So I got to meet most of the Montreal Canadiens that day. (Savard came on breakaways against you?) Yeah, actually scored a couple, saved a couple, missed one. I'm not sure he was going all out. But I was."
 
Greatest Sports Moment: "Two that stick out. Championships are always great. Winning the world juniors in '97 was absolutely amazing (in Geneva, Switzerland). I was the No. 1 goalie. The Calder Cup in the AHL. And on a personal note, beating the all-time-minutes-played mark, which has been beaten since by Martin Brodeur. But I got to do that in Columbus, a third-year franchise, playing 77 games, waiting for that last game to beat that mark, getting a standing ovation, the linesman fixing an imaginary hole (in the net) to give me the time to savor that was obviously a personal accomplishment."
 
Most Painful Moment: “It wasn't physically. I was very fortunate I was never badly injured…(But) after nearly nine years in the NHL I got demoted to Norfolk of the AHL. I had a tough time with the coach (Steve Stirling) who was here at that point. Obviously, this building (in Tampa, where interview was conducted) brings back bad memories. But one that stands out was being booed here, at home, wearing a Lightning jersey, by Lightning fans, my kids in the stands. That was probably the toughest moment of my life."
 
Funniest Player(s) Encountered: "One of them is the GM for the Canadiens now, Marc Bergevin. Another is a scout for the Lightning, Jamie Pushor. He was really funny. I got to sit right beside him in the Columbus dressing room for a few years."
 
Closest Hockey Friends: "Vinny Lecavalier, Marty St-Louis are awesome guys. There are some guys I kept in touch with - Denny Gauthier, Patrick Lalime, Serge Aubin."
 
Fiercest Competitors Encountered: "There's quite a few. I sat in the dressing room with Patrick Roy and Ray Bourque and those two guys will always stand out in my mind. We were of different ages. I was in the early steps of my career, they were at the tail end. They were two proven winners though the one (Bourque) did not yet have a Cup, but ended up having one. And the other one wanted to win at any price."
 
Favorite Uniforms: "I got to wear the Montreal Canadiens only for a little bit at the very end of my career. Original Six. Hometown team. I gotta stick with that one."
 
Favorite Sport Outside Hockey: "Baseball used to be. Now my kids have picked up golf and I'm back at golf. But my favorite sport besides hockey is cycling. So that's what I'm gonna stick with."
 
Three Athletes You Like To Watch And Follow: "Wow. Any sport is good. Cycling right now has just been in shambles. I can't name anybody from there because of all the suspicion. I guess I'd have to say the same thing with baseball. So I'd have to go with hockey and say those I've loved to watch throughout the years: Patrick Roy was one. I got to play with him. I got to play against Mario (Lemieux) and (Wayne) Gretzky. I loved to watch them growing up, so those are the three names that stick out."
 
Strangest Game: "My path crossed the Montreal Canadiens quite a bit. My first-ever NHL pre-season game was at the old Montreal Forum against the Canadiens. I was in the stands when Patrick Roy played his last game for the Canadiens. He was then traded to the Avalanche, which was my team. My first NHL win was against the Montreal Canadiens at old McNichols Arena in Denver. My last ever NHL win was against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre in a Lightning uniform. My last-ever NHL appearance was in a Montreal uniform. So, I don't know if it's destiny, but my path has been tied to the Montreal Canadiens quite a bit."
 
Personality Qualities Most Admired: "You want to be around good people. Honest, hard-working and loyal people. You can't go wrong with that."

Mark 'Scoop' Malinowski's second book "Marcelo Rios: The Man We Barely Knew" is available on www.amazon.com. Malinowski is the creator of two websites: www.thebiofile.com and www.tennis-prose.com.

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