Montreal Canadiens fans take note: your GM is anything but a bore.
Marc Bergevin, a veteran of 1,191 NHL games before retiring in 2004 and joining Chicago management, was an inveterate prankster. And everyone was fair game, including his then-St. Louis Blues GM Larry Pleau.
According to a story from THN’s 2004 Yearbook, Pleau got Bergevin good with a gag, leading to this gem by Bergevin in return:
It’s Feb. 21, 2000, and the Blues are at a restaurant after a road win in Anaheim. Players are on one side, management on another. Cuba Gooding Jr. and other Hollywood types have joined them. A well-known, very well-endowed star of the seedier side of the Hollywood film industry walks in – and as fate would have it, she’s a Blues fan. After some small talk, the players direct her to the management table, where she stays for a few minutes before leaving. Bergevin sees his shot for revenge.
He gets one of the travelling St. Louis media members to insert a paragraph in his story on that night’s game. The added material suggests Pleau was unavailable for comment because he was busy chatting with one of Hollywood’s full-cup finest. Wouldn’t you know it, that’s the version of the story that turns up in the Blues’ press clippings in San Jose the next day. The team is on the ice for a morning skate when they see Pleau make a beeline for the reporter sitting in the stands. Pleau is in front of the reporter, arms gesturing wildly. Finally Bergevin skates over to the boards and bangs his stick on the ice to get Larry’s attention: “Payback is a bitch, isn’t it Larry?!”
Pleau later admitted, “It was the perfect setup. He got me good.”
Ronnie Shuker is an associate editor at The Hockey News and a regular contributor to the thn.com Post-To-Post blog. Follow him on Twitter at @THNRonnieShuker.