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Pierre Gervais Rejects Criticism Of His Incendiary Canadiens Book



Montreal Canadiens equipment manager Pierre Gervais

Pierre Gervais joined Mathias Brunet on the radio Tuesday to elaborate on some of the excerpts from his book and provide some clarity as to his intentions behind the publication.

Gervais, who spent 35 years with the Montreal Canadiens, covered a variety of topics in his book, but unsurprisingly, the vast majority of the discussion upon the release focused on the negative impressions left by Max Pacioretty, Dominique Ducharme, Marc Bergevin, and even P.K. Subban.

He starts the interview by explaining Brunet approached him over 15 years ago to offer his services, and he wanted to respect the fact that he was the first writer to step forward.

Gervais had no intentions of writing a book until about three or four years ago when fans started telling him they’d love to read about the various stories from his career.

End Game

“The message to people like Bob Hartley, Philippe Boucher, and everyone else: the book was for the fans,” said Gervais. “The hockey people. It’s the sole and unique reason it was written.

“I was told a long time ago by Matthias that the book would not be profitable. He told me the first time we met. I’m not making money. I don’t care about that. I just wanted to share what I have to share. Going further than that, I understand the reaction from certain people, but for me, it was about telling the truth.”

Both Brunet and Gervais pushed back at the idea that there was some sort of betrayal of the unwritten code involved in sports media.

“When we talk about the truth,” said Brunet. “It’s perception. The Pierre Gervais perception.  When I hear he’s breaking a code or betraying professional secrets, Pierre did not include confidential conversations in this book. It’s the impressions he had in his 35-year career. Like it or not it’s a unique point of view. The goal was to offer Canadiens fans his views from the inside, for better or worse.

“There are so many shows on HabsTV, 24CH, formulaic stuff, and now the public has access to information without revealing any information from their personal lives or betraying any confidence. Some people are hurt. It’s normal. It’s normal that they react. But what Pierre is doing is part of the heritage of the biggest sports organization in North American history.”

Brass Tacks

The host, Jean-Charles Lajoie, went on to cut through some of the flowery wording to get to the point, explaining that regardless of the source, it could still feel like a betrayal to those who were named in the book, and some of the interactions should have perhaps remained private.

“I broke no code. No one told me it stays in the locker room,” said Gervais. “There were no conversations in the book. It was all my impressions. I could have been very mean. Everyone saw it, and everyone knew it. It is what it is. It wasn’t a big secret. Betrayed is a big word. I could have elaborated on many discussions that took place in my office. I could have written an entire book on my interactions with Marc Bergevin.”

Gervais and Brunet close the segment by explaining the Canadiens read the book prior to the launch, and if they hadn’t, they wouldn’t have allowed the event to take place in front of the locker room at the Bell Centre.

Kent Hughes, Martin St-Louis, and Jeff Gorton attended the book launch, however, none of the players that were expected to show up took part.

Asked if he had any reservations about the entire process, Gervais did not mince words.

“No regrets.”

You can purchase the book, Au Coeur Du Vestiaire – Pierre Gervais (French Only), via this link.

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