My household never followed any sports. My dad was a hard working man who never really understood why people followed sports and my mother was a stay-at-home mom too busy cleaning or cooking to follow sports. So I grew up with zero exposure to hockey, baseball or basket-ball. That is until that movie "The MIghty Ducks" came out. I got it on VHS when it had just come out and after watching it, I fell in love with the sport of hockey. I immediately pestered my mom and dad to make me play hockey, and they finally said yes. (My two younger brothers did the same as me and just like that, we became a hockey family).
Truth be told, I wasn't a very good hockey player, I started late (8 years old) and didn't know how to skate properly. But when Mighty Ducks 2 came out, I knew I wanted to be one of the Bash Bros. Still, I didn't follow or know about NHL hockey at all, I couldn't name you a single team at that time because I didn't even know it existed (which seems unlikely, I know). That was until the Colorado Avalanche won the cup. I was in grade 4, but that's ALL anyone would talk about. How Joe Sakic was the Best Player Ever and how Patrick Roy was a miracle worker. Suddenly, I had names, I had hockey teams, I had something to cheer for, something to follow. So I became a Colorado Avalanche fan. Seemed natural to me at the time, they JUST moved from Quebec City and won the cup with a french-canadian goalie.
I started collecting hockey cards, trying to get every single Patrick Roy card I could get my hands on. And when groups of kids started bullying me, intimidating me and trying to beat me into giving over my card collection to them, I knew I had something special, so I refused to let it go.
This went on for a few years, and then secondary school started (middle school and highschool for those outside Quebec). I lost interest in the sport. Moved on to other things.
And then the lockout happened.
My lifelong friend admitted he had been following hockey for years, but never told me before. I started reading the newspaper on a daily basis and found they were always talking about hockey. Apparently this Jose Theodore guy was really good. Throughout the lockout year, I couldn't stop reading about hockey, I ate it up. Every single article I could get my hands on I devoured. The lockout made me a hockey fan.
Then hockey started again and I had to pick a team to cheer for. Ottawa would have been a natural choice seeing as I live right across the river. However, I kept reading about all these greats who played for Montreal. Richard, Lafleur, Cournoyer, Roy. I decided I would be a Montreal fan. I watched their games whenever I could and when I couldn't (Because I was working) I would listen to them on the radio.
However, I'd have to say that none of that mattered because the day I truly fell in love with the Montreal Canadiens was February 19, 2008. I was at work, listening to the Habs game on the radio. They were losing badly, Price got chased out of the nets, then Huet got scored on... We were down 5-0, so I stopped paying attention. Then I heard "ET LE BUUUUUT!". I wasn't quite sure why the announcer was so excited. "So what if we scored a goal? we'd still need 4 more to make it a tie." Then they scored another one. And another one... I completely stopped paying attention to the customers, asking all of them to be quiet and listen to the game with me. Then the Habs scored again, and again, and then they won in a shootout. I cried that day. Tears ran down my face because I was so overwhelmed with emotion over what the Habs did that day. I knew, from that moment, I would be a Habs fan for life.