On a team that includes Caroline Ouellette, Julie Chu, and Lauriane Rougeau, the fact that Les Canadiennes de Montreal's captain is the lesser-known Cathy Chartrand may be a surprise. That is, until you've seen Les Canadiennes play.
Chartrand was also the captain of McGill University where she played with seemingly most of Les Canadiennes' 2015-16 roster. Chartrand (like many of her teammates) was a member of the National Team program but never played in an Olympic tournament. In the CWHL, however, she is everything you would expect in a top defender, with size and strength, a big shot, and the ability to be relied upon in all game situations.
As you can see, she has produced almost a point per game in her CWHL career, and is consistently among the top scorers from the blue line. At 5'10", she is one of the taller players whenever she is on the ice and is a striking presence when you watch Les Canadiennes play.
The team usually ran with a top-3 or 4 most of the season last year, especially as the season came to crunch time. This year, with even more experience leaving Montreal's blue line, she doesn't feel any additional pressure.
"We’re a pretty close team so we can pick it up and we also have Charline Labonté in net," she said. "She brings us so much confidence and we have so much faith in her and our forwards come in and help a lot in our defensive zone. We don’t feel pressure by it."
At McGill, Chartrand was just as successful. She won three CIS championships, was named the MVP of the 2008 championship where she had two game-winning goals in three games. She was named the 2010 Quebec MVP and holds the McGill records for goals, assists, and points from a defender. She broke the records set by former teammate Catherine Ward. Not bad for someone who began playing hockey at age 13.
At McGill, Chartrand played with several of her current Canadiennes teammates, including Ann-Sophie Bettez, and the two of them put this video together.
Chartrand took over for Lisa-Marie Breton-Lebreux as captain prior to the 2013-14 season. After that season, she won the Defenceman of the Year award in the CWHL. She is entering her third year as Les Canadiennes' captain.
Even though she doesn't possess an Olympic gold medal, she has achieved international success in her lifetime, winning the Four Nations Cup in 2002 and 2006. She was also one of the Montreal players named to the 2014 All-Star Game last year in Toronto.
Chartrand was also a veteran of the former NWHL from which the CWHL was created. She won the 2004-05 Defenceman of the Year award and won the 2005-06 Championship with the Montreal Axion. She played in the NWHL from 1999-2007. She is currently a teacher.