Hockey Hall of Fame - Stanley Cup Journals 2004: 31
The Stanley Cup Journal

Andre Roy was astonished to discover that the pilot of the helicopter in which he and his girlfriend would be flying was none other than Hockey Hall of Fame legend, Guy Lafleur!
Andre Roy was excited. The big, tough winger for Tampa had hoped that he might be able to get a head start on his day with the Stanley Cup, so he drove over to Sophia, a nightclub in Montreal, where he knew Vincent Lecavalier was celebrating with Brad Richards, Enrico Ciccone and others. Now honestly — if you had twenty-four hours with the Stanley Cup, would you surrender it a minute earlier than you had to? And candidly, Vincent felt the same way. He partied with hockey's most celebrated trophy until 6:30 early Monday morning. Andre stayed enjoying the celebration with his teammates until 4AM.

Monday, August 9, Andre and his girlfriend, Karine Labelle, received the Stanley Cup at 10:30 Monday morning in Blainville, Quebec, a community of 40,000 twenty-five minutes northwest of Montreal. Andre and Karine posed for photos with Andre's family in the backyard, and the Stanley Cup front and centre. Andre's mother Heidi, Dad Gilles and brothers Marc and Kevin all posed with the Cup. So did Andre's dog, Tubby!

RDS, a Quebec-based sports network, arrived to tape Andre for Paul Buisson's immensely popular show, 'Hors-Jen.' Buisson had Andre and his brothers involved in a Rambo-type skit that turned out to be a lot of fun.

While flying to Saint-Jerome, Roy's hometown, Andre proposed to his girlfriend of 3 1/2 years. Karine gladly said 'Yes,' and the newly-engaged couple was flying as high as the helicopter.
The entourage jumped into a motorhome when someone yelled, "Hey, turn here. Let's surprise Steve Begin!" Begin, who lives nearby, played last season with the Montreal Canadiens, was startled to hear people yelling from a vehicle honking its horn from his driveway. He opened the front door, clad only in shorts, to find out what the commotion was and was confronted by Andre and the group asking if he'd like to see the Stanley Cup. "I'll look at it, but I won't touch it," Begin said as he backed away from the trophy. Hockey players are notoriously superstitious about jinxing their chances to win the glorious Stanley Cup.

The motorhome pulled into the parking lot of a helicopter company. Andre and Karine had planned an aerial view of the city as they traveled to Saint-Jerome, the town in which Andre was raised. "Hey Andre," someone asked. "Would you like to meet the pilot?" "Absolutely," he replied, carrying the Stanley Cup towards the awaiting 'copter.

Tough to say what is gleaming brightest -- the Stanley Cup, the new engagement ring or Karine's smile.
"Oh my God! This is unbelievable," Roy said, as Hall of Fame superstar Guy Lafleur stepped out from the helicopter. "I had no idea," Andre laughed. Lafleur was attired in a crisp, white, short-sleeved shirt with a striped tie and flying stripes on his epaulets. Aviator sunglasses were tucked into his breast pocket. "Bienvenue abord," smiled Guy. "What a thrill," said the astonished Roy, shaking the hand of the Canadiens' star.

As the helicopter flew over the terrain, Andre surreptitiously slipped a small box into the basin of the Stanley Cup. It took a few moments, but Karine finally glanced into the Stanley Cup and remarked, "What's this?" "Open it," Andre implored her.

Karine undid the ribbon and her smile grew larger by the second. She opened the box and saw a brilliant diamond ring. Glancing up at Andre, Karine couldn't even speak. "Karine," Roy started. "Will you marry me?"

"Of course," Karine blurted, then gave her fiancée of several seconds a kiss. There wasn't much room in the helicopter. In fact, so little that Karine's enormous grin barely fit into the cabin.

"Three-and-a-half years," Andre said. "We've gone out for three-and a-half years, and now Karine is going to be my wife!"

* * *

Andre and his band of noisemakers hooted and hollered while tooting horns and blowing whistles through Mount Tremblant in celebration of the Stanley Cup's appearance in the scenic resort town.
The helicopter shuttling the newly-engaged couple landed in a baseball diamond situated beside the arena where Andre Roy played his minor hockey in Saint-Jerome. The Tampa forward took the Stanley Cup around the perimeter of the field to show the local fans, then climbed into the back of a pickup truck that, led by a police escort, made a loop of the downtown area.

"Hey, can we stop here for a minute," Andre asked, pointing at a restaurant he worked at as a 16-year old. "I was a busboy there one summer," he laughed.

The truck then pulled into the renovated railway station that Saint-Jerome now employs as a community hall. A presentation was made to Roy, who proceeded to sign autographs and pose with photos beside the Stanley Cup.

Andre and Karine got back into the motorhome and the group drove towards Mount Tremblant, the world-famous ski resort nestled in the bosom of the Laurentian Mountains. On the way, they stopped at Spa le Scandinave, owned jointly by NHL stars Eric Desjardins and Vincent Damphousse. Roy and his entourage relaxed and put the Stanley Cup on display for those at the spa that day.


At Le Shack, Andre strapped on a guitar and joined the house band, with the Stanley Cup poised right in the front row.
Then, they finished their trip to Mount Tremblant, which was but five minutes away. During the summer, the location is a gorgeous golfing destination, or simply a sensational place to visit and observe Canada's natural habitat at its most beautiful.

In Tremblant, the gang sipped cocktails at l'Hotel Quintessence. Then, toute la gang paraded through the streets of the village, blowing horns and whistles as they went, accompanying the Stanley Cup. The noisemakers ended up at Le Shack, where they stayed celebrating for the remainder of the evening. While there, Andre got up with the band, strapped on a guitar and sang. RDS personality Paul Buisson sat in on drums. The party raged until 4:30, when the Stanley Cup was packed away and spirited back down the highway to Laval.

Friday, you won't want to miss your visit to Stanley Cup Journal because we spend time with 2004's Art Ross, Hart and Pearson recipient, Martin St. Louis. See you then!

Kevin Shea is a noisemaker at le Temple de la Renommee du Hockey.

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