04-28-2009, 10:41 AM
Hall of Famer
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Stay back 500ft or 152.4 meters
Q&A with Georges Laraque
I did a email interview with Georges Laraque
. I would like to thank him for taking the time.
What players or toughguys were your inspirations when you were growing up?
I didn't have any. My inspiration was Jackie Robinson. When I was a kid, I never thought I would fight someday.
Did you always play the Wing position early in your career? Did you consider yourself a power forward?
I always played right wing.
You put up some quality offensive numbers during your 2 seasons with the St. Jean Lynx. During your second season, you tallied a total of 259 penalty minutes, but you still contributed with 19 goals/41 points. Was it during this time where you believe you discovered what your role would be, or were you still trying to come into your own?
I knew no matter how many points I was contributing I had to fight to make it to the NHL.
You mentioned Coach Alain Faucher and Michell Therien as far as coaches who made an impact on you during the early stages of your career. Were there other players (or teammates) or coaches who had a big influence on you during your Major Junior career?
Many would describe the WHL as a defense-first league, as well as it's known for its rough and tumble style. I often read the QMJHL is known for breeding the best goalies and scorers and their wide-open style, and the OHL is touted as being somewhere in the middle of both. What were the major similarities and differences between the 3 Major Junior leagues during the time when you played? Is there anything you want to clarify that you often read or heard?
I have no idea. I dont read anything about that stuff. I just played.
Who were some of the toughest players you fought in the QMJHL?
Peter Worrell, Joel Theriault, Patrick Cote, Mathieu Raby, and Martin Lamarche.
You continued to consistently contribute offensively with some respectable numbers, while you amassed 20 FMs/ 179 penalty minutes when you were with the Bulldogs in the 1996-97 season. With Dennis Bonvie handling the bulk of the fighting, did that help you concentrate in bettering your overall game?
It was fun. It took a lot of pressure of ourselves because we were together.
What is your favorite memory as a Bulldog? Being part of the '96-97 playoffs?
Yes definitely! We came so close in winning the Calder Cup!
Who were some of the toughest players you either personally fought or played against during your AHL tenure?
Sasha Lakovic and Rocky Thompson.
I'm not sure if you're the kind of guy who dwells on past bouts you had, but name 1 or 2 scraps you had during your Major Junior and AHL career that you wish you had one more shot at?
No, not at all.
Your first NHL fight was with San Jose’s Fredrik Oduya during an exhibition game during the 1995-96 season. Do you recall what was going through your mind?
No because it happened to fast.
You played in a handful of games as an Oiler during the 97-98 and 98-99 seasons. Besides the fear of being sent down, was were the other major obstacles you faced as a player during those 2 seasons?
I still had to developpe in many aspects to be an NHLer. Especially in Edmonton where they play 4 lines.
The 99-2000 season was your first full season as an Oiler. Were you relieved that you finally made it?
Did you ever play on the same line with Bill Guerin and Doug Weight?
Yes, from time to time.
What was it like playing for a Head Coach like Kevin Low and MacTavish?
It was a really good learning experience. Both were coaches were winners.
Can you describe what the "Battle for Alberta" experience was like? How heated and nasty were the games against Calgary during your Edmonton years?
It was fun, not as bad as it was back during in the day. With all the new rules in the NHL, it was toned down alot.
You scored a hat trick against the Kings in 2000. Would you consider that one of your highlights as an Oiler?
Yes, that is my number 1 highlight.
Your career as an Oiler ended in the summer of 2006. Would you please clarify and set the record straight in regards to your situation and why you weren't re-signed? (I believe you wanted a long-term contract with a no trade clause attached?)
I wanted a no trade clause and it was against their policy so I sign in Phoenix.
What adjustments did you have to make when you played in Sweden for A.I.K. during the lockout? What aspect of your game do you feel you improved?
Nothing at all. It was much easier to play than the NHL.
Can you please clarify if Wayne Gretzky is a fan or frowns upon fighting and the use of enforcers in the NHL? Was he specific with you in how he wanted you to perform your job?
Yes he is a fan. That's why he called me to sign over there.
What emotions do you recall when you scored a goal against your former team?
It was fun but it didnt feel the same as my first NHL goal. I still stay in contact with many of the guys over there.
What was the main reason in why you decided to request a trade from Phoenix?
Because I wanted to play in the playoffs,since its the best part of hockey. Our team was going nowhere and the stands were empty.
What was it like being Sydney Crosby’s teammate?
Do you feel you had a more difficult time performing your role when you were with the Penguins or Coyotes versus while being part of the Oilers organization?
No it was never hard for me.
How would you describe your style of fighting? End the bout as soon as possible? How has it changed as your career has progressed?
It was always the same: grab with one hand and punch with the other. I'm not a wrestler.
Based on everyone you have faced, who do you believe is the most technical fighter? Hardest puncher?
I have no idea. But the strongest is Brashear.
You fought Donald Brashear a total of 9 times in the NHL alone, not counting the unknown number of times you 2 have squared off in the QMJHL.
Do you feel you have a personal rivalry with Donald, or do you strictly view it as your professional duty in doing your job?
No I dont feel like it was a rivalry. I just do my job.
Pertaining to the rivalry Montreal has with Boston-You spent a fair amount of time on the ice in trying to goad Milan Lucic into a fight in a regular season game back in November versus Boston. Do you look back and wish you employed a different strategy to get Lucic to drop the gloves?
It's over and I dont look back at anything.
You state you don't enjoy fighting, but it is your job. Have you always felt this way about your role, or did you have a different view when you first broke into the league?
Yes. I always felt that way.
Dave Schultz and yourself were recent guests on TSN. So, you're aware if his opinion on fighting. Larry Playfair has also recently said, "in my lifetime, there will be no more fighting in the National Hockey League. I think the day is coming." He concluded, in saying, " "And that's OK. The game is so much better than when I played. The game is skill on skill. It's fun to watch."
Why do you think these guys have changed their minds, despite the fact they used to make a living doing the same thing?
I have no opinion on what they said. I just try to save and endorse the tough guy job for the upcoming kids that may not have a job in the NHL if they eliminate fighting.
Do you see the Competition Committee and the Board of Governors voting for the proposed rule change of adding a 10 min misconduct for so called "staged fights?"
I have no idea.
If you could, please name one NHL fight you wish you had a rematch?
I don't have any.
Many players try to get the attention of the teams coaches by playing physical and fighting during training camps and exhibition games. Name a fight or incident during a NHL training camp where you believe you made an impression?
I don't have any examples.
Last edited by Colt Seavers; 04-28-2009 at 11:05 AM.