By Marc Antoine Godin (The Athletic)
Former Canadiens equipment manager Pierre Gervais arrived in Brossard around 7 a.m. on Feb. 10, 2022. He wanted to be sure he was there to welcome Martin St. Louis, who was going to introduce himself to the organization that morning and make his debut behind the Canadiens bench that evening.
The two men had crossed paths a few times at international hockey events, and St. Louis had texted Gervais the day before jokingly asking if he was ready for him and to say they were going to have fun together.
Once St. Louis arrived at the Bell Sports Complex, Gervais showed him his new office and gave him a tour of the facilities. St. Louis shook hands with staff, including his new assistant coach Alex Burrows. He went to meet with head athletic therapist Graham Rynbend and members of the medical staff, then Gervais made sure to find him a Canadiens tracksuit because he would need one right away.
St. Louis then asked him to deliver the message that he wanted to see everyone in the locker room at 10 a.m. prior to the morning skate for that night’s game against the Washington Capitals.
Everyone, which meant players and assistant coaches, of course, but also team management, equipment people, fitness managers. Everyone.
This was unusual to Gervais, who was in his final year with the Canadiens. He had seen the occasional general manager bring all the staff together at the start of a season, but it was extremely rare for a head coach to do so.