The Canadiens didn’t pile up 100 years of history without the blood, sweat and tears of the over 750 players to have ever worn the uniform. From the likes of Donald Audette to Zarley Zalapski, there are former Habs scattered all over the world. Although many hardcore Canadiens fans can rattle off the career accomplishments of hundreds of their old heroes, the question remains: what are these guys up to today? On the hot seat today: Oleg Petrov.
Where are you currently living?
I still live in Montreal eight months a year – my family lives in our house in Beaconsfield. The other four months I’m in Russia playing in the KHL. This year I’m living in Moscow, where my family and I are from.
What are you up to these days?
I play for the Moscow Spartak in the KHL but I only signed a contract for half a season because I decided this year will be my last. I’m 41 years old now and I’ve been playing hockey for a long time. It’s time for me to retire.
Have you started thinking about life after hockey?
Not yet. I don’t know if I want to become a coach because I already travelled a lot during my playing career! Since I live in Montreal, I wouldn’t say no to working for the Canadiens. I would love to help them in the near future.
Do you still stay in touch with any of your former teammates?
Andrei Markov and I are good friends. We still see each other from time to time. And I still talk to Dainius Zubrus who also lives in the Montreal area during the offseason.
Do you still follow the Canadiens?
For sure. The last couple years since the season in the KHL ends in the beginning of March, I was going to the Bell Centre during the playoffs to support them. Even though I left the team more than 10 years ago, it’s always great to see them do well. Last year was tough for them, but they have some good young players and they’re on the right track.
What’s the one thing about Montreal you miss the most when you’re in Russia playing?
My family. I really enjoy spending time with them. My kids still go to school in the West Island, but they come and visit a couple times during the season.
What’s your favorite piece of Canadiens memorabilia you currently own?
I still have the puck from my first NHL goal against Pittsburgh in 1992 and a plaque from my first NHL hat trick the following year on display in my house. When I look at those, it always puts a smile on my face.
Is there a particular game from your career with the Canadiens that stands out the most?
The whole experience in playing in Montreal, the most exciting hockey town in the world, was really special. There’s not just one game in particular that stands out, but I’m proud that I’ve played the majority of my NHL career in Montreal.
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