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: Mats Naslund.
Where are you currently living?
I now live of Malmö, a city in the south of Sweden. It’s really close to the capital of Denmark, Copenhagen.
What are you up to these days?
I’m working part-time as a carpenter. Not a lot of people know this, but I was one before moving to Montreal a while back. I’m not involved with hockey anymore. I’ve been involved with it for so many years, that now, I just want to spend more time with my family and go golfing more often!
Even though you stepped away from hockey, do you still lace up the skates every now and then for fun?
I do. I still play in about five or six old-timers’ games every year. I try to make sure I stay a bit in shape.
Do you still stay in touch with any of your former teammates?
I try to stay in touch with Bob Gainey and Larry Robinson, but since I’m in Europe it makes it hard sometimes. Usually around Christmas we receive cards from old teammates, which is always really nice.
Do you still follow the Canadiens?
I do sometimes when they play afternoon games on the weekend. I don’t stay up in the middle of the night to watch NHL games anymore!
When was the last time you made it out to Montreal for a game?
It was in December 2009 for the 100th anniversary game. It was such a great experience and everything you could expect from the Canadiens organization. All of us had a great time in Montreal.
What’s your favorite piece of Canadiens memorabilia that you currently own?
I kept some pictures and other things like that, but I would have to say my Stanley Cup ring.
Where do you keep it?
At home, with me. I don’t wear it often since it’s too big for my hand. I only put it on for really special occasions.
Is there a particular game from your career with the Canadiens that stands out for you the most?
Of course the night we won the Cup in 1986 was really special, but I think the most memorable one would have to be my very first game with the Canadiens. It was an exhibition game against the Flyers at the Forum, I thought there was going to be around 5,000 people in the stands, but it was completely sold out. I also scored a hat trick that night.
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