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: Paul DiPietro.
Where are you currently living?
I’ve been living in Switzerland for the past 14 years now.
What are you up to these days?
I’m still playing hockey in the Swiss League. I still have the same desire and the passion that I had when I first started playing the game. You need to have it when you’re still playing at 42 years old. I play for Lugano and my roommate here is another former Habs player, Glen Metropolit.
What convinced you to go in Switzerland in the first place?
Doug Gilmour, who played here during the 1994-95 lockout, once told me that he liked it in Switzerland. Originally I wanted to play here for only one year but I really enjoyed it and 14 years later, I still do.
Have you started thinking about life after hockey?
A little bit, you kind of have to when you’re 42 years old! I’m not sure where things are going to head yet; it’s difficult to say after playing hockey for so long. I’d like to try maybe coaching or scouting or something to that effect to stay involved in the game.
Have you stayed in touch with any of former teammates?
Since I still play and I’ve been living in Europe for so long, I unfortunately haven’t seen many of those guys in a while.
Do you still follow the Canadiens?
Of course, I follow the whole NHL. The hockey world is small. I follow the Habs and I hope they do well. Raphael Diaz is a good friend of mine; we played together in Zug.
What’s the one thing about Montreal you miss the most?
I don’t know. I don’t really miss much because I always come back to Montreal for a couple months every summer.
Where do you keep your Stanley Cup ring?
I have here with me at home, but I don’t really wear it. It’s not because it’s too big because it’s the perfect size, actually, but I never really wear it.
What’s your favorite piece of Canadiens memorabilia you currently own?
The miniature Stanley Cup replica we each received. No doubt about it.
Is there a particular game from your career with the Canadiens that stands out the most?
I’d have to say when we won the Stanley Cup at the Forum in 1993. I was pretty young at the time, I was 22 years old in 1993 and I didn’t really know much back then. You think you can do it every year. I remember when Denis Savard, who was much older than I was, told me to enjoy it because it might not happen again, I didn’t really believe him.
|Back to top ↑|