How many people can say they retire from their favorite sport, just to do another sport you love?
Gary Roberts, Joe Nieuwendyk, Lionel Conacher…..and Patrice Brisebois.
Brisebois played 18 seasons in the NHL, 16 of those with the Montreal Canadiens.He played for the Canadiens for 16 seasons, winning one Stanley Cup with the franchise during the 1992–93 season. By 1999, Brisebois had become a staple of the Habs defence, specifically as their power play anchor. Brisebois was rewarded for his strong play with a hefty $12 millions/3 years contract. In 2004-2005, he signed with the Kloten Flyers of the National League A in Switzerland. After the lockout, he played with the Colorado Avalanche for 2 seasons, and then returned to Montreal for his final 2 seasons.
After retiring in the summer of 2009, He decided to buy a NASCAR Canadian Tire series car and race in two NCTS races in August 2009, including Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and the Grand Prix of Trois-Rivieres.
My favorite 2 sports are hockey and NASCAR. So when I found he, along with former Hab defenceman Marc-Andre Bergeron, were driving in NASCAR, I was extremley jealous. I had always wanted to be a NASCAR driver, and I had raced myself. I’ve been a NASCAR fan since birth.
In August, the NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Canadian Tire Series are in Montreal for what could be the final NASCAR race in Montreal. The city will stop funding this race, which brings a huge amount of profit and fans to the city. 9 Canadians were in the Nationwide Race, the most Canadians in a single NASCAR race.
Brisebois drove in the Canadian tire series during that weekend, finishing 28th. His best finish was 12th in Montreal in 2009. He had no professional race experience when he joined the NASCAR circuit, so he has done quite well.
“It’s a great team sport, like hockey,” Brisebois said of NASCAR. “Your mechanic is kind of like your coach, and there’s a game plan, race strategy, so it’s a bit like a hockey team. I’m going to try and go as far as I can in auto racing. I’d love to be able to move on to the Nationwide or Sprint series, but it’s going to be very tough. Another dream of mine would be to do the 24 hours of Le Mans.”
As many drivers who raced their entire life know, its hard to get a ride in the big leagues. And when he only drives a few times a year, it gets even harder. While making it to Sprint Cup isn’t likely, he still is doing another sport he loves and is doing well for a former NHL Defenceman.
In 2010, Patrice was runner-up in 2010 season of Battle of the Blades. I Don’t think he understands the idea of retiring. He’s just as busy. But he loves doing what he does, it gives him something to do, and its better then sitting around for the next 50 years.
Patrice is living the Dream.