“If I could, I would play again…”

This sentence from Caroline Ouellette did not lack irony; At the time she said it, in the Bell Center press room, the Canadiens players were warming up for soccer in the garage corridor that leads to the locker room.

While these members of the CH were preparing to face the Los Angeles Kings, Ouellette was a little preparing for her sequel, while going back a little, she who was admitted to the Hockey Hall of Fame a month ago.

She came back to everything, well, almost everything: her parents who didn’t want to see her on an ice rink (except for ringette!), her first skates at age 9, her long journey, which will of course culminate with four gold medals at the Olympic Games.

And his dream.

“My biggest dream was to play for the Canadian; My favorite player was Mats Naslund, she explained. I was inducted at the same time as another player that I loved, Pierre Turgeon, and I was proud to be admitted with him… When I think about all of that, I feel extremely blessed by the journey that I ‘have had.

For Caroline Ouellette, there will be no big comeback, no, but there is another life behind the bench of the Concordia Stingers as coach of the women’s club, and it is with an interested air that she keeps an eye on the beginnings of the Professional Women’s Hockey League (LPHF), the new circuit which is due to begin its activities in January.

“I’m so envious of the players, but I’m so proud. It took me two years to convince my parents to play hockey! It wasn’t seen as a girls’ sport in my father’s eyes… It was a long road. I hope that for these players, it will be easier, and that they will be able to concentrate on hockey without having to do anything else to make ends meet. »

On this subject, she says she is optimistic for the future in the world of women’s hockey.

“The Vancouver Games [in 2010], I think it was transformative… coming back from there, I felt like it was changing; there were little boys who wanted to have their picture taken with us! Now, young people admire Marie-Philip [Poulin] as if they were Sidney Crosby. There is a big boom in women’s hockey in Quebec at the moment. »

She was then presented to the crowd at the Bell Center. Not by wearing the CH sweater, but by wearing his Temple jacket, which is undoubtedly even better.