Pascal Dupuis, by his own admission, has known its best moments in the national hockey League (NHL) when he was alongside Sidney Crosby on a trio completed by Chris Kunitz.
But how will that Laval, who had never harvested more than 48 points, is it managed to make its niche to the left of the best player in the world?
In an interview with TVASports.ca, Dupuis has generously agreed to come back on some defining moments of his career. Notably, he narrated the beginnings of his association with Crosby, and how it was carried out.
“It is Sidney who had asked to play with Chris and me”, was first mentioned Dupuis.
“You clamps a bit when you get in the locker room and you see that your name is next to that of Sidney Crosby. You enfiles your equipment, and you say: “Yeah, my skates are better be sharp, because I will not have the choice to play a big!”
“That said, the transition is quite well done. Sidney and I had several affinities outside of the rink. We have long been cochambreurs. He knew what I could bring him, and vice-versa.
Dupuis was then continued by telling a moment which was particularly marked for Crosby.
“I will never forget it. Sidney came to see us, Kunitz and me, and he said to us: “guys, play it your way. Don’t try to play like me, you are not capable! Play like you are capable of, and I’m going to adjust to your style of play. If you let me me adjust to you, it will go well.”
And you can’t say that “Sid The Kid” was wrong. The trio he formed with Dupuis and Kunitz, between 2010 and 2013, has enjoyed tremendous success. Dupuis has seen his best season in his career in 2011-2012, when he concluded the regular season with 25 goals and 59 points.
Even today, the Québec takes an enormous pride to have been able to evolve on the same trio as the best player in the planet.
“It’s very flattering that he asked to play with me. In 2013, the team went to get Jarome Iginla to play with Crosby. Except that it hadn’t clicked between the two and I was remained with Sid.
“Nothing to remove to Jarome, who is an exceptional player. It’s just that Crosby was well with what Chris and I brought on his trio.”
A difficult choice
Unfortunately, and while it was still in excellent physical shape, Pascal Dupuis has had to announce his retirement in 2015.
The skater must, in the last few months, take medications to dilute his blood, him who had suffered blood clots to the lung in the previous season.
Even today, Dupuis acknowledges that the decision was far from easy to take.
“I was not willing to remove me. I continued to perform, and I had just, at the age of 37, finished in third place on the team for physical testing. I think I still had good hockey in the body, but medically, it had become dangerous to play.
“Today, I am at peace with it, but it took me a long time to be, honestly. I am, however, father four children while married, and I had to think about my health before everything.”
Dupuis, however, is the way to live her passion otherwise.
“I am closely involved with the Cataracts de Shawinigan and I did the same with the Phénix of College Esther-Blondin in Midget AAA. I also leads my boy as an assistant.
“That said, I do patina really more very often, because I have to plan it. I have to stop my medication for two days and this is not something that I like to do. I have to make sure I don’t suffer from cuts or bleeding to be able to then take my medication.”
This is a career that could (and should) be longer, of course. But Pascal Dupuis may enjoy his retirement peace of mind. After all, is there anyone among us who has already played on the same trio that Sidney Crosby?