Richard Sevigny | A dream, a life…and hockey

It’s windy, cold, the weather isn’t perfect, but you get to know Richard Sevney the moment he gets out of his car.

Richard Lappie

Richard Lappie

He hasn’t changed much: short stature, friendly atmosphere, frank smile. On this quiet afternoon in the east of the city, blending with the landscape, the maroon probably had no doubt that he kept the Canadian net so masterfully, that he was awarded the Vézina Cup.

But here it is: unassuming, discreet, not inclined to flaunt a brilliant past though.

“I’ve never used that,” he immediately explains. I never told anyone I was a former NHL goalkeeper to try and get something. ”

humble origin

We told him that not so long ago, a friend and colleague told us about a goalkeeping school on Saturday morning at Camillien-Houde, in Center-Sud. Responsible for this was Richard Sevigny, and our reaction was this: Richard Sevigny, the former goalkeeper of the Canadians and Nordics? Is that Richard Sevney over there?

Yes this one. And he also happens to come from the humble little hockey circles in Montreal, having put up his first podiums at Père-Marquette in Rosemont at the age of eight.

I never enrolled in a hockey school … My first training, I didn’t even know how to skate, so I wanted to be a goalkeeper.

Richard Sevigny

“I fell on the ice and my brother, who was following me behind, got a stick in the eye. His run ended that day…”

From the old circuit of Père-Marquette to the Montreal Forum, there is a giant step forward, which he has taken the only way possible: with persistence. He was always the one who went the long way anyway, and in 1977 the Canadians risked with him, the cost of a seventh-round pick. “124e In total ! “He remembers not without pride.

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great team

Then he showed up at the big club camp amidst a dynasty.

Imagine: At my first camp with the Canadian, they gave me a spot in the Forum locker room, with Ken Dryden to my right and Jay Lafleur to my left. I looked at him and said to myself: it does not work, I have no business there …

Richard Sevigny

As far as he can remember, 12 guards were present at Camp des Glorieux that day, and picking the seventh round was clearly not a priority. “But there was a scout who noticed me, and asked if I wanted to go to Kalamazoo, where the Detroit Red Wings school club was playing. I went there, because you never know. Once I got there, I was separated, and I thought it was over for me, but Soon, they changed coaches and called me back. I played with them, and in the summer I got a call from an agent, because I didn’t have an agent myself. The guy told me that the Canadian wanted to offer me a contract…”

He still remembers the numbers on the checks: $6000 for Lamazoo, $14,000 to play in the Major League in Nova Scotia, where the Canadians school club was based. I more than doubled my salary once! He earned $60,000 in his first season at the 1979-1980 Forum.

“I never thought of going to the NHL,” he adds. My dream was to spend a year as a semi-pro to try out bus travel and trips to the US. Finally, I played 11 years in the pro ranks. You have to value the life you have…”

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After hitting the “jackpot” with Nordic in 1984-85 (“$140,000, my biggest salary in the league”), he ended up retiring, then went on to manage hockey teams in France. Returning to Quebec, he decided to return to the base and to the more modest arenas.

“I got back from Brianson, and a friend who was working at Montreal College told me about a job… I told him to give my name. A few days later, I had a meeting and I started in that environment. It was September 1992.”


This desire to give back and help young people has not faded away. He later helped create a hockey program at the Collège de l’Assomption, an adventure that lasted nearly 20 years.

“It was not elite. It was especially for young people who did not have the opportunity for civic play.”

I took care of six teams in the same year! Young people, for the most part, did not play the role of civilians, and this allowed them to put on a hockey shirt, and take a small trip to St. Jerome in a school bus with their equipment …!

Richard Sevigny

In the course of our discussion, he will proudly quote the names of some of his young men who rose through the ranks, including Marie-Pierre Galbert, who became an international hockey referee. “I worked out almost 52 weeks out of 52, and never complained. Just a smile from these guys and for me, that was enough. Also, I have so much trouble saying no!”

These days, in addition to matches with the former Canadians, which he hopes to resume soon, he remains involved in the small world of hockey, and we can see him in the referee’s jersey at the rinks in the Sorrell region. He does it because he loves it… and also because he feels he has to.

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“The big problem is that in a few years, there will be no hockey volunteers to take care of the children… There will be no one running those kids’ games. Of course, at $15 or $20 a game, very little is being paid. There are games that have been cancelled. Because there are no other referees, and if young people do not play, they will gradually give up hockey to move to another sport.”

Frank man

At the age of 64, Richard Sevigny remained the same as ever: an open man and a passionate man. Sorry, he doesn’t have anything, and the word “lucky” is scattered here and there during our conversation. Luck in living this, luck in living this…

Lucky I was able to be Richard Sevney.

“It’s sometimes asked if I’m jealous of the big day wages in the NHL…The answer is no, because today, at 5’8″, I’m not even going to play; All goalkeepers are 6’4″ guys! But I don’t think about it. I’ve known players who played in the NHL and then it was a disaster, they didn’t know what to do with their lives. For me, hockey made me know people. And it was a privilege…”

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