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The often brilliant and occasionally infuriating defenceman once derided as Breeze-by, is hanging up his skates.

The Montreal Canadiens will be honouring former rearguard Patrice Brisebois, before tonight's exhibition game against Boston by handing him the Jean Beliveau trophy for community involvement.

A press statement issued by the team added the 38-year-old Montreal native will also use the occasion to announce his retirement - not a huge surprise given he hadn't received any contract offers for the upcming season.

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We expect you may yet see Brisebois again on your TV screen, he's an amateur race car driver of some repute, and has been widely speculated about as future coaching material.

Brisebois, the team's last remaining link to the 1993 Stanley Cup team, had a distinguished second act in Montreal, rendered all the more surprising given the relentless boos that preceded his exit to Colorado (much of it had to do with his hefty $4.5 million annual salary - a hefty ticket for a guy who was adept on the power-play but rarely accused of playing in his own end).

Presumably fans will remember Brisebois the classy team guy - he mostly played a bit role on the ice last season - who suited up for more than 1,000 NHL games over 14 years with Montreal and a couple more in Colorado.

"Whenever I was in a rough patch or needed advice I knew I could count on him, and I still can," said Habs winger Guillaume Latendresse. "He's lived everything there is to live in Montreal, good and bad. He's a guy who had an amazing career, he can hang 'em up with his head held high."

Added defenceman Josh Gorges, who shared the ice with Brisebois for two seasons and thinks he could be a good coach, "there's a lot about him to admire."

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About the Author
National Correspondent

Sean Gordon joined the Globe's Quebec bureau in 2008 and covers the Canadiens, Alouettes and Impact, as well as Quebec's contingent of Olympic athletes. More

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