MONTREAL - Fans at the Bell Centre Saturday night, so anxious to heap their feelings of rejection on home boy Vincent Lecavalier, were guilty of premature exclamation at one point.
They were booing the native of the Montreal suburb of Isle Bizard, a free agent during the summer who opted not to come home to play for the local side, when the puck was reversed to him behind the Philadelphia Flyers net. Rather than play it, he let it continue to rim around the boards, but some fans had already started to hoot in anticipation of him touching the puck.
Such is the lot of les Quebecois who opt not to play under the unblinking gaze of the Bell Centre faithful.
Daniel Briere, a native of Gatineau, Que., heard it when he chose to spurn the Habs and go to the Flyers when he became a free agent in 2007.
He signed with the Habs last summer after being bought out by the Flyers and was welcomed as a native son on opening night when Canadiens icon Guy Lafleur passed him the torch in the pre-game ceremony.
All appeared to be forgiven, so maybe there will be a time for redemption for Lecavalier.
But that is a ways away, if it ever comes.