With five remarkable years of experience as a member of the Montreal Stars/Canadiennes organization, Emmanuelle Blais is among one of their greatest players to have laced up her skates. Having donned the number 47 throughout all those glorious years, Blais is also a member of the CWHL’s 100-point club, resulting in an accomplished career which can be defined by the word consistency.
Year after year, Blais is one of Montreal’s leading scorers, continuously providing the club with an opportunity to remain in the championship picture. In her rookie season (2010-11), she would rank sixth in league scoring. Heading into this season, Blais has accumulated 115 points and is only six goals away from 50 in her career. Such an impressive body of work resulted in recognition with a nod to the inaugural (and historic) CWHL All-Star Game at Air Canada Centre in December 2014.
Although she quietly goes on, bringing an ethereal serenity to the rink, there is no question that Blais provides a solid presence for Montreal. Having helped contribute to an exciting time where women’s hockey in Montreal was propelled into the city’s sporting conversation, Blais truly deserves the moniker of pioneer. Throughout a stellar career that has seen her play with a remarkable number of players over five fantastic years with Montreal, Blais discusses what she loves about being part of the team.
“I think that for me, I had grown up with most of them (the players). They became some of my best friends and playing with them never gets old. The feeling of competition on the ice is great and playing alongside them is always fun.”
Part of Blais’ legacy with the former Montreal Stars is the fact that she was one of the longest serving members in franchise history. As the franchise has been rechristened as Les Canadiennes, complete with a new logo, Blais is among a group of Stars legends that proudly carries the torch into a new era, one that is proudly defined by a partnership with the NHL’s Canadiens.
“This is a huge partnership. The Canadiens are very important to this city and it is great to have them help us. Where I work, all our clients now know about us. Such a partnership is definitely exciting for everybody.”
One of the greatest Canadian-born players of her generation to have not competed at the Winter Games, Blais boasts remarkable championship experience on her hockey resume. Prior to winning the Clarkson Cup twice, Blais competed on the Canadian national women’s U22/Development Team, capturing the MLP Cup, and with the senior team at the 2011 IIHF Eight Nations Tournament.
In addition, Blais competed for head coach Shannon Miller at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, winning the NCAA Frozen Four twice, while scoring 73 goals and compiling 145 points. As a side note, current Canadiennes teammates Julie Chu and Caroline Ouellette were assistant coaches on the first Frozen Four team. The second Frozen Four team saw Blais compete alongside Jocelyne Larocque, who is currently a captain with the CWHL’s Brampton Thunder.
As Blais has been part of four Clarkson Cup finals appearances (2011-2013, 2015), winning in 2011 and 2012, she is highly motivated to capture the Cup once again and add to Montreal’s sensational legacy of hockey championships. There is no question that the former Montreal Stars constituted the first dynasty in CWHL history, of which Blais proudly contributed to. With the club entering its first season as Les Canadiennes, such a momentous event would be enhanced by a Clarkson Cup, which would be the third in Blais’ accomplished career,
“It is a different experience every time. Whether you win the Frozen Four or the Clarkson Cup, every time, it is different. This year, it is more exciting because we have new people. You see the rookies work hard, especially as they have not experienced a Cup win. We plan on taking it game-by-game the whole year. Yet, it is a fun feeling that every one should experience.”
“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”
Photo credit: Jess Desjardins