Stephan Lebeau began his career with the Montreal Canadiens, a dream come true for any Quebecker. Not big, but fleet of foot, Lebeau was a scorer at every level he played. In the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, for instance, he finished his career in Shawinigan, scoring ninety-four goals and a like number of assists in only sixty-seven games. In his first three full seasons with the Canadiens, he had goal totals of twenty-two, twenty-seven, and thirty-one in 1992-93, the year the Habs last won the Stanley Cup.
Despite showing signs of becoming a superstar, Lebeau tailed off badly, was traded, and soon found himself on the outside of the NHL looking in.
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He made his way to Europe and played another six years in Switzerland.
Wherever he went, Lebeau had a particular game-day series of activities, some that might fall under the rubric of preparation, others without question superstitions. He woke up at 8:30 a.m. to have a breakfast of oatmeal, two slices of bread, orange juice, and a glass of milk.
After the morning skate, hed come home, have a hamburger, watch television, and sleep for an hour and a half. Four hours before the game, hed have a plate of spaghetti for carbs, and two and a half hours before the game hed arrive at the arena. He chewed twenty to twenty-five pieces of gum, taped his sticks, and then went to the sauna for just a few minutes.
Then hed dress and be ready to play.