Michel Lapensée has been the team painter of his beloved Montreal Canadiens since 1984. He has painted portraits of many Habs legends throughout his time with the team. From Jean Beliveau and Maurice Richard to Guy Lafleur and Patrick Roy, the endless list of Montreal greats he has painted are shown throughout the Bell Centre.
For the HNIC opening this week, we focused in on his painting “Comme leurs idoles” that depicts a group of boys wearing their respective Leafs and Habs jerseys enjoying a game of outdoor hockey. In the opening we parallel the visuals of Michel painting and two Leafs and Habs fans playing outdoor hockey to illustrate both what the team means to Michel and the classic rivalry between the Leafs and Habs.
“Comme leurs idoles” translates to “Like their idols”. The two fans are wearing a Carey Price and an Auston Matthews jersey, respectively, to reflect the timeless rivalry that is Habs vs. Leafs and to bring forth the idols of the past to the idols of the present.
Here is a sampling of some of Michel’s work. You can see more of his art on his website here.