Habs are out of this world – literally

Canadiens in orbit around the Earth: Dr. Robert Thirsk with a copy of Le Chandail de Hockey.
Courtesy Robert Thirsk and Roch Carrier

When he was a boy in Sainte-Justine, Que., young Roch Carrier built a rocket “to go into space like the hero of my comics in the newspaper.”

Years later, Roch would write the timeless classic children’s story about the Habs called The Hockey Sweater/Le Chandail de Hockey, a quaint story that has touched millions.

Skip ahead some, and here’s the text of a note Roch recently received from Canadian astronaut Dr. Robert Thirsk, which he generously shares with us:

“Bonjour M. Carrier. I am Canadian astronaut Robert Thirsk. I had the privilege last year to fly aboard the International Space Station for six months. This spaceflight was a personal thrill and the highlight of my professional career.

“I had the opportunity to fly a small number of personal objects in space with me. Since astronauts are advocates for literacy, I chose to fly a copy of your book Le Chandail de Hockey. This book is a classic within our national culture and you are a great Canadian author. I would be pleased to present this book to you if you would like to have it.

“Meilleurs voeux. Bob”


  1. Danno says:

    The anger on the face of Roch Carrier as a little boy when he is forced to wear the Toronto Maple Leafs sweater will forever be etched in our collective psyche.


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  2. habguy says:

    I read habs are going to resign MAB.

    please god tell me it’s not true.

  3. Psycho29 says:

    And many would say there’s been the odd space cadet posting on this site from time to time…..fitting!

    Sorry….I couldn’t pass this up….

    Great story!!

  4. rocketsglare says:

    How appropriate when you are in space that you are reading about the Rocket. Our fandoom reaches literally

    into the heavens.


    Go Habs Go!


  5. Willy the bum says:

    On hardcover too… Doctor, you got taste!

  6. windycity says:

    haha, got me thinking that the last time the Laffs won the Cup man had yet to walk on the moon!

  7. Mattyleg says:


    Maybe next time he’ll take me with him…

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  8. D Alcorn says:

    Another fascinating dimension to the magical legend that is the ” CH “

    ALWAYS Habs –
    D Mex

  9. secretdragonfly says:

    One small step for a Hab, one giant leap for Hab-kind (apologies to Neil Armstrong).

  10. AndyF says:


    A few months before he passed away in 1997, my father gave me my most treasured possession in the world — a copy of The Hockey Sweater.   The book embodies for me almost every cozy thought I can imagine.   It contains memories of a love for the Habs that I shared with my amazing father.


    So many thanks right now.





  11. Dave Stubbs says:

    Andy, many thanks for sharing these thoughts. I’ve guided Roch to this post, so I’m sure he’ll be touched by your words.

    Dave Stubbs
    Habs Inside/Out
    Sports Columnist/Feature Writer, Montreal Gazette
    • On Twitter: twitter.com/habsinsideout1

  12. Shiloh says:

    Not only an accomplished scientist but a great guy as well. Very classy. It should remind us all to treasure our authors and journalists as much as we do our sports heroes – well, maybe the Habs are an exception.

  13. AndyF says:

    Many thanks for the special moments that go with this post, Dave.   As if I wasn’t already an HIO addict.  :-)




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