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From rink to paintbrush: Former goalkeeper Richard Brodeur talks about how drawing 'saved' him

From rink to paintbrush: Former goalkeeper Richard Brodeur talks about how drawing 'saved' him

Former goaltender Richard Brodeur, who played in the NHL after playing for the Nordiques during the World Hockey Federation era, says the paint may have saved his life. The man nicknamed “King Richard” returns to Quebec where he exhibits his work for the first time.

After playing for the Vancouver Canucks, 71-year-old Quebec player Richard Brodeur settled in western Canada. From here, he unleashes his imagination by creating paintings that are sold all over the world.



Quebec Nordiques goalkeeper Richard Brodeur, in 1972-73. Photo archive / LE JOURNAL DE QUÉBEC (who) (what) (or) (why). Le Journal de Montreal/QMI Agency

Image archive

“No prophet is in his own country, but here I am back with us. It's a pleasure to be here. I have two passions in life, apart from my family. I played professional hockey and I paint professionally. I consider myself really lucky.”

For nearly 25 years, he has made a living through his art inspired by his childhood memories and the landscapes that defined him.

“I always loved drawing,” he says.



Richard Brodeur is visiting Quebec where he is showing about fifteen works at La Belle Galerie, located on Rue St-Paul, until March 3.

Sylvie Durand, owner of La Belle Galerie, and Richard Brodeur, a former goalie who became a painter after his hockey career.

Photography by Diane Tremblay

Depression problems

Today he admits that this passion was his salvation.

“I've had depression problems for thirty years. I've had 13 concussions in my career. So it left its mark. I don't take any medication. I control myself. When I draw, I don't think about anything else. It saved me. At one point, It was black, and if I didn't have that, we wouldn't know.

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“I don't hide it. I have a lot of friends who have the same problem, and I tell them, talk about it, it's the best thing you can do.”

Mr. Brodeur began speaking publicly on the topic two years ago.



Richard Brodeur is visiting Quebec where he is showing about fifteen works at La Belle Galerie, located on Rue St-Paul, until March 3.

The exhibition presents about fifteen paintings evoking typical winter scenes in Quebec.

Photography by Diane Tremblay

Arts

His interest in the arts goes back to his childhood.

“I come from a family of eight children. When the weather wasn't nice, my mother always had coloring books and drawing books that she would put on the table and I always loved doing that,” he said.

However, the world of hockey in the 1970s and 1980s was not entirely compatible with the artistic life that was dormant at home at that time. Therefore, after several years, after his retirement, he was finally able to devote himself to his passion for drawing.

In Quebec, he presented about fifteen paintings at La Belle Galerie, on Rue Saint-Paul, from February 3 to March 3, and will be present several times to meet the public.



Richard Brodeur is visiting Quebec where he is showing about fifteen works at La Belle Galerie, located on Rue St-Paul, until March 3.

This is the first time Richard Brodeur has exhibited his work in Quebec.

Photography by Diane Tremblay

He is still passionate about hockey

It's impossible to talk to Richard Brodeur without talking about hockey, especially with Patrick Roy back as an NHL head coach.

“I'm very happy for him. I'm sure he'll do well. He's become more mature than the first time,” the former goalkeeper added.

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“He's a warrior. When he was playing we called him 'The Warrior'. It doesn't come out of the DNA. I love playing golf, even though I don't play as much as I want to, I'm still competitive. It stays there. It's the same for for him.”

Richard Brodeur aka “King Richard”

  • 71 years old
  • Position: Goalkeeper
  • His professional career is from 1972 to 1988
  • Citizen of Longueuil
  • He played for the Islanders, Canucks, and Whalers, where he finished his career
  • He reached the Stanley Cup Final in 1982 with the goal of defending the Canucks
  • He also played for the Quebec Nordiques during the World Hockey Association era (from 1972 to 1979).
  • The painter now lives on Vancouver Island, but returns regularly to Quebec


Richard Brodeur is visiting Quebec where he is showing about fifteen works at La Belle Galerie, located on Rue St-Paul, until March 3.

Quebec Nordiques goalkeeper Richard Brodeur, in 1972-73. Photo archive / LE JOURNAL DE QUÉBEC (who) (what) (or) (why). Le Journal de Montreal/QMI Agency

Image archive



Richard Brodeur is visiting Quebec where he is showing about fifteen works at La Belle Galerie, located on Rue St-Paul, until March 3.

After the light blue of the inaugural season, we wear the navy blue blazer overseas. Players proudly wear red shorts at the Coliseum. In 1974, an important symbol, the fleur-de-lis, was added. Finally, in 1975, shortly before René Lévesque came to power, a new uniform of eight beautiful fleur-de-lis was proposed.

Photos by Kiddle Photographers