The region is mourning the death of Gino Odjick, a former NHL player from Maniwaki

The community where he grew up, Kitigan Zibi and the town of Maniwaki, are shaken by the sudden loss of one of their symbols of success and perseverance. So is the world of sports.

Former Gatineau Olympiques player Martin Gélinas traded pucks with Odjick many times during his time with the Vancouver Canucks.

tough, tout le monde en avait peur”,”text”:”Sur la patinoire, c’était un gros bonhomme, un tough, tout le monde en avait peur”}}”>On the field he was a big boy, a hardeveryone was afraidhe recalls with a smile. fun à être avec.”,”text”:”Mais en dehors de la glace, c’était juste un bon homme, une belle personnalité, quelqu’un qui était pas mal le fun à être avec.”}}”>But off the ice he was just a good person, a great personality, a pretty good one fun to be with

Mr. Gelinas describes his former teammate glue dans l’équipe”,”text”:”comme la glue dans l’équipe”}}”>whom stickyin the team.

It seems like Gino never had a problem, he had solutions, he never had a problem. »

quote from Martin Gélinas, former Gatineau Olympiques player

He was not afraid to fight anyoneadds the former player. When you were on the other side, it opened up a little bit of space for the players, they felt a little bit taller, a little bit bigger because Gino had such a big presence.

Gino Odjick’s sister Dina first revealed the sad news on her Facebook account (File photo).

Photo: The Canadian Press/Darryl Dyck

Former Gatineau Olympiques head coach Eric Landry also played with Gino in his stints with the Montreal Canadiens and Quebec Citadelles.

What wonderful memories come to him when he thinks about the former player. Of course, losing someone like that is one thing.

He always worked hard, had a great attitudedescribes. He wanted to take care of the boys, he got along well with everyone in the locker room.

For the love of the team, for the culture of the team, […] it was important to him that everyone knew we could count on him. »

quote from Éric Landry, former head coach of the Gatineau Olympiques

The times he was with us were truly specialremembers the former head coach. He was very interested in the world, which he liked.

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Many paid tribute to the former player on social media following the news of his death.

Among others, Senator Michelle Audette, one of the most heard local female voices in 2022, reacted on her Facebook page.

Maniwaki Mayor Francine Fortin was also shocked by the news. He knew the former player personally, he remembers sharing school benches with him.

Being a small community, we all know each other a little bit, we all grew up in the Maniwaki arena.he explains.

In 2014, when Ms. Fortin became a first-term Maniwaki town councilor, she remembers attending a ceremony the town held in Odjik’s honor. Elected officials and the public recently learned that the former player suffers from a rare disease, light chain amyloidosis (AL), an incurable heart disease.

A view of the building with sandbags in front of the exterior doors.

The former Maniwaki Recreation Center was renamed Center Gino-Odjick on July 19, 2014 (File photo).

Photo: Radio-Canada / Christian Milette

Doctors told Gino he had only a few months to livehe remembers. At that time, the Town, in partnership with the Kitigan Zibi community, held a naming ceremony for the Maniwaki Recreation Center with Gino in attendance.

We thought it was pretty important. We told ourselves that at least he will be able to see with his own eyesthe mayor explains. It was a token of recognition that we wanted to give him during his lifetime.

But the experimental treatment gave the former player a second wind. He explained this when he was inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame in June 2022.

Ambassador for the region

Maniwaki Chamber of Commerce President Mike McConnery also knew Odjik when he was younger. Gino, a little younger than me, played hockey with my brothersays the latter.

Gino has always been a very good ambassador for the region. »

quote from Mike McConnery, President, Maniwaki Chamber of Commerce

It was sad for the entire community in the Maniwaki region and Vallée-de-la-Gatineau.Mr. McConnery continues. Gino, everyone knew him, everyone loved him. It was pride for the district.

With information from Jonathan Jobin, Rosalie Sinclair, Gabriel Le Marquand Perreault

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