Once I'm at the arena with the guys in the dressing room, and in the bus, and on the plane, I'm a player. And I sit in the back with the players and I play cards and try to take their money.
Since the beginning, I always loved the game. When you grow up in Montreal, one day you want to be a professional hockey player. When I was six or seven, I knew that was what I wanted.
I think that with a lot of hard work and dedication, I feel that I could be the best in the world. I'm still only 35 years old... I have a fresh start physically and mentally, and I feel that I can achieve my goal to be the best again.
I've gone through back surgery a couple times, and of course, my radiation treatments for six weeks got me to the point where I was not able to play at the level that I was accustomed to.
I think people in Montreal smoke a lot, and I used to smoke when I was 17-18, and just picked it up when I was playing juniors. But I think I stopped when I was 22, which was a big decision in my life.
I don't try to match wine with food, I just drink what I like. And I think a lot of people are going towards that now, which never used to be in the past.
I have two main reasons for retiring. The first is I can no longer play at a level I was accustomed to in the past. That has been very, very frustrating to me throughout this past year. The second one is realizing my health, along with my family, is the most important thing in the world.
This arena is a special place. Everybody loves it. To be able to stand behind the bench and be a part of a great tournament for the '96 Elite is fun. The kids, having a chance to play in the building where the Penguins play, it's a special feeling for them.
We feel that, with Sidney, we have a great opportunity over the next few years to put a great team on the ice. We're prepared to lose some money along the way. Eventually we're going to need some help.
Everybody I talked to - from my friends to my family and some of the players - really gave me a lot of support from the start. And that certainly made me feel good about trying to come back and be one of the best again.
He's only 4 years old, so I don't think he realized, you know, that I played so many years. Of course, we watch tapes here from the Stanley Cup years, but I don't think he realized how many years I played.
Of course, my family has been a big reason for me to come back, especially my son who loves the game of hockey - he was a big reason for me coming back.
My body's feeling it a little bit. But one good thing, my back is in good shape, and that's my main concern. I know that my legs are going to take awhile to get back to where I was a few years ago, but as long as my back is solid, I feel that I can play many years.
My son, he is the reason I got involved. It's been a joy to be around him and teach him the stuff that I know, and to the other kids as well. When he started playing I wanted to be involved in his hockey career. It's a lot of fun for both of us.
The first few games that we played against some of the teams, the young guys, you know, want a stick sign or photo sign, and I think that they respect what I have achieved throughout my career.