Patrick Chèvrefils, the Panthers’ insurance “police”

An amateur goalie, who is also a police officer with the SPVM, experienced a special evening Thursday night at the Bell Center when he was called upon to play the role of Florida Panthers goaltender Alex Lyon.

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At each game at the Bell Centre, there is always someone present, in case one of the goalkeepers of both teams is injured. Thursday evening, this privilege had been awarded to Patrick Chèvrefils.

He was on the press gallery when he witnessed the injury to Sergei Brobovsky in the first period of the match against the Canadian.

“When I saw Brobovsky heading to his team’s locker room, I was driven by a kind of anxiety or stress,” said Chèvrefils, whose career was limited to a few league training camps. high level. I then headed to a locker room to put on my gear.

“When I arrived downstairs, I received a text message confirming that the Panthers needed me. It’s a childhood dream that you can check off, but that you had forgotten. »

Panthers officials removed Casey Fitzgerald’s name from a jersey before giving it to the Quebec goalkeeper.

“It crossed my mind that maybe I could jump on the ice. I did a lot of stretching and I tested my reflexes with lacrosse balls to keep me ready, explained Chèvrefils, who was in his tenth appearance at the Bell Center this season. I was thinking above all about not falling if I had to get on the ice.

“I also had a special thought for my father, who died three years ago. He has been my biggest supporter during my career. I shed a few tears when I was alone. »

Photo provided by Patrick Chèvrefils

Back to normal

Chèvrefil is a citizen like everyone else. In addition to his job as a police officer at the SPVM, he keeps goals in several garage leagues.

That’s what he did yesterday morning at the Normandin Arena in Brossard. “I was in my league with other police officers and firefighters. I got teased quite a bit, especially since the Canadian lost the game.

“I never thought I would get all these calls and this attention. I am now trying to get back to a normal life. I’m not a guy who shows off a lot on social media. »

Not paid

For those who are wondering, Chèvrefils is not paid for his presence at the Bell Center. Of course, he does not pay for his parking, his drinks and his food during the games.

“If I had jumped on the ice, I would have been paid, indicated Chèvrefils. The contract was ready, if it had been. »

After the Panthers victory, he was able to celebrate with Alex Lyon, who savored his first victory in the NHL.

Even if he did not jump on the ice to face the Canadian, Patrick Chèvrefils had the chance to experience an evening in the shoes of an NHL goalkeeper. A moment he will remember all his life.

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