The Toronto resident was among thousands who payed tribute to the Canadiens legend Monday, as he lay in repose on the ice level of the Bell Centre for a second straight day.
Waiting in line outside the arena, Catenacci’s daughter Maya spoke about her longtime love of the Habs, and how much Lafleur meant to her. Her dad couldn’t hold back his tears, wiping them away with a crumpled beige napkin. He spoke about how a friend set up a surprise meeting with Lafleur at a local hockey tournament in Peterborough, Ont. when Maya was a baby.
“I actually had five minutes with him,” said Catenacci, who was wearing personalized Converse shoes with a black and white photo of his idol on the right foot, and a No. 10 Canadiens jersey on the left foot. “He signed everything for me, and he even signed (Maya’s onesie), because we lost our first two kids. He was a listener. He listened to what I had to say; he was such a gentleman.”