Maripier Morin has watched only one Habs game this season, and that’s only because the Canadiens were playing the Vancouver Canucks, her fiancé Brandon Prust’s new team.
But she insists she’s not bitter about the trade in July that sent Prust from the Canadiens to the Canucks.
“I just don’t understand why they traded him,” Morin said by phone Tuesday. “When I met Brandon, I was not a hockey fan. So I started my fan life as a Rangers fan. (Prust was playing with the New York Rangers at the time.) So when Brandon signed in Montreal, I became a Canadiens fan. So to me, it’s not weird to switch to Vancouver or any other team he’s going to play with.
“My real dream, my fantasy, would be for him to sign a two-year deal in Toronto and then to play for the Nordiques for the rest of his career.” (Morin hails from Quebec City.)
Prust will become a free agent at the end of this National Hockey League season, and Morin would love it if he signed with the Maple Leafs. His family is in London, Ont., and it would be a lot easier for her to make the trek to Toronto to visit him, compared to schlepping across the country to see him in Vancouver.
In the third episode of the W Network reality series Hockey Wives‘ second season, Morin fights back tears as she talks about how she felt this summer when they got the news that Prust had been shipped out west by the Habs.
“It was like going from being the happiest girl in the world to the saddest,” she says in the episode, which airs Wednesday, Nov. 11 at 10 p.m.
They were holidaying in Italy and had just got engaged 10 days earlier. They were relaxing in Rome, getting ready to go to dinner, when Prust saw some tweets saying Zack Kassian had been traded to Montreal. Then he saw he was going in the other direction, in return for Kassian. Next came the phone call from Habs general manager Marc Bergevin. In the space of a few minutes, Morin felt like her life had fallen apart.
“We were so happy, everything was perfect, then we got the phone call from Bergevin, and I felt at that specific moment that my whole world had collapsed,” said Morin. “That I’d lost everything I had. I knew my fall would be so busy that I wouldn’t be able to go visit him. Vancouver isn’t Toronto. It’s a seven-hour flight. I was demolished.”
In the Hockey Wives episode, she’s seen having lunch with Keshia Chanté, the girlfriend of NHL goalie Ray Emery. When Chanté tells her long-distance relationships simply don’t work, Morin looks devastated.
The problem is that Morin — who’s been working in the TV biz here for years — is in the midst of her biggest year ever as a television personality.
“I couldn’t imagine giving up on everything to follow him, even though I felt like I wanted to,” said Morin. “When you’ve just got engaged, you want to be with the man you’re in love with.”
Morin’s profile was raised when she started going out with Prust, especially after he was traded from New York to Montreal. After all, this is a city where Canadiens players, even third- or fourth-liners like Prust, are more famous than most politicians. The couple appeared together on shows like Tout le monde en parle, and he often showed up on her arm at glitzy TV galas.
“We were good for each other,” said Morin. “I introduced him to Quebec culture, and obviously he brought me a lot of following from the hockey camp. I like to believe that we were a power couple.”
So they’ve been doing the long-distance-relationship thing, and it’s been going well thus far. She’ll go out there for a few weeks in January; in the meantime, they talk by phone or FaceTime twice a day, and text each other all the time.
Morin had been looking forward to seeing Prust make his debut at the Bell Centre as a Canuck next Monday, but he won’t be in the lineup — he sprained his ankle during the Habs game in Vancouver late last month. But he’ll be travelling with the team, so she’ll get to spend some time with him — notably at a dinner on the weekend with a bunch of his teammates.
She’s happy to hang with the Canucks, and she’s not missing anything about the Canadiens — not even the iconic bleu-blanc-et-rouge sweaters.
“He looks so good in that blue,” said Morin.
AT A GLANCE
Hockey Wives airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on the W Network.