Shaved, rested and ready to wed
MVP Giguere walks down the aisle with his N.S. bride tomorrow
By Gerrie Grevatt / South Shore Bureau
White Point - Jean-Sebastien Giguere landed in Halifax on Wednesday with one arm around the Conn Smythe Trophy and the other around the woman he loves.
By the time he reached the South Shore, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks goalie had turned his undivided attention from hockey to Kristen Fawthrop, his Nova Scotia sweetheart whom he'll wed Saturday in Liverpool.
His whiskers gone - growing a beard is a playoff tradition for many players - the shy netminder's dimples show but any prenuptial jitters are well-hidden.
"I'm sure we're both going to have butterflies before the ceremony but I think Kristen and her parents did a great job getting everything ready," the 26-year-old said Thursday in an interview at White Point Beach Resort, where Kristen's father, Doug Fawthrop, is the innkeeper.
Jiggy, as he's known among Mighty Ducks fans, had no trouble concentrating on the game as his team headed into the Stanley Cup finals.
"Kristen was great, making sure I was focused on hockey. . . . I'm sure sometimes she needed help (with wedding plans) but she understood there was something else going on."
Giguere's been hooked on hockey since age five.
"Everybody played hockey when I was a kid, all five of us siblings, even my sisters.
"My parents were behind us all the way. They mortgaged their house to get us equipment."
Giguere paid off the mortgage when he signed his first contract at 19.
Jiggy and Kristen, now 25, met in Halifax through a mutual friend almost seven years ago when Giguere played for the Halifax Mooseheads. They were inseparable "from the get-go pretty much," the fair-haired Montrealer said.
"I followed hockey my whole life (but) I wasn't a Moosehead fan," Kristen added. "The first game I went to was because he had invited me to come watch him."
The couple got engaged last Christmas. Eager to do the right thing, Jiggy asked the innkeeper for his daughter's hand.
"After 18 holes of golf (at the resort) I finally got the courage to ask. . . . I don't know what I would have done if he would have said no," Giguere said.
Kristen said she was attracted by Giguere's charm. "He's very sweet and kind."
He's also very French. Fortunately, Kristen is bilingual.
"It did help because most of my family just speaks French and it would be really hard for a person that just speaks English to come to my place," Giguere said. "We're a big family and when we're all screaming at dinner you need to know what's going on."
Kristen never guessed during their early courtship that she'd wed this year's Smythe trophy winner. Giguere was awarded the coveted prize for most valuable player - the trophy is on display this week in White Point's showcase - after Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final.
He admits he was a bit of a reluctant winner. The Mighty Ducks lost that last game 3-0 to the New Jersey Devils.
"It would have been much more exciting to win the Stanley Cup. As a team we came from so far and we did so good . . . and that's what we were aiming for."
With the season behind him, Giguere turned his thoughts to getting his whole family to the wedding.
"I rented a bus for them to come down. My family and some of my friends are leaving from Montreal, stopping in Quebec City and coming here overnight," he said.
"There's a lot of them and it's such an expensive trip (by plane). . . . They're all working really hard for their money and it doesn't come very easily."
Giguere's parents flew in Thursday afternoon.
A Roman Catholic priest will marry the couple in a double-ring ceremony at the Anglican church. St. Gregory's Catholic church across the street isn't big enough to accommodate the 230-something invited guests. Giguere wouldn't name the hockey players who'll be among them.
His brother Stefan will be best man and Kristen's sister Natalie the maid of honour. Jiggy's six-year-old nephew Alexandre Fortin will be the ring bearer.
The couple will spend their honeymoon on a Caribbean cruise.
They hope one day to have a family and also live part time in Nova Scotia. They already have a home in Montreal.
"Once my career is over . . . we'll either live the summer or the winter here and vice versa to make sure that we're close to both families," he said. "We want the kids to see their grandparents as much as possible."