This is really sad news to me.
Gilles is an NHL player best known for his time with the Montreal Canadiens from 1977-1979, where he won two Stanley Cups. He was brought in as an enforcer to protect Guy Lafleur. Ironically, in his post NHL career he fought to diminish fighting in hockey at all levels.
Gilles was the NHL player agent I dealt with when I did the painting project with Felix Potvin in 1997. I was just a young pup, and he took me out to dinner to some high end restaurants in the Toronto area (and to some dance bars later in the evening to take in the local talent). This is when we discussed the Felix project and it’s specifics.
We really hit it off and did a lot of laughing. He was pretty candid about himself and at the time he was healing up from a bad injury he had in Montreal while rollerblading downtown. He was genuinely interested in me and my artist life, asking loads of questions about my lifestyle. This ex NHLer even took interest in my small-time hockey playing, asking me questions that made me feel Iike I was going to be called up at anytime for a try out.
Gilles covered the cost of the meals and treated me with the highest respect as a person and a business partner! I very much liked him, and after a few days when we concluded the terms of that deal I left feeling we both had won! What a great guy! I really enjoyed my short time with Gilles and wish I collaborated on more projects with him.
Gilles died of cancer on May 18, 2021, at age 67.