Canadiens owner Geoff Molson attended the Canadiens’ 31st annual blood-donor clinic on Thursday morning at the Bell Centre and spoke alone with The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs for 15 minutes before he circulated among donors and was scrummed by the media at large. While Molson wouldn’t comment directly about the ongoing lockout and labour discussions, he did have some interesting things to say.
“I’m a glass-half-full guy and I try to be that way all the time,” Molson told Stubbs. “I’m not in the room negotiating and I won’t comment on that anyway. But I believe that we’ll get back to playing and I’m looking forward to that day.
“In my heart, I hope we are. There’s no question, it’s difficult for everybody. More than half the people who work at the Bell Centre are on a four-day week and to some people, every day matters. This impacts everyone. It’s part of our life and culture, especially in Montreal and other big markets. Everybody wants us to be on the ice.”
Molson added that every NHL owner has input in the labour negotiations and had a message for frustrated Canadiens fans on Day 68 of the lockout.
“If there are fans out there who think for a moment that I don’t respect them, hopefully they understand that I do. I look forward to bringing this team back on the ice for them as much as they look forward to watching our team.
“And I’ll do everything I can to make sure we come back in style and the right way.”
Meanwhile, Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post wrote an interesting column about the NHL lockout under the headline: “Owners shouldn’t underestimate the Fehr factor”. You can read the column by clicking here.
And Roman Hamrlik talked with James Mirtle of The Globe and Mail about his controversial lockout comments, saying he wasn’t taking his comments back but will support whatever the players decide. You can read that column by clicking here.
(Molson photo above by Pierre Obendrauf/The Gazette)
A few changes in the Canadiens’ dressing room, which was open to the public during the blood-donor clinic. Stubbs’s photos below:
Note the door at the far end of the room, through which the players pass en route to the ice… larger view below. It’s unclear whether the red carpet is permanent; seems like it’s there to cover the white carpet on which there’s the outline of a rink in the middle of the room.
The Canadiens confirm that the phrase above the door was the idea of the team’s coaching staff. For those who fear the English-only will anger Quebec’s famous language police, Stubbs suggested on Twitter that the team need only add the letter “s” after NO following a loss, which would turn the phrase into French meaning, “We’re sorry.”
Last June, when Max Pacioretty won the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, he told Stubbs from Las Vegas shortly after he’d been named the 2012 recipient that he wondered whether his name would appear in the dressing room on the Honour Roll plaque. The huge plaque celebrates the team’s individual award winners through the franchise’s history. Indeed, his name was added to the plaque during the offseason. Pacioretty saw his name for the first time Thursday when Stubbs messaged this photo to him. He replied: “Absolutely amazing. Biggest accomplishment I’ve ever achieved in my life by far.” Below, Pacioretty wins the Masterton: