“I continue to hope for the best,” Molson says

Molsonweb

BRENDA BRANSWELL
THE GAZETTE

There was far less star power at the Canadiens’ annual golf tournament on Wednesday and the sujet du jour was the underlying reason for that — the ongoing labour dispute between the NHL and its players.

The charitable fundraiser typically kicks off the team’s season. But the only players in attendance at the Royal Montreal Golf Club were retired ones, including Guy Lafleur, Henri Richard, Dickie Moore and Yvan Cournoyer along with former coach Jacques Demers.

The NHL locked out its players when their collective agreement expired last weekend.

“I continue to hope for the best and hope that we can reach an agreement,” Geoff Molson, the Canadiens’ principal owner, told reporters Wednesday morning.

“Every day counts but at the same time, it is early,” Molson said.

The overwhelming message Molson said he’s heard from fans is, ‘Let’s play hockey, let’s get out there.’

“And let’s hope that we can bring hockey back to the fans as soon as possible,” he said.

The intent of the NHL, the owners, and league commissioner Gary Bettman is to be optimistic and “try hard to come to an agreement,” Molson said.

The tournament benefits the Montreal Canadiens’ Children’s Foundation.

“It certainly is a better event when the players are here,” Molson said. “But unfortunately they couldn’t be here today.”

Michel Therrien, who is poised to start his second stint as the Canadiens’ head coach, said the coaching staff is ready with its plans.

“I feel like a lion in a cage … We’re ready to go,” he said.

“I’m disappointed with the situation that we’re facing right now. But in the meantime, I have to focus on what’s coming up for us,” said Therrien, who plans to be in Sherbrooke where the Hamilton Bulldogs open their training camp next week.

Habs legend Guy Lafleur said, at Wednesday’s golf tournament, that he hopes the dispute is resolved before Christmas.

It’s tough to sympathize with the players because they were receiving 57 per cent of hockey-related revenue, Lafleur said.

“It should be 50-50,” he said. “They should split the pie in half … I think it’s fair on both sides.”

bbranswell@montrealgazette.com

(Photo by Pierre Obendrauf/The Gazette)

16 Comments

  1. AceMagnum says:

    If the entire season is lost…do the Habs get a shot at MacKinnon next draft?

    —————————-

    THE KINGS ARE KINGS!! 2012

  2. frontenac1 says:

    Geoff is one of the few owners I like. The man has hockey in his blood. Unlike a lot of them.

  3. habsnyc says:

    Molson and the other owners are muzzled by the NHL office. They cannot say anything other than they love the fans, love the game and cannot wait until the players cave.

    Molson is in a tough place. He overpaid for the team. The team under performed. He charges high ticket prices and concessions. Now there is a lockout which will probably make him less popular but more wealthy. Lafleur, who speaks his mind, is also a paid employee of the Montreal Canadiens.

    If the sides do not meet this month, it signals that much of the season could be canceled. Considering how the upper echelon of the NHL already fled the continent, the union has no solidarity and they are expecting part of the season to be canceled.

    Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I like Geoff Molson as an owner, I recognize not much has happened for him as he hasn’t been an owner long but for some reason I like him. I am hopeful that during these negotiations etc… perhaps some owners spend more time together and gather some strength amongst the owners. I am thinking specifically of the Detroit Red Wings owner, the Habs owner, the Flames ownership and perhaps the Leafs (especially given Bell has ownership in both). Seems to me the Chara incident showed how little pull the Habs currently have at the head office.

      I admit I dont know alot about many of the owners, but these teams strike me as having owners who should be able to work together. Perhaps Winnipeg would fit in to that group (although, I think they would be very high on pushing for revenue sharing), again Thomson has ownership in Wpg and in the Habs.

    • Bripro says:

      I don’t see how this can make him wealthier.
      He has a business to run, including exorbitant taxes to the City of Montreal, a full coaching and support staff which will pursue its duties, with no hockey-related revenues to speak of.
      Why do you think the Panthers announced mass layoffs?

  4. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …Therrien: ‘We’ve got speed, we’re going to be more aggressive’…

    …hmmm, I think I’m gonna have to give MT some time to prove Me wrong …because He is certainly sayin’ the right things

    _________________________________________________________
    What I WANT ! is an aircraft carrier at centre and nuclear destroyers on each wing going to the net like bats out of Hell !, …NO MORE rubber duckies !!!
    _________________________________________________________
    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY
    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

    Campaign to Retire Toe Blake’s Number 6 !!!

    …and, last, but not least: FREE PUSSY RIOT !!!

  5. Thurston says:

    Keeping hoping, Geoff.
    Please ensure you are taking an active role in negotiations too. Don’t be a follower, be a leader.

  6. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …such great Habs’ material for HIO columns on interviews with Guy Lafleur and Michel Therrien, and this is the best that HIO can come up with ???
    …for goodness sake bring back Boone, who can relate with Habs Fans like no one else at the Gazette
    …if it wasn’t for the Commentariat, HIO would not be worth reading
    _________________________________________________________
    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY
    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

    Campaign to Retire Toe Blake’s Number 6 !!!

    …and, last, but not least: FREE PUSSY RIOT !!!

  7. Bripro says:

    First! …. for now.

    BTW, the NHL has announced the cancellation of the pre-season, up until Sept . 30th.
    So much for ongoing negotiations.


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