On to Chicago

After losing to the number one team in the Eastern Conference, your Montreal Canadiens will travel from Boston to Chicago, where they have a Wednesday night date with the top team in the Western Conference.
It never gets any easier.

Pat Hickey’s game story

Quotes from the room

Hickey on the language debate

Pierre Ladouceur’s game report card

Geoff Molson wades into language debate

Henry Aubin and Don Macpherson on the language mess

François Gagnon on Molson’s damage control


  1. Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

    Lots of talk about the language issue lately, so I guess I’ll chime in as well. To give you all proper perspective on my point of view, let me just say that I am a bilingual Montrealer with a French last name (half of it anyway). Born and raised here. Went to French school until CEGEP and then studied in English. I am not a separatist. I am against sovereignty actually.

    Fans will often bring up the Dryden quote about the choice between “being French” and winning. Ideally, the Canadiens would be able to do both, as they did in the glory years. But, the landscape in sports as changed, as it has in the rest of the world.

    I don’t think Francophones in this province are oblivious to this. French Quebecers want to preserve their culture, language and history in a world that is rapidly becoming a global village. It’s a hard thing to do. But, there is nothing wrong with wanting to preserve your own culture and keeping your language alive.

    That being said, I think the cries for a bilingual coach aren’t so much about just hiring a French-speaking coach but making sure that the people involved in the Montreal Canadiens, an institution and a big part of Quebec’s cultural history, understand that it is important to respect the culture that made up a huge part of the team’s identity throughout history. That means learning the language. Robinson got that. Gainey got that. Lots of Anglos on this team over the years got it.

    I think if Mike Babcock were hired to coach the Canadiens, it would be fantastic. but, he would have to make a genuine effort to learn the local language in such a way that he could have a basic conversation with Francophones. I believe that. It’s important for the players, coaches and management of the team to understand the deep connection this city and province have to the Canadiens. They should embrace it and want to be a part of it. What’s wrong with learning a new language anyway?

    As for why French players don’t want to play here, I think a big part of is pressure. However, I think it is also because the connection is fading between the culture and the team. French Canadian players in the old days WANTED to play with the Habs even though they were under intense pressure, because it was part of the culture. Now, we’re just another hockey team.

    • habfan53 says:

      Not fair to bring up Babcock he went to McGill

      to paraphrase Nixon: If the Bruins do it, it is not illegal

    • shiram says:

      But that’s just another reason why coaches or free agent would not want to come here.
      Not only are they taxed more, the media is a pain here and on top of that they have to learn a new language?
      That would be discouraging when you are already running a difficult pro-sport job, and possibly a familly.

      Ironic signature is ironic

      • mb says:

        It might be discouraging, but this aspect will not change. Quebec will not become anglophone just in hopes of attracting more hockey players. Plus, francophone fans are not asking players to speak french 24/7, they mostly want them to communicate in a basic way. And let me tell you, if I managed to learn english in 3 months because I was surrended by anglophones, I don’t get why it turns out to be so difficult to learn french when you have a four-year contract in a bilingual city.

        BUT, it is true that it probably stops many players, sadly.

  2. HabFanSince72 says:

    I am still waiting for someone to answer this:

    If you can cite a single manager of Milan, Juventus, Ajax, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Man Utd or Liverpool who did not speak the local language please do so.

    If you can cite a manager of the national teams of Germany, Italy, England, France, Spain, Holland, Brazil or Argentina who could not speak the relevant language fluently I am all ears.

    • how about a cfl coach, marc trestman

      or a mlb manager, filipe alou

      • G-Man says:

        Apples and oranges. The Habs are a mountain in importance compared to the moehill that is the Alouettes and the pit that was the Expos.

      • ZepFan2 says:

        “how about a cfl coach, marc trestman”

        Yup. Also, there are more Francophones on the Als then their is on the Canadiens.

        Btw, I have to pay for texts. That’s why I didn’t reply the other night.

        As for your ?

        One gave: 125.000

        The other gave: 1000

        Also, I’m doing okay. You?

        There. Better than a text. 🙂

        Welcome to the newer NHL: The National Headshot League.

        • now how about the other 16 😉

          im doing great buddy

          • ZepFan2 says:

            “now how about the other 16”

            No comprende, amigo.

            Welcome to the newer NHL: The National Headshot League.

          • ZepFan2 says:

            “there were 18 owners in the committee”

            And? Were they in the same situation as the other two were? Probably not.

            As soon as he was outed, those 16 fired his ass.

            I think we should call it a draw.
            Welcome to the newer NHL: The National Headshot League.

          • there were 18 owners in the committee

          • the point is hickey’s article described fleury as a “co-owner”

            without mentioning what that meant (omitted the fact it was a committee)

            and also omitted that kennedy was also part of said committee

            if you include these two facts in his article it renders it pointless

            hence why omitting them could be viewed as something pretty fxcking heinous man


    • Chris says:

      I didn’t see the question.

      Barcelona hired Bobby Robson in 1996 despite Robson having no Spanish or Catalan skills. As it turned out, Jose Mourinho (“The Special One”) served as his translator.

      • Chris says:

        I’m not sure records go back that far, either, but Vic Buckingham was one of the more important coaches in Europe in the 1950’s, often credited with creating the notion of “Total Football”. I have a hard time believing he knew much Dutch when hired as manager of Ajax or Spanish when he was hired by Barcelona.

        Buckingham is a great example of outside the box thinking. When he was hired in 1950 by Ajax, it was quite rare for foreign born coaches to work in other countries. Yet his impact was massive…he was the manager that discovered Cruyff, and Cruyff’s attributes his football philosophy to Buckingham.

        61 years later, I still find it absolutely staggering that while NHL teams are more than happy to poach the best players from European leagues, in some cases with those players knowing little to no English, there is some sort of barrier for the coaches.

        The Penguins, bless them, at least tried to break the ice with Ivan Hlinka, as did the Blackhawks with Alpo Suhonen. Since then, nothing.

        There is always an outside chance Montreal will be the next team to go outside the box, as Vyacheslav Bykov is often mentioned as one of the better coaches in Europe and he is, blessedly, fluent in French.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        So one example on the last half-century, and he was one of the best coaches of his era.

        • Chris says:

          But that is the exact point. If we had access to one of the best coaches of our era, believe me, the bilingual issue should go out the window.

          You can teach a guy French. You can’t necessarily teach a guy who can speak French to be a good coach.

          When you look at the examples of the major powers in football, they generally have tons of options; most of the world’s elite players travel through one of England, Spain or Germany. Ditto for the coaches. So while those clubs didn’t hire many coaches with poor language skills, there are examples of guys they hired that honed their craft at other clubs in the Spanish, German or English leagues before getting the high-profile posts.

          That unfortunately is not an option in Montreal. The requirement for French-speaking coaches eliminates coaches and ex-players that were not either born in Quebec or passed through Quebec at some point in their careers. With only one professional team, that really narrows the number of ex-players. This is part of the reason why so many Habs fans got their knickers in a knot over Guy Boucher: he was a refreshing alternative to the re-hashed (Hartley, Crawford, Carbonneau)
          or inexperienced (Roy, Groulx) cast that we always hear about. But then you realize that his own experience wasn’t so great either.

          My concern is that the franchise is unnecessarily handcuffing itself for no real reason. The cultural significance of the language of the hockey coach of the Montreal Canadiens is over-stated, in my opinion.

          If it comes down to two equal candidates, one who is bilingual and one who is not, of course we should go with the bilingual candidate. Heck, even if the anglophone candidate is marginally “better”, we should go with the bilingual candidate.

          But a blanket statement that the coach of the Montreal Canadiens must be bilingual is alarming.

    • kakey says:

      All the above teams and cities have strong enough cultural backgrounds and identities to not feel the complex of losing them.

    • VancouverHab says:

      Guus Hiddink coached South Korea (triumphantly) without speaking Korean–he is a legend there. The Japanese national team that World Cup had a French coach who spoke no Japanese. Historical example abounds at national and Club level. In fact, Capello spoke no English save “hello” and understood none of it when he was appointed England’s manager.

      And language is not even the issue here, frankly. The francophne media in Quebec hated Gainey being appointed GM, and rode him incessantly from day one, merely because he was not a francophone though he spoke quite decent French.

      I’m ambivalent here: I speak functional French & enjoy and respect the culinary and literay aspects of the culture, and agree that a strong francophone identity is–I will even go so far as to say necessary in Montreal. But the attitude of many francophones in Montreal to non-francophone MG, entraineurs-chef, et capitaines is plain bigotry and cultural feelings of inadequacy brewed together.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        1. So Korea and Japan in soccer is the equivalent of the Habs in hockey!!! These countries have no soccer tradition. Let me know when an American takes over a famous Sumo school.

        2. Capello gives full press conferences in English. Besides there WAS an uproar when he was appointed AND he is the best coach of his generation. If the Habs appointed a successful coach who then proceeded to learn functional French in the next few months (as Capello did) there would be no issue. So Capello is a bad example.

        3. Re: Gainey. Not true. Simply not true.

        4. Undoubtedly there ARE bigots, but this is what complicates the whole issue. There are legitimate reasons to expect the coach to speak some French. There are also lots of crazies out there.

        • VancouverHab says:

          – Soccer is MASSIVE –absolutely massive– in South Korea: nothing else comes close there, and they are AT LEAST as passionate about their soccer as Quebecois are about the Habs, and they have a long historical tradition (so does North Korea, for that matter.) So the parallel seems strong to me: you just don’t know your soccer.

          – Capello did not start out giving pressers in English. He read a phonetically-prepared ststement and then used a translator. Yes he came in as a successful coach, but that was not your argument.

          – So why is the argument in La Presse not demanding that Cunny takes French lessons, and given a timeline for attainment? I would have NO problem with that.

          So, bottom line — several historical examples of major Club & National team soccer coaches not speaking the lingo….

    • ZepFan2 says:

      Brad McCrimmon.

      Welcome to the newer NHL: The National Headshot League.

  3. 24 Cups says:

    Friedman’s latest “30 Thoughts” column. Great stuff on expanding rink surfaces, Suter/Weber trade rumours as well as the crisis in Montreal.

    “If Gauthier does go at some point, you will hear the name Julien Brisebois a lot. Now in Tampa, he was Hamilton’s GM when the Bulldogs won the AHL’s Calder Cup in 2007. One other name: Claude Loiselle. Keep hearing that Montreal COO Kevin Gilmore is a fan of Toronto’s assistant GM.”

    http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/opinion/2011/12/what-to-do-with-suter-weber-30-thoughts.html (30 Thoughts)

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=534539 (Julien Brisebois)

    http://www.pensionplanpuppets.com/2010/5/30/1494212/leafs-hire-claude-loiselle (Claude Loiselle)

    • Habitall says:

      Thanks for the links. On the issue of widening the ice to Olympic or near-Olympic levels, I remain a big fan. I do recognize the logistical problems, but I think it’s something that needs doing as a long-term solution, if only to preserve interest in the game. Right now it’s giants playing in a fishbowl that allows for too little room to manoever, too little sustained control by one player or team at a time, and the game has become boring — even as the speed and skill level has increased. It’s also become more dangerous, due to the lack of space players have.

      Eric Lindros is on record as saying they should definitely explore making the ice surface larger, and he put that forth as among his top ways to reduce concussions.

  4. avatar_58 says:

    I think anyone who demands a french coach is a tool. Sorry. Why sugar coat it? You are tools and I wish you’d stop yelling and screaming to the media about MY team embarassing me as a fellow fan.

    Get me a winning coach/team and they can speak japanese for all I care

    • hab1970 says:

      I cant wait for Quebec City to get a team…let them deal with the French issue and let Montreal go back to developing a good team

    • G-Man says:

      You’re outnumbered by the “tools”. Why sugar-coat it? Your team means something different to you than it does to the majority of French speakers in and around Montreal. It seems to me that you are watching the Habs as a sport. To the French speaking fan, it is a religious experience.

      • avatar_58 says:

        Maybe those fans need a dose of reality. If your national identity is in crisis over a damn hockey team then it can’t be that strong to begin with. I honestly believe some quebecois get some sort of joy in the “us vs them” mentality in canada.

        Maybe quebec should seperate and realize just how idiotic that mindset really is when their economy collapses and they are forced to become ‘english’ simply to communicate their woes to the nearby country of canada?

        • G-Man says:

          You just do not get it, do you?
          It is a PART of the national identity and, as such, it is very important.
          The thing about personal culture is that it pretty much always is an “us vs. them” situation.
          Quebec’s economy has already suffered that collapse with the departure of the afraid; it happened in the 70s. The lingua franca here in Quebec will remain.

    • mb says:

      Sooo… You think 70% of the fanbase are tools, right? Just because you don’t agree with them, doesn’t make them tools.
      And I wish people would understand that for many, many fans, the Habs ARE more than a hockey team. It was the case 100 years ago and I believe it is still the case today.

      • hab1970 says:

        It is a religion for me too..what gets to me is how far the language issue goes….I hear this stuff around me every day.(the only thing that helps is that I am half french Canadian.
        On top of that I was in the military…I’ll give you two stories. i was in Chicoutimi right after the flood I was in my military uniform, I was talking to a collegue in English and this lady drives up to us and has the gall to say “icit ont parle francais”
        and another time was during the ice storm when a member of one of the Anglo units RCR I think was telling me how a lady was upset with him because he spoke English…and this is even when these people do not have electricity for a couple of weeks and they still have the issue in their heads

        • mb says:

          It does take too much importance, especially in the stories you told. What concerns me, though, is that people underestimate the importance of french in this province. And quite honestly, like I pointed out in another post, I think most francophone fans would be glad if RC at least showed he was willing to learn the language. (I know he said he would learn from his co-workers in meetings and stuff, but seriously, since when are team meetings in french, so… what gives?)

  5. habsnyc says:

    What is Dandenault doing? He retired in September 2010. He knows all about winning and played with great heart. He would make a good addition to the coaching staff at the NHL or AHL level.
    Dandenault is a great example of a Francophone free agent who loves Montreal. He turned down more money from Boston to play with Montreal.

    PG caused this language mess. I wonder if he will solve it.

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

    • kakey says:

      I loved Dandy. In his last injury reduced season here, he was always effective even when playing occasionally as a forward. Had heart, will defend teammates, good fast skater, tough but always clean checks.

      • habsnyc says:

        I wonder if the organization offered him a position or if he chose to take time off to enjoy his family. there has to be a way to keep him involved with the Canadiens.

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

  6. slychard says:

    Why does Ladouceur list Gomez and Gionta in his report card???????

    Kiss my hAbSS!!!

  7. Michael says:

    How about a coach that only speaks Russian? That would be a real curveball.

  8. Michael says:

    I think it’s important to keep the Habs grounded in the team’s cultural roots, but it was never Francophone coaches that made the team great, it was Francophone players. Toe Blake and Dick Irvin were both born in Ontario while Scotty Bowman, born in Montreal, was an Anglo if I am not mistaken. I’m a bit too young to recall Scotty’s career in Montreal, but according to a recently-executed Google search, it seems the consensus is that he didn’t speak much, if any, French. It’s hard to imagine he didn’t speak any French, and I’m sure you guys will correct me if need be.

    No, it wasn’t Francophonic coaching that marked the Habs’ dynasties; rather it was their players. Their rosters were at least half-French during the glory years. Since moving away from the strategy of drafting the best local players, the Habs have won no Cups. We drafted David Fischer (USA) instead of Claude Giroux. We drafted a lot of guys instead of Martin St. Louis, who went undrafted. We drafted Cory Urquhart instead of Patrice Bergeron. We drafted Eric Chouinard (don’t let the name fool you – born in Atlanta and raised in Calgary) instead of Simon Gagné. Matt Higgins instead of Daniel Brière.

    I’m not saying we should only draft French-Canadian players, and I’m not saying we never draft French-Canadian players. But I think our draft record shows inadequate scouting attention paid to la belle province. There was a time when virtually no French-Canadian talent could escape our gaze, but now? I realize that the conditions have changed inasmuch as we no longer have first dibbs on local players, but I can’t help but suspect we’re just not trying as hard as we should be to recruit homegrown talent.

    I miss the Flying Frenchmen. Call me crazy, but I think there is just some intangible boost of spirit when a Francophone wears le bleu, blanc et rouge.

  9. LafleurFan says:

    I vote for hiring a female Frenching speaking coach who has spent time in the Quebec National Assembly, and whose beer of choice is Maudite.

    “May you live in interesting times.”

  10. Mr. Biter says:

    If the Habs are such a “sacred institution” to French speaking Quebecers are there no rich “Patriots” to buy the team and why did an Americian(GG) have to come to the rescue before the Molsons bought the team back. “Money talks , Bullshit walks”. Also i’m not sure but probably 1/3 or more of the posters here live outside of Quebec.Posters like me (Winnipeg) in all the Canadian Provinces, most States down south Thailand, Japan etc. We ar alll Habs fans and though most of us don’t speak French we still support the Habs, by going to games when they are in our towns, buying overpriced merchandise and drinking Molson products etc.

    Mr. Biter

  11. Sakus Evil Twin says:

    Without fanning the flames… and with a hint of the serious… is it likely that the OLF would descend upon the Habs to witness practices to understand whether the organisation was promoting the culture and language of Quebec?

    I mean, if they can do it to the company for which I work, and single us out for having some *gasp* English keyboards and *wow* personal notepads which contain ‘too much English’ then surely the Canadiens are guilty Guilty GUILTY!

    It’s all such hypocritical b*llshit.

    Last night after period one, Vincent Damphousse was stating very clearly that the coach’s job is to coach the players… language (should be) is a very secondary requirement… let the marketers and publicity people handle the masses. At which Benoit B and Alain C shifted uncomfortably in their chairs.

    Vincent D for GM!

    These be trying times…

    No answers, just opinions. Bite me. Och.

    • mdp2011 says:

      that is the point i was trying to make below, that i am sure in the offices of the Bell center, I’m sure they meet all the OLF requirements, but the coach is a different story. His main task is to communicate with the players, and God knows the Habs have had bilingual coaches who couldn’t communicate with the players in either language.

  12. ricklamothe says:

    Im not from Quebec nor do I think its approprate for the governement to be commenting on what the habs do.

    However i do beleive that who ever coaches the team should at least be bilingual, not much to ask really. Its not discrimination, or bigotry its common sense that when you are expected to deal with a bilingual audience(media, fans, etc…) you should be able to express yourself in that language to some extent. If i were not bilingual i would not have even been considered for my current position, were there better candidates out there that were unilingual, none that applied, cause the job calls for bilingualism and if your not than your not qualified to do the job.

    Imagine a unilingual french person coaching the maple leafs or any team for that matter, and having a translator at all media related events. not gonna happen, even if he is more qualified than scotty bowman.

    • ZepFan2 says:

      “its common sense that when you are expected to deal with a bilingual audience(media, fans, etc…) you should be able to express yourself in that language to some extent.”

      Or hire a translator who will then say the exact same words the coach just did.

      “Imagine a unilingual french person coaching the maple leafs or any team.”

      That’s ludicrious. The coach is hired to guide the players. He/she must be able to communicate with the players.

      Why would ANY team hire someone that can’t communicate with their players?
      Welcome to the newer NHL: The National Headshot League.

    • Malreg says:

      The french media is more than able to translate quotes and interviews from the players, so why can’t they do it for the coach?

      And a unilingual french person would never coach anything, anywhere, besides maybe a QMJHL team.

      It’s an English league. All the players communicate in English, the referee’s communicate in English, the league communicates in English.

      You would consider Mike Babcock not qualified to coach the Canadiens?

  13. shiram says:

    Now if only Gomez could speak french, right?

    Ironic signature is ironic

  14. habsnyc says:

    Is the French press blaming PG or Molson? Maybe someone should blame JM for screwing up the job so badly. All he had to do was play Cole and Leblanc and ride Price. Just seems like a bunch of bad decision makers. PG for panicking. JM for not acting intelligently. Ownership for slighting their fans. RC accepting this job. The only smart guys are the Quebec born players who left town or refused to come here in the first place.

    They might as well hire a Francophone coach now and get it out of the way. Why annoy the province with an issue that will not go away until it is resolved?

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

  15. sackabooboo says:

    I check out this webpage 2-3 times a day. I enjoy reading the thoughts of other passionate Habs fans. I watch RDS even though I have no understanding of the French Language, because I love watching the Habs. But I can’t beleive this language issue.

    Are the Habs not a hockey team first? Stanley Cups not the most important thing? Would we care if a Swede, French, English, Danish, or flippin’ Austrailian lifted the cup as a Hab? Does it matter what language our coach speaks if he is responsible for lifting that freaking cup that we have won 24 times? I say we, even though I am an unilingual, english speaking prarie boy who probably has more history with the Habs than most.

    My english speaking grandfather had hand written letters from Frank Selke Sr regarding the Habs and the Regina Pats (a franchise my grandfather was credited in building). Scotty Bowman and Dick Irvin were in my grandfathers livingroom, and my Dad had Maurice Richard’s game worn, road red #9 jersey. We all loved the Habs….and not one word of french spoken between the 3 of us other than “et le but”

    The French players don’t want to play in Montreal because of all of this baggage that goes along with the franchise. If they don’t hire the best man or best player for the job, but stick to the best French man or best French player, we are destined for mediocrity (kind of like where we have been since 1993…when we won a cup with a flippin ILLITERATE…but I guess he was a French ILLITERATE!)

    My two cents…and that may be all they are worth.

    Why does something I have no control over have so much control over me….

    • G-Man says:

      Read a little Quebec history when most managers were English speakers and the French Canadians were labourers only unless they learned English, too. This despite the fact that most people in Quebec, like today, are French Canadian. This is a bit of bile that is engrained.
      Today, managers can be unilingually French. The cost was high. Many English speakers ran to Ontario and other points west or south and never returned. Quebece has been economically depressed for decades because of this, but most French Canadians are content to live and work here.
      The Habs, with greats like the Richards and Beliveau represent the French Canadian dream made into reality. The coaches, since Toe Blake, have been able to address the fans directly in French. That’s good business.

      The multi-lingual reality elsewhere matters not one whit. That is why the people of Quebec are seen as provincial.

  16. Propwash says:

    For crying out loud, just give Quebec City the Nordiques, and end this useless politicizing of the Montreal Canadiens.

    Being negative has its advantages,
    you’re never disappointed.

  17. Natrous says:

    I guess none of the Quebecois NHL superstars got the memo about the Montreal Canadiens’ status as an institution within their home province, as they all refuse to play here for a plethora of reasons.

    Has it crossed anyone’s mind that the fervor and insecurity in defense of a culture that no one wants to alter has, perhaps, poisoned the well? I would like to think that as a people, we’ve moved past the thought of assimilation and can respect the differences in culture that abound in our glorious country, even if it takes the identification of a nation within a nation to do so.

    On the other hand, maybe we should just keep fighting with each other over differences that few of us are able to or willing to change, while we watch our beloved squad pick from second-bests and 3rd-liners-come-1st-liners who can’t find a better place to sign with.

    Go Habs!

  18. LA Loyalist says:

    While we’re down in the mud slinging outrageous arrows, let’s throw in the issue of French-Canadian players not even wanting to play here.

    LeCavalier being the most humiliating recent example.

  19. Timo says:

    So what’s going to happen to RC if team is 0-6 on this trip? Will they can him just after 7 games? Hopefully Gauthier and Bobo will be shown the door next.

    • dallyd31 says:

      Fire Bob from what ? his “non GM” position. Give it a rest

      Lets fire Serge Savard or Guy Lafleur while we are at it….oh wait Geez

      • OneTimer says:

        You haven’t heard the conspiracies around here? According to Timo et al, Gainey is the evil puppetmaster lurking in the shadows behind the scenes. Also, he’s an ancient Sumerian alien.

    • citizenSanto says:

      That’s it! You’re going to have to take down the Bob Gainey poster hanging over your bed.
      And if you don’t play nice, I’m turning this website around and we’re heading straight home!

      Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.
      — Augustine of Hippo

  20. mdp2011 says:

    If i paid 545m$ for a company, i would expect to be able run it how i want and not have have to be forced into hiring someone purely based on language.

    • Michael says:

      You mean, “be forced into” pleasing your consumers? Nah, no businessman would ever want to be handcuffed like that.

      • mdp2011 says:

        i thought winning did that, no? Hiring the best possible coach and GM should be enough to please the consumer, the goal is to win, so it shouldn’t matter what language one speaks.

        • Natrous says:

          Mr. Molson should start by only buying Quebec barley produced year-round (especially during the winter months) for his beer, and see how customers react to the taste. He’ll have nothing but their own argument to fall back on.

          “Well, initially we looked outside of the province, but due to public outrage we decided to go back to Quebec exclusively for our ingredients. Unfortunately, we could only get about 50% of the total supply necessary, so we spread it out evenly and got the product we did. In the end, the beer tastes like dog sh!t, but the people got what they wanted, er, I think.”

        • Michael says:

          That’s true, but the fact remains that a substantial portion of the fanbase thinks this is very important, which is why we’re talking about it. The Montreal Canadiens is not just a hockey team; it’s a cultural tradition.

      • ZepFan2 says:

        “You mean, “be forced into” pleasing your consumers? Nah, no businessman would ever want to be handcuffed like that.”

        If by consumers you mean fans, I highly doubt the fans that have invested their time in cheering for the Canadiens all those many years would suddenly turn away. The only way it would be a problem is if the Nordiques were up and running.

        Then again if they were, this issue about the Canadiens hiring a uni-lingual coach would be a mere speck at the bottom of the sports page.
        Welcome to the newer NHL: The National Headshot League.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Let me assure you that if you ever buy a company you will be forced to operate according to the local laws and customs. In particular you will be obliged to operate in the local language to a large extent.

      • mdp2011 says:

        are the Habs breaking any laws? as far as I know, the Habs are running their business according to quebec law and customs! however, no where in the Quebec business law or bill 101 states the Habs coach must speak French. The hockey side and the business aspect are completly separate.

    • shiram says:

      It’s quite sad that someone with such a major condition would try to hide it, and plays such a physically demanding game as hockey while concussed.

      Ironic signature is ironic

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Yup another player hiding it, while the team also doesn’t seem to want to find out the diagnosis until being forced to. Out Beloved Habs are no better in these terms, as I was shocked to see Halpern back on the ice last year in the playoffs after Ferrence made on a hockey play on his head.

  21. mfDx says:

    “The team is an institution for Quebecers and French Canadians, and out of respect for the francophone majority population of Quebec, the coach of this institution should speak French,” said François Legault, the leader of a new and wildly popular political party called the Coalition Avenir Québec.

    Today I am embarrassed.
    In 40 years of being a Habs fan, I’ve never been embarrassed for my fellow Habs fans.
    (except maybe the looting after the FIRST ROUND playoff victory a few years ago)
    Your beloved team is playing like crap. The Players and their coach are like oil and water. Everyone is demanding an end to the carnage.
    So, what happens? a poo storm over the language used in the press scrums!

    Mr Molson, give up.
    They’ll boycott your beer, but still buy every single hockey ticket. (at inflated prices if they must)
    Until the Nordiques return to Quebec City, your franchise will be subject to the whims a nationalist monster that rears it’s head at the urging of anyone who can tweet in french. The message is :the one-ice product does not come first.
    Your players have to deal with sucking in the NHL, your head coach being fired, and now this:
    The junior reporters and their cameras are descending from the rafters and crowding the room. Asking the players not about their hopes and plans for the teams immediate future, but about their head coach’s lack of french.

    So, mr Molson. Sell the team to Quebecor (keep the building, concessions and parking though)
    PK Peladeau will keep Gauthier on as Directeur General. Gauthier will be instructed to field a team representative of the fan base.
    The ensuing fire sale will yield a team that will bring us a few stars and the loudest fans in the league.
    I’ll be following Edmonton…

    GM: Pierre Gauthier

    Coaches: Patrick Roy, Steve Begin, Benoit Brunet

    Gardien de but:
    Roberto Luongo
    Jose Theodore

    Francois Beauchemin – Alexandre Picard
    Stephane Robidas – Marc-Andre Bergeron
    Denis Gauthier – Bruno Gervais
    Marc-Edouard Vlasic

    Joueurs d’avant:
    Pascal Dupuis – David Desharnais – Guillaume Latendresse
    Louis Leblanc – Maxim Lapierre- Steve Bernier
    Jean-Francois Jacques – Maxime Talbot – J.P. Dumont
    Stephane Veilleux – Marc Pouliot – Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond
    Mathieu Darche – Gomez

    What of Lecavalier, Briere, Gagne et al? They still don’t wanna sign here.

    Sent from my CHphone

    PS to top it off, I just heard Francois Gagnon comparing this fiasco to buying Ikea furniture and not getting assembly instructions in french.

    • avatar_58 says:

      His “official” message made me sick. As an owner my only response would be ‘Shut the hell up’ and ‘I’ll hire whoever I damn well please’

      Instead he bends over and throws in something about french. What a coward

    • kakey says:

      Ikea never have assembly instructions in French, or any other languages, they’re all just drawings!! LOL Fail François Gagnon.

      also LOL at Gomez still here.

    • RH says:

      heh heh……Gomez…..

      I think I’ve re-considered my support for Federal financing, (or even public financing for that matter), of a new arena in Quebec City to lure the NHL back.

    • Ian Cobb says:

      In 1982, Ken Dryden wrote that the Canadiens going forward could either be good, or be French.

      Quebec is no different than any other province in my country. We speak with respect many languages to each other from coast to coast. You are welcome to speak as many of them as you want to.

      If you want to run a business in my Democratic country, go for it, in what ever language you wish. After all it is your money and your future at risk.

      Pressure groups, bigots and dictators are to be squashed like the bugs that they are.

    • Frank2468 says:

      I know what you mean mfdx, all this stuff just hurt. I for one am actually thinking of saying bye bye to the Habs. I’ve been a fan since 1970 and it was my dad who was a fan and turned me in to a fan as well. I have fond memories of watching the Habs with my dad. If I stop following the Habs after this mess and it’s reaching enough already. I feel that I’m giving up on my dad and his team and all the wonderful memory’s with him watching Habs hockey together. This actually makes me feel really sad today. I feel hurt enough like I was that 10 year old again in 1970. I know some of you may feel oh don’t be silly but it’s feelings and I have a child and would love to build the same memories with her as my dad did with me, but how can we with all this mess, actually tell her that the Habs care about there fans all fans not just the French fans and I’m half French Canadian.

    • dallyd31 says:

      I too am embarrassed

      • Mr. Biter says:

        Even though I posted above I who have been a Habs Fan and when my Dad had Jets season tickets (post new jets) the only games I ever went to were Habs games. When the Moose were in Winnipeg, onlt time I went was when the Dawgs came to town. Must have almost every bit of clothing , caps mugs available and my 5 year son plays all his soccer games wearing his Habs hat (and he is really good 25 goals in1 game last year) and I am also re thinking my following of the Habs which really makes me sad after 51 years of being a loyal supporter through the good times and the bad.

        Mr. Biter

  22. avatar_58 says:

    Btw part of me wants Roy hired as coach for 2 reasons

    a) So he can yell and tell these lazy players what they need to hear
    b) So he can fail miserably and show language bigots how idiotic it is to hire based on anything but expertise

  23. Neutral says:

    when your so called best players are not scoring it doesn’t help a team – that’s part of the Habs problem right now – pleks, cammy, gionta gotta start putting pucks in the net – when only half of you’re top 6 is doing all the scoring – the team is done – so until the three mentioned starts scoring goals – this team is going no where – I feel sorry for cunneyworth – he’s a good coach – just don’t have the players to get the job done.

  24. dano58 says:

    Dream trade…… Gomez,Camillari,Webber and Campoli to Calgary for Iginla and Jokinen. Jokinen is a UFA after this year and we all know what Iginla can do. No real down side to this except it is a dream. Also our future defense looks great with what we have coming up. Maybe in a few years it will look like early 70’s with Lapointe, Savard and Robinson. If only we could dump the overpriced forwards. I hope when Gionta or White come back we sit Callimari and see if he has any pride at all of if he really is selfish.

  25. lenny says:

    While the French Media is going off on having a French coach, the question they should be asking is why if it’s so important…then why don’t any of the French Elite players want to sign here?

    After looking at the gong show going on here, I don’t blame them for steering clear of Montreal…

    Secondly, where were all the French business people when the Habs were on sale? Why did a US business man (Gillette) need to come here and save the team??

    If the French love the Habs, the why pray tell could they not find a group of French Owners???

    The Team, Media, Players, Management and owners have become a joke….

    While I understand the need for a coach to communicate in French, the first priority is to find the best…Then one can simply take lessons, put a couple of words together post game and continue to improve on the language…..

    Lastly, with the secretive nature and lack of communication we get, what does it really matter???? I find it sad that when I tune into TSN 990 I can here coaches and GM’s from other clubs being interviewed…yet nothing ever from the Habs!

    This season blows! And so does Mr. Molson for throwing his employee under the bus….Shame on you

    I hate the Bruins, really I do!

  26. Ian Cobb says:

    We lost another game last night. Unlike before, we and all the players know why!. We made more than two costly mistakes.

    But we saw a good hockey game for a change. We are back playing the game again and it will take a little while for all the boys to get on side playing real hockey again. At least we are not playing that JM style of garbage anymore.
    We will get it together.

    • hab1970 says:

      whats interesting in this situation is that it brings together all the problems the habs face.
      There is politics….this will surely scare many players, coaches and GMs away…even French players.
      Bad management-look at how the players are managed, coached, how the GM communicated then the owner/ pres. comes out and his messaged gets FUBARed..
      Also we have to pay players these high salaries to come because of the taxes and we may even have to pay more for the political premium so as to entice them….

    • G-Man says:

      What was specifically different? I saw the same old thing except that once in a while a Dman would join the rush. Moen played almost 8 minutes more than AK in a game the Habs were behind.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      Good point Ian. I look at the players as being “institutionalized”.

      It will take some time to de-program them from “le system”. Of course for the newest guys – LeBlanc, Cole, Kaberle, it will be easier.

  27. JF says:

    For those who think Patrick Roy should be the next coach, Pat Hickey’s piece is a salutary reminder that Roy has no experience coaching in the NHL and that coaching junior players is not the same as coaching highly-paid professionals. Roy has had as much success with his junior team as Dale Hunter with his, but Hunter is struggling in Washington. His team is also a lot more talented than the Canadiens. The Antichambre crew are all on the Patrick Roy bandwagon, but I hope Geoff Molson will take a long, hard look at the options.

    • Stuck_in_To. says:

      It’s one thing to be a fiery and competitive guy on the ice or behind the bench but Roy’s “passion” has leaked out, spilled out, whatever, too many times. Frankly, I think he is an ass. I’m sure a lot of players can respect Roy’s hockey accomplishments but I would also think a lot of them would have trouble respecting the man. How is that going to make for a good coach?

    • The Dude says:

      And Cunneyworth has 2 months…………….

      • Mr. Biter says:

        Dude, saw your reply to me but it was 2 days later so here’s my reply to you.
        Roy , never He quit on the Habs when he demamded a trade.Cost us 1 or more cups. I can never forgive him for that regardless how good a goalie I think he was.
        Carbo, been t here, tried it
        Dryden after reading what he said about the Habs and being French or winning the Press and politicans would really go nuts.

        Mr. Biter

    • kakey says:


      His name is tossed around solely on reputations. We know nothing of his system, style, etc.

      Anyway the more an candidate is publicly exposed, the less likely he’ll be hired, as past coaching hirings demonstrated. If you list all the last 5-6 Habs coaches, no single one had been predicted in the media as the next one before the official announcement was made.

  28. nellis13 says:

    Does anyone know the ownership structure of the team now? Many articles are citing Geoff Molson as the sole owner of the team. I’m pretty sure he and his brothers were minority owners 2 years ago. Did he buy his partners out or have they been forgotten?

  29. avatar_58 says:

    This language BS is really souring my opinion of this franchise. I honestly just don’t care anymore. It’s no fun watching them lose over and over with zero plan for the future.

    What’s the point? No one seems to care so why should I? Watching players like Cole work overtime only to pass to someone as soft as butter…..I can’t imagine how he feels.

    All TSN/CBC/etc care about discussing BS like language barriers, coaches, etc……what about THE HOCKEY? God what a sad sack of a team.

    • V says:

      ‘This language BS is really souring my opinion of this franchise’… how much more of it would convince you to leave?

      I would gladly write something if it would make you feel better.

  30. habfan53 says:

    Last night I heard the Kirk Muller wanted to go down to Hamilton to be head coach and JM nixed the Idea saying that he wanted him in Montreal to communicate with the players.
    Dave, Mike Anything on this?

    to paraphrase Nixon: If the Bruins do it, it is not illegal

  31. G-Man says:

    The above post should be gone in 5…4…..3…

    -edit- see? 🙂

  32. habfan53 says:

    Just Hire Denis Savard.
    Speaks French , Has NHL experience, works well with young players,Has his name on THE CUP as a Canadien
    What more does anybody want


    Do the right thing and give Cunnyworth a chance

    to paraphrase Nixon: If the Bruins do it, it is not illegal


      This politics of this subject is really pathetic, and is a sad part of being a montreal Canadiens fan. Would these biast french men accept Scotty Bowman as a coach or Toe Blake? because they won us half our championships.

      If Steven Stamkos was our first round pick, and eventualy captain, would we refuse to adore him because he isnt french speaking quebecer?

      These same close minded people barely accept french speaking hockey players outside quebec as they’re own,they accept when that are elite, then they try to embrace them. ala beaulieu, toews, giroux

      If english french was a visible charactistic like skin color, would our society allow it? Youd hope not, but in Quebec, we do, and It’s a shame on all of us, for not only those who do it, but allowing it and accepting it to continue.

      We dont get to choose our language like our skin color, yet people hold on to these ego driven gifts and try to hurt others but only end up hurting themselves. Your choice of language isnt a skill aquired to isolate others but a tool used to communicate and bring people closer.

      Our orginization constantly lets this become a issue and refuse to face the subject face on. They allow it to continue and tell us faithful, that they will not get the best man for the job, they will get the man, who is best suited as team spokesperson.

      I hope the french speaking nhl players continue to pass the truth to these close minded people, like vincent damphousse did on rds during the first intermission yesterday. We need to stop avoiding this racist like issue, and grow up soon, because we will not have a choice eventually.

  33. Exit716 says:

    Does anyone remember when the Habs used to be a classy organization?
    It must be very heartening to Cunneyworth to hear the owner basically tell him he’s going to be fired at the end of the year.
    When CUnneyworth is fired, Gauthier and Gainey better also be on that list. They’re the ones that have created this mess. Then again what do you expect from Gainey? He didn’t even have the class to shake Claude Julien’s hand after the Bruins humilated the Habs in 2009. All of George Gillett’s hard work at cultivating the fan base and building the brand have been undone by Molson and his inept crew in less than a year. Brilliant Geoff.

    • Ton says:

      why do people like you make things up> gainey is the ultimate professional, he shook his hand, we all saw it.

      • Exit716 says:

        Julien had to go seek Gainey to shake his hand. It’s a fact. The fact most fans love to harp on stuff from the 1970s is really amusing. I guess you all love the Gomez acquistion and the rest of the really embarrassing mistakes he’s made to drive the franchise into the ground.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Can criticise Gainey’s moves as a GM but you are wrong to suggest that this man lacks class. We should all try to emulate his standards.

    • V says:

      That’s what interim means… he’s just hear for the rest of the season.

      And I wouldn’t doubt Gainey’s class. Makes you look stupid.

  34. montreal ace says:

    Derrick Brassard of the Jackets is a player I would like to see the Habs acquire, and I would use AK as bait

  35. Dr.Rex says:

    Are we supposed to be excited that they only lost by one goal to the Bruins? The highly paid vets on this team are becoming a disgrace to the crest on the jersey.

    The language issue is simply a political issue and has no place in hockey. THose who mix personal agendas with sports have lost the meaning of what a sport really is. The only issue right now is certain players not coming close to even the minimal expectations.

    • Exit716 says:

      Well, everyone in management seemed to be thrilled with the one goal loss to the Bruins in game seven last year. “IF we had Markov…blah…blah…blah…”

  36. Psycho29 says:

    Here’s my take (for what it’s worth):
    I am a fluently bilingual Anglo living in Quebec all my life, been following hockey since the mid-60’s, and it’s my belief that the Coach and GM of the Montreal Canadiens SHOULD be bilingual. They SHOULD both at the very least be able to address the media and their fans in both languages.

    Jacques Martin was fired and the team decided that at this time, Randy Cunneyworth was the best candidate to take over as INTERIM coach, having been close to the team all season…which is fine. They said at Saturday’s press conference…..”interim”.
    The problem is that certain people decided to take the opportunity to start up the language debate. Others decided to pile on, either to sell more papers or to use it in their political agenda. All this before Cunneyworth even coached a game.
    Even if this team was to start winning, makes the playoffs, wins a round or two….do you think Cunneyworth would want to come back to this environment? I really doubt it.
    So next season we will have a bilingual coach. All will be fine (Until they lose a game :-))….
    The problem is that its a very emotional subject in Quebec, and some people panicked and sounded the alarm.

    • G-Man says:

      The problem politically in Quebec was that there literally nothing for anyone on the separatist side to latch onto and bark about. Then, PG did the knee-jerk thing and voila!

    • LA Loyalist says:

      The best soccer teams in the world have the best coaches available, even if they speak Brooklynese or Swahili.

      The best formula one teams have the best drivers, be they Finns or Brazilian or, yes, from Quebec.

      YOU (and the Quebec press) would have had an absolute COW had Ferrari declined to hire Gilles Villeneuve because he wasn’t Italian. And, in fact, they hired a German (Schumacher) and previously Lauda, an Austrian.

      Because all of the above are committed to winning, not WHINING.

      So you and the rest of Quebec need to join the 21st century.

      You, amigo-san, are part of the problem. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

      P.S. I think Denis Savard is a really interesting idea and I hope he gets consideration.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        I’ve countered the soccer argument before.

        There was an uproar in England when Fabio Capello was appointed manager of the national team because he supposedly spoke little English (note: in fact he gives full press conferences in English).

        And this was Fabio Capello, probably the best football mind of his generation, who had won trophies everywhere he coached.

        If you can cite a single manager of Milan, Juventus, Ajax, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Man Utd or Liverpool who did not speak the local language please do so.

        If you can cite a manager of the national teams of Germany, Italy, England, France, Spain, Holland, Brazil or Argentina who could not speak the relevant language fluently I am all ears.

      • HabsPEI31 says:

        Counter the argument of best coaches, languages, etc.

        – 20 clubs in Ligue 1 (France). Every single manager is of French nationality;
        – 92 clubs in English Football league. All of them, except for EIGHT, are from the United Kingdom, including one Canadian;
        – 18 clubs in the Bundesliga. Only four managers are non-Germans (a fifth was described as “German of Italian heritage”).

        They may be getting the best there is, but they certainly make sure, as evidently as much as possible, he’s from the area, or can speak the language.

        “Only a goalie can appreciate what a goalie goes through.” – Jacques Plante

        • HabsPEI31 says:

          Can I reply to my own reply? Meh, why not.

          This isn’t to show they have the best person in the job. Not all of these clubs (obviously) are rockin’ their division.

          Nor does this show a preference for the language of the coach based on region… oh, wait. Cancel my last, yes it does.

          Back to my first point, cuz it’s the only one standing.

          But I must also point out, an overwhelming percentage of those managers are ex-players, and at multiple levels, club, national, etc. All of those teams are cultural melting pots, with players recruited from around the globe, but also with home grown talent – probably way more than the Canadiens, percentage-wise.

          The last point is, though, they also have a much larger pool of expertise to pick from than we do.

          “Only a goalie can appreciate what a goalie goes through.” – Jacques Plante

  37. boonie says:

    A question for those of you with a better understanding of the language issue than I will ever possess…

    Would it be easier or more difficult for us to hire a non-french speaking coach if the norms were reincarnated?

  38. The Dude says:

    I really feel that the English have ZERO say on French language issues and that’s a very good thing….As for the Habs,time to hit them with one of North Korea’s long march kim il sung no.2 son missles and blow up the Habs for a complete rebuild and the best part of that is it will probably hit the Leafs…oh well.

  39. Rudy says:

    @kakey: “All coaches in the Quebec Major Junior speak English to all players, including Francophones, as documented by the documentary « Junior » by Isabelle Lavigne and Stéphane Thibault. This eliminates any supposedly unilangual coaching candidates.”

    I find this extremely hard to believe. So the team in Val D’or are speaking english at practices? There is no way that can be correct, is there?

    • kakey says:

      Maybe I forgot to add that most LHJMQ teams have Anglo and foreign players so in that case the coach will speak English to address to all his players. But in teams where there’s only Québécois, then it’s French, or joual, all the way.

      here’s the link to the doc: http://www.nfb.ca/film/Junior/

    • LA Loyalist says:

      My kid here in LA who is only 8 has a coach from the Russian National Team who can barely speak English, but swears excellently in Russian.

      The head of the LA Kings Jr. Development program is a Czech who speaks English the way Ivan Lendl played tennis – – like a robot.

      My point is get with the freaking program. Quebec is falling like RIM stock by not getting it’s collective head out of it’s ass on this issue.

      Which, by the way is why I and THOUSANDS of others who have lived in Quebec no longer do. We live in Toronto and LA and Vancouver and New York – and yes, Paris.

      We should be happy that hockey is an international sports success and that language doesn’t matter.

  40. alwayssunny says:

    If they keep losing it won’t matter if Cunneyworth becomes fluent in 20 languages. If the team was to play above it’s head and bust their ass and make the playoffs and win a round or two, I think it would be hard to fire Cunneyworth. It would really turn a lot of players off. At the same time – I know he has more than enough work on his hands with the club but as far as I’m concerned if someone doesn’t at least make an effort to learn the language then they don’t appreciate the job enough. The organization can provide anyone the best resources in the world to learn. Players come over and learn english all the time. I wonder if some people don’t learn the language because they feel bullied, and I don’t just mean by the french media. The english media seems to have a general at least acceptance that the coach should be bilingual. Anyway back to the point. Study the language. Learning a language is one of the most rewarding things you can do in your life.

  41. kirkiswork says:

    If the Nordiques come back will there then be a need for 2 french coaches and 2 french GM’s or will the Habs get a bye because the Nordiques will become Quebec’s team.
    The pool gets smaller.

  42. hansolo says:


    Like the sig. I didn’t know Cunneyworth was on anyone’s radar at the time. As much as we pine over Guy Boucher, we might have the equivalent right now behind our very own bench.

  43. deuce6 says:

    We have lost 9 of our last 12 games…How long before we see some changes on the ice? I think selling at this point is a definite possibility..


    Yes, I’m a Hab fan..Wanna fight about it?

    • shiram says:

      Spacek for Kaberle was not change?

      Ironic signature is ironic

    • hab1970 says:

      As far a s a PR point of view goes…pretty bad.
      However, Mr Molson bought this team, he inherited the staff and players. I’m sure he wanted to wait until the end of the season to make changes but as it stands hes forced to make changes now…
      So Make them, hire the people you want ,create an identity, keep what you want and get rid of what you do not want,,,I do not think it has to be as radical as 2009 but something has to be done….
      As a Montrealer we have to deal with the language issue on a daily basis and unfortunately people in the province are not as evolved as they are in Europe so what that means is get a bilingual coach….and because of that issue, the person who should be our next coach is in Carolina…

    • G-Man says:

      After this “no trading” section ends, I expect almost all the UFAs to be moved for picks. Carriere and PG will do a housecleaning, but will not be in on who those picks will turn out to be. PG is done as a hockey GM. He will be terminated at the end of the regular season.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        G-man, I sure hope they can move some of the garbage contracts as well. Thinking Cammy or Gionta might be tradeable. Markov and Gomez are contracts that Molson will hopefully eat.

      • Habsrule1 says:

        I’m not conviced PG has done that bad a job. On paper, the team is better than their record. The team has not performed as well as it should have due to certain payers not performing, possibly because of the system. This is what we will find out going forward with the new coach.
        I think there is a chance PG stays. He made some decent moves….but a complete clean up may be what Molson is going for.

        Go Habs Go!!

        “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

        • Habfan10912 says:

          The only way PG saves his job is if Markov comes back soon and Gionta, and Cammy begin to produce and lead the team into playoffs. Not likely IMO.

        • Exit716 says:

          Gauthier made some decent moves? When? In 1996 with Ottawa. As head of pro scouting he must have had some input in the Gomez deal, the one where they pissed away Ryan McDonagh. What about the Ribeiro from that crippled Finn? The three year deal for Markov who pretty much is all but finished as an NHL player. Yeah, I hope the Habs keep Gauthier around forever so that they can finally have a good run of five or six years of drafting in the top three.
          He’s a loser and needs to be send packing to a tofu farm in California.

      • avatar_58 says:

        #1 is gomez. Until he’s moved/waived/ahl’d then it’s pointless to do anything

    • Dark Canuck says:

      You are totally right time for Gomez (long overdue) Cammalleri, and maybe even Gionta to go these guys take up a ton of payroll and are doing nothing…maybe Gionta gets a buy because of last year but their best years are behind them…maybe even Plekanec they have to start over and build around young guys! Get something while you can.

      • Exit716 says:

        It’s not Plekanec’s fault that he’s miscast in a role he’s not suited for. However, the fact that Gainey didn’t bother signing him to a longer term deal resulted in having to overpay Plekanec for what he brings. On a real contender he’s a third line centre. Third line centres don’t make $5 million a year, but they do in Montreal where money is flushed down the toilet with reckless abandon.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      Before the last 3 I think we had gotten 9 points in 12 games. That being said, we probably will see a shake-up on the ice pretty soon, but let’s give RC a chance to get a full practice in with his team first.

      Go Habs Go!!

      “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

  44. montreal ace says:

    Quebecor and bad press for the Canadiens,with a government minister getting involved, does not pass the smell test for hidden agendas. Molsons lawyers are probably watching the situation carefully, as Sun Media is known to play dirty.

  45. Habfan29 says:

    I probable should not wade into the language debate, but what the hell here goes. I am a native Quebecer born in downtown Montreal, all my family is from Quebec, but we are all anglophones now living throughout Canada. This kerfuffle about Randy Cunneyworth as the coach is really damaging the image of the province. It is just another example of the Jackboot politicians and certain french- language Journalists that causes the rest of Canada and the world to see Quebec as a racist bigoted “Province”.

    this is very disappointing to me as a Habs fan of over 40 years. This BS will only harm the team now and in the future. If you were an FA would you sign in Montreal after this…….no way and I can tell you right now that at the 1st opportunity both Subban and Price will high tail it out of town. Do these politicians and journalist not realize that they are killing this franchise???? If I were Mr. Molson I would tell them that he is hiring the best person for the position no matter what language they speak, failing that sell the team because you are going to lose lots of money.

    I am so pissed at this that I can hardly concentrate, this game that is being ruined.


    • CranbrookEd says:

      My sentiments also . . . also as an ex-resident of the province (not sure if I could ever actually refer to myself as a Quebecer, not having the required lineage, though was born and raised there . . . Is the issue that RC does not currently speak French, or is it that he is not French – I believe that I know the answer . . .

      Mr. Beliveau: “Pure Pak mais oui”! . . . What ever happened to Johnny Jelly-Bean!?

      • Natrous says:

        I agree as well. I lived in Quebec for ~10 of my formative years, learning the language and enjoying the culture that I respect very much. I think I understand the need to preserve the identity and language of the province, but I honestly can’t believe that the coach of Quebec’s primary hockey club influences the culture in any way based on the language he was raised to speak.

        It’s laughable that the decision to replace JM with an anglophone (a decision that was made by a Quebecois no less) can set off such a huge debate that it tears the fan base apart into factions, when all the fan base truly wants is to win another championship. The last uniligual anglophone coach, Al MacNeil, was run out of town, despite winning the cup by playing rookie Dryden against many wishes as well as making other controversial HOCKEY decisions along the way. His reward: demoted to the AHL, where he would win three more championships there and two more as Director of player personnel with the Canadiens years later. I guess we learned nothing from that experience, besides not to upset our French players for fear of being called ‘incompetente’ by them in the media.

        Let’s hope that the people of Quebec never realize that the team they worship and value so much within their own culture was founded by an anglophone from Renfrew, Ontario or all hell might break loose.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      It does take Two Solitudes to tango. Lots of Quebec news or controversies never make it out of the province, I come across it much later by accident. This juicy nugget though has been scooped up by the Rest of Canada as enthusiastically as it has been in Quebec.

      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


  46. SBAH says:

    48 games left to play in the regular season and currently 3 points out of a play off position. I’m not hitting the panic button just yet, there is still plenty of Hockey left to play and anything can happen! However, if they continue playing like they have they are golfing in April! GO HABS GO!!!

  47. LA Loyalist says:

    re Language Debate – counter argument to “Dorval Tony” from last thread (we have too many threads).

    Outside the merits of the coaching language debate – I argue that Molson is being strategically brilliant by making a statement now and letting the Language Police spend their vitriol now.

    When the summer comes, and the real decision is made, the Language Loonies will just sound tired and repetitive (which they are anyway) – having blown their wad on an “interim” coach.

    The other thing to consider – and this may be Molson’s end game in which case he is brilliant — he cleans house totally this summer and hires a Quebecois GM and an Anglo coach at the same time. What can they say? And if we have or get an exciting young Quebecois player (Louis Leblanc) that’s all the vox populi will care about.

    What this actually does is give Molson a free hand over the summer to hire whomever the hell he wants, which is as it should be.

    I am not sure I am right, but I hope I am, as that means the ship will be righted.

    The official language of the Montreal Canadiens is HOCKEY.

  48. BJ says:

    This team is the most disorganized; from top management to the fourth line, lost and soulless team I can remember (including the Houle days) since I’ve been following the Habs and that goes back to 1953.

  49. Bobcat Bob says:

    Bobcat Bob
    A good solid game by Canadiens against the hot team in the league right now ( in their own building). Outshot, out-hustled but did not out-luck the Bruins ( Kreji’s goal should not have counted – at best very lucky. )Just sick so many ” fans” are writing this team off so soon. Hope you have to eat your words— Go RC –Go Habs-go.

  50. Curtis O Habs says:

    Have I missed Terry Murray`s name around here? He`s a bilingual Quebec native.

  51. montreal ace says:

    The team started the season without the players it needed and that is all on PG. The success we had the past two years in making 26 playoff games, was enough for him and JM. The problem with their way of thinking, was we were lucky to have great goaltending and timely scoring, to get those games. In the off season if we had picked up a Ben Eager or Shane Obrian type it would have helped this club. The players who have just been set loose from this team for nothing, because the coach put them in his doghouse is just a plain shame, coach the whole team not just your favorites. The Habs still have a chance to make some noise this year, hope PG makes some shrewd moves.

  52. shiram says:

    Gotta give props to Vincent Damphousse who seems to be a calmer head in this vitriolic debate on language.
    Francois Gagnon, whom I really appreciate usually, showed a ugly side of himself with the piece posted here today.

    Ironic signature is ironic

  53. HabNut69 says:

    Just a sincere question – was there this much furor among the Francophone populace when American-unilingual-anglophone Gionta was named captain? (Maybe there was and I was just on vacation that week) Or were there Molson boycotts when any of our anglo-assistant coaches were hired?

    I was just wondering why it was so upsetting to so many that our *head coach* isn’t French? To the Quebec fans and media, is the Habs head coach like the “Roi de l’equipe” or something?

    I mean no insult – just humour me.

    • kakey says:

      Gionta (and probably with help from Habs’ PR) quelled any “furor” by introducing his teammates in last season’s opener in French. A simple, effective way to avoid the Koivu captaincy fiasco.

      • HabNut69 says:

        Yes I remember that – I seriously thought it was a brave and noble gesture at the time. His French was pretty bad too (like mine) and it didn’t even matter. So… if all it will take is for RC to start learning some basic French, it’s a pretty easy fix then. There you go Geoff, problem solved.

        Well that’s settled, I can sleep now. 🙂

    • gmur says:

      To be fair, hockey is so bloody important in the french media that they get all wound up when they can’t get answers in French. There is also the colour that another language gives to answers. Getting the coach to answer in both languages sometimes sheds more light on an issue than one answer in one language.

      I don’t care that a coach speaks only English… or only French for that matter. This would be a rarity, since almost all French coaches speak broken English at the very least… Just have a bilingual assistant that can clarify things with players.

      • kakey says:

        All coaches in the Quebec Major Junior speak English to all players, including Francophones, as documented by the documentary « Junior » by Isabelle Lavigne and Stéphane Thibault. So they can all suit up for AHL and NHL duties without any language barrier.

    • mount royal says:

      To those who insist that language doesn’t matter, there is always an implicit addendum; “as long as he speaks English”. Of course that is never mentioned and the explicit addendum is usually: “as long as the team wins”. Nobody in Montreal is arguing for a unilingual francophone; but nor do they want a unilingual anglophone. The Habs are a big part of this city; this is not some inconspicous accounting firm who needs no contact with the publioc and/or media. The Habs are front and center in the community; niot just in Montreal, but across the province. A coach is a vital part of this outreach; if he cannot speak the local language, his worth to the commuity and to the team is diminished. That is why Toronto or Clagray will never hire a unilingual French or Russian speaking cocah, even if they are proven winners. They are just too important to the broader community. For obvious reasons the issue is even more senstive to Quebecers. You don’t have to be unusually senstive to suspect that if they give us (the anglos) a lot of rope, there are plenty of us who will rapidly reassume the role of Anglo imperialism. Language peace is much stronger in Quebec than ever before, in part because of changing attitudes here, but also becuase of respect and acceptance of anglos by the vast majority iof francophones. Daily bilingiual living in Montreal is a treat. However. cross the border and the attitude in the ROC is often like it was in Quebec 30 years ago; much of it fostered by anglo expats who left Quebec out of frustration years ago, and who have no idea how much things have changed here since then.

      • kakey says:

        I second that sentiment.
        I just moved to Scarborough, and sensed early on the contempt toward anything Quebec displayed by not only “pure laine” ROC, but by other ethnic groups who having lived in Toronto, were also influence by this “Quebec the troublemaker” attitude.
        Also not being bilingual kind of limits the scope of view of life, making everything seem more Americanize by default.

      • Natrous says:

        Just out of curiosity, what did Jacques Martin do with the community that made his bilingualism such a key thing for francophone fans outside of Montreal? Did his ability to answer the same question twice really make the lives of those who only speak one language, be it english or french, that much better? I don’t see the “connection” between Ron Wilson and Toronto, or JM and Montreal, or Paul McLean and Ottawa… should Toronto only hire english-speaking canadian coaches? Should Paul McLean be bilingual because Ottawa is partially bilingual? Why does Montreal require such stringent coaching language criteria?

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I suspect an infinitesimal few of the francophone populace would insist that the coach be French Canadian, but the crux of the issue is whether that coach can communicate with the public in French.

      Brian Gionta was one of the best candidates for captaincy, it wasn’t a slam dunk, some argued that maybe Josh Gorges should have been named, but no one insisted that a francophone captain should have been selected, since no Canadien franco player was qualified.

      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


  54. Pat8987 says:

    Anyone else miss this…. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lwlprj54vg

    And yes I’m aware he showed up every three nights…Nonetheless I miss

    – Watching a Canadiens player who has the ability to take the game under his belt

    – Watching a Canadiens player having the ability to score in a shootout

    – Watching a player carry a mediocre team to first overall

    – Watching a player who thrived in the spotlight

    – Watching a player who spoke his mind

    – Watching a player who scored goals that made highlight reels

    Say what you want, be he was a difference maker we DON’T have now…

    • kakey says:

      For every highlight goal, he had 10 horrible giveaways after trying to dipsy doodle the whole team, and no back checking afterward.

      His tenure usually ends in disarray with coach/management. Witness his end with the Senators.

      So, no thank you.

      Respectfully yours.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        “For every highlight goal, he had 10 horrible giveaways ”

        Nonsense. He was one of the most exciting players on the team.

        The whole thing about him playing every other game is also bs. Only the mediocre are always at their best.

        • kakey says:

          “He was one of the most exciting players on the team”

          Possibly of the world.

          I understand the bias and nostalgia the current slump can create among fans. But that does not negate that fact that he was ignored by Russian’s national team and his last NHL sting in Ottawa and Pittsburgh was at best mediocre.

          In all honesty, he only had ONE great season in Montreal.

      • Pat8987 says:

        I sense some exaggeration…LOL. Listen, I’m all aware of his “effort” but bottom line he took the 2008-09 Canadians on his back and made all of us enjoy watching the habs that year. Remember Kostitsyn – Plekanec – Kovalev was regarded as top-3 line in the NHL that year. You can’t win a Stanley cup with 24 Alex Kovalev’s, however you need at least 1…We don’t have any!

        • kakey says:

          I LOVED that line that killed in PP, I even kept the Journal de Montreal special issue after that season predicting a Cup win for the Habs!

          Unfortunately what sets apart players with great skills from great players with great skills are consistency. He may have bigger skills than Ovechkin, but he was at most a 30-40 goals scorer, and never repeated them in consecutive seasons.

          He won that infamous “Messier: we will win” cup in 94. Otherwise he did not even win another one with Lemieux and Jagr in Pittsburgh.

    • gmur says:

      When he decided to play he was fun to watch… Makes you think of a certain Andre K… put Darche’s heart in that body and you’d have another Ovechkin-like player.

  55. ed lopaz says:

    there is no doubt that Cunneyworth is going to be a legit NHL coach for many years to come

    the guy is very smart – hockey IQ of course, and street smarts

    his philosophy – hard work, hard work, hard work is simple but very effective.

    he is known to be composed, professional, and very detailed in his analysis of the game tape and practices.

    he is an ex-NHL player, and a good one, a Captain, that deserves and gets the respect of NHL players.

    I really hope he works out for us. he has to learn some French and i am sure he is OK with that

    otherwise, I am sure he will be hired by another team very quickly

  56. SmartDog says:

    If you look at the last 20 years, one of the problems with this “hire a French person day” approach to filling the Montreal head coaching job is that we end up being a training ground for rookie coaches.

    We hire coaches who are wet behind the ears, give them a couple of years of lessons on how to manage an NHL team and then toss them out to go on to success elsewhere. Of course the poster boys for this are Julien and Vigneault – last year’s Cup finalists – both coaches hired as rookies, trained, and then tossed out by Montreal to go on to more success elsewhere. There are others who were less successful, but still – we train, they leave, we train again… and then we hire guys that are too old like Martin. (And really, Martin is a good coach but his MAIN problem is that he was too rigid and out-of-touch… i.e. too old). So why not the BEST coach available? Why hire either a French-speaking has-been or a French-speaking rookie?

    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • ed lopaz says:

      isn’t it possible that we made a mistake firing Vigneault and Julien?

      they didn’t quit.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      The problem is not hiring the coaches with no experience. the problem is giving up on them too easily. If you have the balls to hire someone like that, at least give him a proper amount of time to learn and get things working. Most of these guys moved on to be very good coaches.
      That’s why I hope if they hire Patrick Roy or someone like him, they don’t fire him after their second losing streak. Three complete seasons MINIMUM no matter what. After that, evaluate and make a decision.

      Go Habs Go!!

      “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      SmartDog, the Canadiens have never had a French person as the head coach, ever. In fact, all the Canadiens’ head coaches have been Canadians, not even one American or Russian in the bunch.

      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


      • HabsPEI31 says:

        I don’t think they’re getting your point/pun, UCE. Dommage, as it’s on the clever side of the discussion.

        “Only a goalie can appreciate what a goalie goes through.” – Jacques Plante

  57. shiram says:

    DD was horrible on the draw, dragging the overal faceoffs # for the whole team who remained at least on 50% of success. And the 3 blunders killed the game for the Habs, Pk’s, Moen’s and Nokia’s.
    PK was definately not a 100% though, and Moen was doubtful for the game as well. Maybe Subban should have rested, and Emelin brought in.
    Still I like the way the team played.
    AK46 under 12 minutes is a bit weird, especially since it looked like Cole got hurt, or worsened an already nagging injury.

    Ironic signature is ironic

  58. Kooch7800 says:

    I do think Cunneyworth should get a shot. If he can help out win with this group he must be a decent coach. He hasn’t had a fair shake yet and the timing of the coaching change is odd cause he really doesn’t get a chance to work with the team and they are playing some pretty big opponents. If he works out maybe he can take some french lessons to quite the restless.

    If he doesn’t work out I actually think Marc Crawford would be a good coach for this team. He can speak french and he isn’t a bad coach. He has won a cup with Colorado and brings experience which people like Roy cannot. He is also a no nonsense coach. Something I think this team needs

  59. Gindan69 says:

    Just win baby. Thats what counts. If the French wanted an all French team from janitor to president then one if them should have ponied up the cash for it. It’s molsons team, not the brewery, but the guy. His cash, he can do what he wants and he’s decided winning is way more important then combing the Q for another inexperienced coach just because. Glad they broke the mold at last. The outraged politicos and pressmen will eventually find something else to bitch about and if there is another coach, his only French requirement should be oui, non, bonjour, merci. That’s it. They need to get the best candidate, not the best of what’s left. Tabernac!

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I don’t think the French are going to wade in on this one, it would just complicate things even further. Beside, they’re more into Paris St-Germain and Stade Français and other soccer teams, and cycling, the Tour de France is really really big there. No real risk that we’ll see them involved in the NHL or wanting to own the Canadiens anytime soon.

      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


  60. 4m3y2j says:

    This province is in the dark ages when it comes to the modern day mechanics of the N.H.L. and professional sports .
    It should not matter what the coach’s background is,or if they can speak french.You need the best possible coach in whatever language so you can have a winning team.I am sure all those francophone dollars would be happy if their team is winning .
    We are not winning,we are becoming the bitch of the league and an embarassment .
    Also constantly perpetuating the language debate in the media only lights the flame.
    I do believe much of this is coming from individuals looking for a team in Quebec.
    Cunnyworth is a good man who has been handed a bag of spare parts and been asked to build a porsch,not gonna happen.
    Also,this team seems to lack chemistry.
    Boone made an excellent point this a.m.We can’t get our top 6 working consistently,did you see AK 46 last night ?
    Has the organization messed up on francophone draft picks ,absolutely.
    But remember this is post pollack,post’7o’s,we no longer have the monopoly on Quebec.

  61. Marcusman says:

    Let really should let Blunden play more often…he’s fast and always on the puck.

  62. BeachHabFan says:

    Been reading so much language chatter i got to add my own comments. The media and pundits have already scared off any non-french speaking candidate, so why bother, but anyway:

    First: acc to Aubin article, 54% of quebecers don’t speak english. So sad that things haven’t changed in the 15 yrs since i left – No where else in the world is learning a second (and BTW universal) language seen as a bad thing.

    Second: Habs are an institution because they WON. If they hadn’t won, they would have been an interesting local team that made a small group proud and never would have generated the pride among those of us born and raised in QC regardless of our background (French and English and Jewish and Haitian and….). If they win, most people don’t care what the coach speaks; those that do care (the noisy separatist minority that will never be happy) will still complain anyway about a lack of french-speaking owners, draft picks, scouting, sponsors, players, TV coverage, and so on. If the team has a French speaking coach and doesn’t win, they will complain that poor performance is also a slight to the culture the team is supposed to uphold.

    i feel the coach/gm/players should have an appreciation of the language issue, but in my opinion it is grossly unfair and puts the team at a huge disadvantage to have language be a hiring priority. Does the community want a winning team that pulls them all together (like in the playoffs 2 yrs ago)? If so, let the hockey people make hockey decisions.

    on the hockey side – pk needs a day off, otherwise i thought they played pretty well last night; emelin should be in over Diaz, i liked rolling the four lines and i don’t think anyone on the team is willing to give up on the season with half of it to play. Philly was in a worse spot this time two years ago and went on to the cup final. Fire sales and rebuilds haven’t worked (yet) for NYI, FLA, EDM, WPG, TOR – when they make the playoffs (for the first time in years) then hold them up as a model of ‘losing to get high draft picks’.

    • Rudy says:

      54% can’t speak English? Wow, just wow. I knew it was high, but over half is disappointing. These are constant reminders that while my kids and I are all born there, I am glad my kids do not have to deal with the crap going on there. I LOVED growing up in Montreal, I think I got out of there just in time. So sad.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Just as a ‘hold your horses’ guys, the percentage of bilingual people in Quebec is way higher than it is in the rest of Canada. Also, I meet many Canadians who are otherwise quite nice who are belligerently proud of the fact that they speak no French, and who determinedly made sure to pay no attention during French class in school. So let’s not get too high and mighty. Lots of Quebecers have a very nice standard of living and great communities and never have a need to learn English, and that’s at least as acceptable as a guy in Kingston or Kelowna or Medicine Hat speaking no French.

        How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


  63. HabFanSince72 says:

    Just to change the topic, I think the NYT article on Boogaard was mentioned earlier. It’s quite shocking that at only 28 he already had signs of traumatic encephalopathy.

    But I’m also shocked by this quote:

    “There isn’t a lot of data, and the experts who we talked to, who consult with us, think that it’s way premature to be drawing any conclusions at this point,” N.H.L. Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “Because we’re not sure that any, based on the data we have available, is valid.”

    Can a journalist please ask Mr Bettman to name these experts. Are they neurologists or neuropathologists? Are they lawyers?

    Does he mean that medical opinion is divided, or does he mean that his legal experts have told him the medical uncertainties give the league adequate deniability for future lawsuits?

    (Like climate change deniers or creationists who take every scientific argument to mean that “no one really knows”.)

    Have these experts published their doubts in the peer-reviewed medical literature?


    • G-Man says:

      This previous post was brought to you by Intelligent Design™. “We answer your prayers” 😉

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Gary Bettman’s attitude is borderline criminally negligent: “Hold on there for a minute! There’s no absolute proof that concussions cause irreversible brain damage and disease, or at least any that you can show me that I can’t nitpick, so let’s not stop bashing each other in the head prematurely.”

      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


  64. HabsFan1111 says:

    Gotta say I feel bad for RC. He gets thrown in the fire in the middle of our longest road trip facing the best in the east and west consecutively, then the whole language faisco on top of it.

    Keep your head up Randy, the W’s will come.

  65. 24 Cups says:

    Vincent Damphousse has no experience as a GM of pro a team. Patrick Roy has no coaching experience at the pro level. They only have two things going for them – they speak French and they have direct roots to the glory days of the Habs. They are complete novices who will get eaten alive by coaches such as Julien and Ruff as well as GMs like Holland, Bowman and Chiarelli. The inmates will be preparing to run the asylum.

    It’s scary how reminiscent this situation is of the Tremblay/Houle fisaco. The only thing left to do willl be to trade Carey Price during a whirlwind of panic and chaos. We won’t even get a star player with our lottery pick to rebuild the team around. The top two picks are Russian (I’ll pass on the next Ovechkin or Kovalchuk), while the rest of the high end picks are Dmen. We could go through all of this despair and still miss out on the next Crosby, Stamkos or Nugent-Hopkins.

    What a frackin’ mess.

    • ed lopaz says:

      its so interesting how you bring up Julien in your discussion of coaches who have experience.

      because that was exactly the point I wanted to make.

      When we hired Julien did he have any NHL experience??

      we let him go. has he turned into a successful NHL coach??

      When we hired Vigneault did he have any NHL experience??

      we let him go. has he turned into a successful NHL coach??

      how about Michel Therrien – isn’t he considered a legitimate NHL coach who we hired and let go?

      how about Carbo? isn’t that the same story waiting to happen.

      the point is we DID find qualified coaches who just happened to be French Canadien.

      there is no shortage of these types of coaches.

      Boucher is becoming another one.

      Jodoin in Hamilton is very likely another one.

      Pascal Vincent will be an excellent NHL coach one day.

      Its not like they are not available.

      We had them and let go on to be successful elsewhere.

      People who are complaining are ignoring the success stories all over the league.

      Vigneault and Julien battled in the finals last year and might be heading back for another round this year.

      let’s get real people.

      French speakers can coach and they do a hell of a great job at the NHL level.

      Is the so called “pool of qualified candidates smaller”?

      yes. Of course it is.

      But all it takes is one.

      And many in this “small pool” have been very successful.

      Didn’t need to mention Lemaire – who obviously is one of the very

      best NHL coaches of all time.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        Julien is the worst coach to have his name engraved on the cup. And that includes Jean Perron.

        • ed lopaz says:

          faced with a team bloated with success of last season, Julien turned the Bruins completely around in 1 month.

          many pundits were arguing that the Bruins were never “that good”.

          that the Cup was a fluke or it was “fixed”

          many here at HIO have argued that the Bruins defence is horrendous, that they have holes all over their lineup.

          Julien (who I can’t stand as a character) has done a GREAT JOB.

          he is a puke behind the bench.

          But he knows how to win.

        • 24 Cups says:

          HFS72 – You’re just letting your hatred of all things Boston get in the way of your judgement on Julien.

          The guy has a good track record just Ilike Vigneault. I think Ed’s point is well taken.

      • BeachHabFan says:

        you have a valid point except for one thing: at the end of the day, winning trumps language. for every pundit or politician who cries for a French-speaking coach there are 20 fans who just want the team to play well and win so they can enjoy their favorite sport. All those coaches were fired b/c they couldn’t win IN MTL (Perron left soon after; Jacques Lemaire won’t even step foot here unless it’s for another team!). It’s a winning thing, not a language thing, that the habs should be worried about. Sadly, that will probably never be the case again.

      • tophab says:

        we won 22 cups with english coaches

  66. HabNut69 says:

    Totally unnecessary to panic at this stage of the season – good effort by most of the team last night especially the 4th line, in a hostile arena against one of the league’s hottest teams – barring a few mistakes and a typically unbeatable Thomas we would have won that game.

    That kind of effort every night against most teams will produce our share of W’s. I see RC making this team better as the season goes on, making our players more hungry for goals and settling our D down especially if we ever see Markov play again. We are still in the hunt for the top 8, which we can achieve if we can string a few W’s together in the near future. I see that happening. Give RC time.

    We may lose again in Chicago but there is still no reason to panic. We are not an elite team but we can still compete. The team just needs motivation and stability. The only way I see us tanking this year is if upper management makes more premature, panic personnel changes.

    Go Habs

    • SmartDog says:

      >”That kind of effort every night against most teams will produce our share of W’s.”

      We hear this after every good game. We’re not getting our share of W’s. Even bad teams have good games. Oh – and we lost.

      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • RiverviewCanadien says:

      Being below .500 and the season is almost half done. It is going to be very tough to climb out of this hole to make the playoffs.

      Could they turn it around, they might. Not likely though. But I will give Cunneyworth some time with his team before I give up hope on another post season.

    • habsnyc says:

      management has been in full panic mode for two weeks. not sure it matters what the fans think.

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

  67. doogie says:

    Canadiens will win in Chicago! Guaranteed! Absolute! Withoutadoubt!

    Habs 4
    Hawks 1

    RC’s first victoire!

    I keep waiting for Shutt-Lafleur- Lemaire to jump over the boards!

    • secretdragonfly says:

      I’ll have some of whatever you’re having 🙂

      • doogie says:

        Just a coffee!

        * * * * * * *

        I keep waiting for Shutt-Lafleur- Lemaire to jump over the boards!

      • doogie says:

        Maybe I should be putting something “special” in that coffee. Seriously, Chicago is coming off of a road game tonight. Habs have to jump all over them early and often. No doubt they’re going to go hard for the new coach Wed night. Victory.

        * * * * * * *

        I keep waiting for Shutt-Lafleur- Lemaire to jump over the boards!

  68. Marcusman says:

    If Mr. Subban wasn’t feeling 100% last night why did he start? Haven’t we all been looking forward to Emelin playing against the Bruins..were not the coaches even little interested in seeing a bit more toughness against the Bruins?

  69. RiverviewCanadien says:

    Just read the “Quotes from the room” article, and this stood out for me. Cunneyworth will change this team, give him some time.

    “Offensively, we have to just get pucks on the net early and make him make a save with a good drive. We had to persuade the guys to do that. It didn’t come to them naturally,” said Cunneyworth.

    “Persuading them to do that made them realize we were getting opportunities, getting second chances,” he added. “You’re not going to beat goalies at this level with those first shots. It’s those second and third shots and once we got them, we put them at risk. If we can start that, it will take of itself.”

    They had to PERSUADE them to put pucks on Thomas? No wonder they don’t score!

  70. VJ says:

    Here’s a vid that was emailed to me. Take a trip down memory lane and remember (or experience for the first time, like myself) some of our history. It’s about 10 mins, and has some pretty good qualify video from the 40’s and even a glimpse at Captain bill durnham (with a shot of toe blake also wearing the C?)


  71. adam76 says:

    This team is done. Teams under .500 this late in the season don’t make the playoffs. Its time to rebuild – that is the smart and logical thing to do. What will happen? PG will ship in a few band aid players in a lame attempt to save his job.

    Do the right thing PG.

  72. Clay says:

    ‘The Canadiens were founded in 1909 by Ambrose O’Brien, the son of an Irish immigrant’

    I demand an Irish coach!

    “Talent is a gift from God, but you only succeed with hard work. Yvan was proof of that.” – Jean Beliveau.

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