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. WestHab says:

    One day Randy will coach another NHL squad. And you watch his team will beat the puck right out of us, just cause his players will find great incentive to beat the Habs for him after the way is getting treated here. Good God a welcome and good luck would be nice.

  2. Rickly33 says:

    The worst part about this is, they aren’t getting blown out, that makes it hard to make changes. They need to give Cunny a chance, the guy has not had a full practice as of yet, if he produces wins than ce la vie. If the Montrealers or the quebecqoi want Cunny out when their winning, then their there for the wrong reasons, which I believe they are.

    • JohnBellyful says:

      Let me take this opportunity to apologize for the pun I employed in a now-deleted post deemed off-colour by the moderator. And probably by a lot of other right-thinking people. The urge to produce a giggle can sometimes be overwhelming. I will exercise greater restraint in the future.
      How many strikes does a poster get on this site anyway?

  3. J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

    Groan. Booooo. 😛

    I remember Dec. 31, 1975

  4. slapshot777 says:

    Why don’t the politicians or Geoff Molson do a poll or vote from the people in the Quebec province and ask them what they would like to have.

    A). A coach who is billingual

    B) A coach who make the Habs a better team on a nightly basis and makes them a cup contender.

    If the majority votes for (A), then Molson goes out with a mandate to get a coach that speaks French and English.

    If the majority votes for (B), then the media, politicians and language police give up their silly tirade about a French coach and let Molson hire the best coach available, whether that be English speaking only or billingual.

    Let’s put this on the board and see where everyone stands on the issue. I’m willing to bet the politicians and the rest who are clamoring for this French speaking coach will never let it get to that for fear of what the truth may be.

    • Clay says:

      How about no poll at all, and Molson just does what he wants because it’s his team. This whole ‘debate’ is just a cover for racism.

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

  5. JohnBellyful says:

    Randy Cunneyworth issued the following statement five minutes ago:

    Je m’excuse de ne pas parler français. I didn’t learn it growing up, I didn’t need it while I was playing in the National Hockey League, and I never had to use it while I was an assistant coach with the Atlanta Thrashers.
    When I was named coach of the Hamilton Bulldogs, I didn’t bother learning French because what were the odds of a coach of a Montreal farm team being named coach of the Canadiens, especially with two years left on Jacques Martin’s contract? The last Bulldog coach ended up in the NHL and it wasn’t because he spoke French. So it seemed like a good career path to follow signing on with Hamilton.
    Now – unexpectedly – I’m the interim coach of the Montreal Canadiens. Who could ask more?
    Well, the team’s president has made it clear it’s a short-term gig unless we win the Stanley Cup. And the francophone media personalities certainly haven’t welcomed me with open arms.
    I expected the furor over my speaking English only would have died down by now and the attention returned to the team making the playoffs. That’s what I thought I was here for, to coach, not be another symbol of anglo oppression.
    Having weighed all my options, including my interim status, the working environment and the prospects of finding employment elsewhere in the league, I have decided I will learn French: quand diable gèle

    • G-Man says:

      When the devil freezes? JB, um, you do know that the literal translation is different, right? The street translation is: When the devil is stoned.
      You sneaky devil, JB! 😀

      • JohnBellyful says:

        Stoopid Babylon! I’m switchin’ over to Tower of Babel. Rate’s higher but they guarantee accurate translation.
        I mean, how hard is it to translate ‘when hell freezes over’? What a bunch of imbéciles!

        • HabinBurlington says:

          John I responded to your other post with a link to the urban dictionary in order to show what a Cunney is worth. Apparantly the mods weren’t so fond of this. Sorry it seems to have wiped your post and others related.

    • J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

      Quand l’enfer gèle. But a better one in french is “Quand les poules auront des dents”.

      I remember Dec. 31, 1975

  6. 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.

    • ABHabsfan says:

      Ian, Quebec is different, there is no doubt. We may not like it, agree with it or support it but the fact of the matter remains. I support the camp of ” best man for the job” in the coaching debate, though I think the coach should make a concerted effort to learn french if he cannot already speak it. Quebec is different however, bill 101 is a law, like it or not. I support your notion, though reality is a little different

    • HabFab says:

      Ian, don’t know about you but this foolishness is irritating to my last nerve ending.

    • G-Man says:

      There are only 2 French Canadians on the team. Are we good?

  7. HabinBurlington says:

    Question to John Bellyfull, have you sent that translating device to Mr. Cunneyworth yet? I have a couple stamps left over after mailing the Christmas Cards to help the cost of transport, don’t know why, I am sure I sent one to everyone on my list. John you got the card already right?

  8. PersonA says:

    This is a response to the earlier post about other teams that represent populations and the opinion that none have coaches that don’t speak the national language.

    How about Japan? Pretty much the most culturally homogenous country in the entire world. Very closed group, with elements of xenophobia embedded in their culture.

    Japanese national football team coach: Alberto Zaccheroni.
    Italian born. Little English, no Japanese.

    Ya it’s not one of the teams you listed, but it is parallel to the Habs coaching issue. Japan chose the best coach regardless of language to represent their country.. Montreal should do the same with a hockey team whose fans speak a multitude of languages.

    Now, I also noticed your response to another poster saying that soccer isn’t actually as big in Japan and Sumo coaches are what we should be looking at. First, Sumo is an extremely diluted sport. There are 53 “sumo stables” across Japan with the largest representing as many as 30 wrestlers (1). This means that allegiance is diluted across the entire country with different people supporting different wrestlers. A national team is something entirely different; national teams galvanize and represent a people in a similar way that the Canadiens do Quebec.

    It is also interesting to note the average attendance at J league games. This simply shows a general interest in soccer which would be magnified when the national team plays. The J league attendance average is 15,797 per game while the NHL attendance average is 17,126 (2). Now I know what you’re thinking, soccer has bigger stadiums, what about the sunbelt teams dragging down the NHL. While recently the blame for attendance reductions is the sunbelt, it must be noted that even as recently as 2003-4, Bell Center attendance was not perfect (3). Add to this the fact that incomes in Canada are higher on average at 74,700 among all 2 person plus households(4) while in Japan the average income among the highest 10% is 60,000 on average(5). Ticket prices are within the same range except with regards to high end hockey tickets. Soccer tickets in Tokyo range from 26$ to 158$CDN (6). Furthermore, while some of the stadiums are larger than the Bell, some are smaller in the 15-18k range(7), but this is beside the point.

    The main argument is that the Japanese national team having a non-Japanese speaking coach is similar to the Canadiens having a non-French speaking coach. Sumo wrestling is by no means comparable to national soccer because of the dispersion of “teams”. Japanese soccer has risen to become an extremely popular sport in the country, the 2006 world cup had 70,000 Japanese travelling to Germany to view the games. When combined with a new influx of youth into domestic Japanese leagues(8), saying that Japanese do not find their soccer extremely important is simply ignorant. When one combines this interest in the game with the inherent aversion to foreigners and foreign influence in Japan, it provides an apt comparison for our Habs. The Japanese chose to forgo their bigotry in order to field a team that wins soccer games. Why can’t we do the same?

    1. http://factsanddetails.com/japan.php?itemid=754&catid=21&subcatid=138#02
    2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_attendance_figures_at_domestic_professional_sports_leagues
    3. http://espn.go.com/nhl/attendance/_/year/2004
    4. http://www40.statcan.ca/l01/cst01/famil21a-eng.htm
    5. http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/45/57/41527303.pdf
    6. http://www.j-league.or.jp/eng/jomocup/ticket.html
    7. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._League_Division_1
    8. http://www.tjf.or.jp/takarabako/PDF/TB09_JCN.pdf

  9. citizenSanto says:

    On another note.
    Happy Hanukkah to Boone and all my Jewish (French/Engish speaking) friends.
    Wishing you all health, happiness and peace this holiday season.

    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

  10. ont fan says:

    Well you hope the team is watching the fans, media and province tearing each other apart, band together and start to win.You know like the ’72
    Canadian team against Russia

  11. montreal ace says:

    This coaching tempest is more about Quebecor the media giant and its losing bid to buy the Canadiens. I am sure that I have read that Palladeux is looking to get a team for Quebec City, and if he gets one, his media will be pushing them as the choice of Quebec. I seem to remember that when BG hired JM, palladeux had a problem with it because it had not been run by the about to be owners for approval. I am surprised that this has not been brought to the attention of people by the Gazette. The soap opera here is Sun Media, CBC, Harper, Public funding and Quebec City.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Apparently little green men hold positions of power in the American government as well.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • montreal ace says:

        I am not a green men type of guy, grew up in a working class french and english neighborhood, learned the french I do know on union construction jobs as a laborer, and as a deckhand on freighters. My friend in my world, I have never met anyone who wanted to grow up to coach the Canadiens, because of the fact the coach was french. Mattyleg I like the fact you think that big business, money and hockey, is a sport where their is no corruption.

  12. habsfan0 says:

    I have a prediction for this team…despite all the turmoils and all the injuries and all the meshugas, the Habs are only 3 points out of a playoff spot with more than half a season to go. Notice that they are in ALL their games,never having been blown out? Things WILL turn around,particularly if Markov returns, they will make the playoffs and go far. Then Geoff Molson faces a conundrum…what to do with his “temporary” coach at the end of the season, who still will be far from being bilingual. Do an “Al MacNeil” on him or reward him with an extension…

    • sheds88 says:

      Yes, it is hard not to be optimistic. i mean as bad as the season has been ( new coach, injuries galore, underperforming stars ) we are ONLY 3 pts out of a spot. and you are right we have been in everygame. From Boston to Philly and Columbus to Anaheim

      i don’t know why they keep comparing Carey Price to God………i mean he’s good, but he’s no Carey Price.

    • Danno says:

      Man, I hope you’re right.


      “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

    • montreal ace says:

      I agree with you, this team is going to turn it around and Cunney should take a few French lessons, hell some of the players should too, its a pleasure speaking 2 languages

    • G-Man says:

      It’s only the repeated experience of watching this team win 2 and lose 4 that keeps me from being optimistic at this point. Come January, all the good teams ramp up their game, separating them from the also-rans. Geez, this version of the Habs hasn’t been able to jog, let alone run.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      habsfan…good point about the Habs never being blown out. With all the distractions (and recent losses), this can get lost on people.
      The Habs are not a bad team and have stayed within reach of the playoffs despite not having their best players and despite the system that most agree has kinda hurt the team’s progress.
      If and when Markov gets back, he may make a huge difference, not only by his play, but by his experience, which could help guys on D that are also offensive-minded like PK, Kaberle, Emelin (language issue also), and to a lesser extent, Campoli.

      I’m not about to give up on this team. Hell, I’ll be happy if they put up a fight, make the playoffs and get ousted after a fight…..and build on it for next year cause the new coach (RC or other) will get this team going earlier next year!!

      Go Habs Go!!

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

  13. sheds88 says:

    I am biligual and don’t give a rat’s a$$ who coaches this team as long as they win hockey games, but i do wonder if most fans agree with an anglophone coach or is it just because this is an english site.

    i don’t know why they keep comparing Carey Price to God………i mean he’s good, but he’s no Carey Price.

    • podbay says:

      .: I am not bilingual, but agree with you, and not because this is an English-language site. The most important thing is that the team starts winning. The French media and politicians in Quebec are making this a story. A true fan shouldn’t give a rat’s ass who’s coaching. 20 of the Habs’ 24 Cups wins were coached by non-Francophone coaches.

      As Michael Farber has pointed out in a recent column, there are not many premier Quebec-born Francophone players in the NHL anymore; maybe 15 or so. Most don’t want to play for the Habs. Claude Giroux is a born-and-bred Ontarian. There are only 3 Quebec-born players on Montreal at the moment.

      Did the media squawk like this when Scotty Bowman and Toe Blake were winning Stanley Cups?

      • sheds88 says:

        kind of like the pacioretty incident. Montreal police investigates an on ice play, Air canada threatens to pull sponsorship, uproar about coaches language….Only in Montreal !!!!
        Go habs Go

        i don’t know why they keep comparing Carey Price to God………i mean he’s good, but he’s no Carey Price.

      • Mattyleg says:

        It’s not just the media.
        It’s the fans.

        When Toe Blake and Bowman (a bit less so) were coaching, it was the bad old days of Anglophone bosses and French-Canadian second-class citizens. You want memories of those days? Quebecers don’t.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • sheds88 says:

          did those guys win cups?

          i don’t know why they keep comparing Carey Price to God………i mean he’s good, but he’s no Carey Price.

      • HardHabits says:

        Times have changed in Quebec. What amazes me is how little it seems anybody cares to remember about history.

        The last dynasty was 1976-1979. 1976 was the PQ 1st win at the polls. 1980 was the the Referendum on the mandate to negotiate Sovereignty-Association with a renewed poll to vote on the negotiated treaty/settlement/agreement/treaty…

        Hockey back then was very Anglo-Saxon and conservative with the added flair of the Flying French Canadians and a handful of Euros. The Habs in that era were as pro-Canada as it gets, including the players born in Quebec.

        Then came the Nordiques in the 80’s which added to the mix. In a way they became the team of the Nationalists and the Habs were the team of the Federalists. What was nice was back then, with Serge Savard at the helm, the Habs had more players drafted from the Q than the Deeks did. Les Bleus drafted almost exclusively European. It was like the Nords thought they were in Europe as if hitched to France’s thigh.

        However during that era both clubs had strong Quebec born and bred administrative contingents and coaches for the most part. Quebec, the Province, went through some cataclysmic times in the 90’s as the Referendum on the Partenariat lobster trap left Montreal a ghost town in the summer of 1996 where property values plummeted and streets were practically devoid of partyers at night. The Habs suffered at the gate and had to gut the team.

        The economy was hurting so bad that an American had to come to rescue the franchise. He basically turned the Habs into leverage to pay off a loan to purchase another sports franchise however he still managed to get the team running on all pistons up to and until the great melt-down and subsequent blow up. He also flipped the franchise for a sweet return. His creditors certainly smiled as they sang ka-ching.

        Now we have Mr. Beer Baron who didn’t buy the team when it was as low as real estate in Montreal during the 90’s but at an over-inflated price, kind of like the Gomez contract, thinking it was a safe bet. Now in no subsequent order because I really am not interested in mapping the timeline… 1st move. Change the name of this blog. 2nd move. Sue Basha’s. 3rd move. Raise ticket prices.

        Some how, some where, I don’t think Tanking™ was part of the plan.

        That is the really sad part about all this. I understand the corporate speak and the need to put on a brave face. Obviously the league needs the revenue and so do the owners of the Habs. The Edmonton fans were told that the Oilers were rebuilding and that they’d have to be patient. Fans bit the bullet yet still attend games in the hopes that they are witnessing the maturation process of hot young prospects into the core of an elite team. Why can’t the Habs just come out and be honest like that? Why can’t fans cheer on their team when they go to games? Brian Burke, blowhard that he is, is a breath of fresh air compared to the stagnant sealed vacuum that is the Habs brain trust.

        Perhaps we all need a bit of sensitivity training.

        As per my cheering on comment, as critical as I am online I have never booed the Habs once in my life. I believe in crowd power. Habs fans are just spoiled is all. They have a sense of entitlement and I don’t believe the team can ever reach heights until that hubris is overcome. Present company included.

        • Malreg says:

          What was the reaction like when Quebec hired Marc Crawford as their head coach? He didn’t speak a word of French when he was hired, but he took lessons and learned the language.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      My feeling is a lot less Francophone fans care if the coach speaks French than the media would have us believe. I know a (deleted) of Francophone Habs fans and not one has told me that they would insist the coach speak French.
      They all seem to want the same thing as I do….a coach that can get the team to win more.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

      • G-Man says:

        I know a (deleted), too. They want a bilingual coach. Most would settle for an honest attempt to learn and speak a few words for now. You know, like, reach out to the fans?

        • Mattyleg says:

          Yep, that’s the way it is with most.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • Habsrule1 says:

          Ok. I guess we hang around in different circles. My friends only care about whether the coach can make the team win and literally zero care what language he speaks at all.
          The one thing I can say for me personally is that if the coaches are deemed to be of equal value, I’d take the one that can speak some French. If the other is just a tiny bit better though, I’d take him.

          Go Habs Go!!

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

  14. JIMVINNY says:

    Watch Molson go CRAZY and hire a Russian GM and Finnish Coach. Then no one will be happy.

  15. WindsorHab-10 says:

    We must break from this “must speak french” tradition if winning is what’s important. Who cares what language the coach speaks as long as he’s qualified & can get results. When doing media interviews why can’t a non-french speaking coach have a translator?
    As a fan I’m really disgusted & embarrassed about this topic because it does not warrant any attention. Winning is the bottom line & if ownership insists on a french speaking coach then they don’t have their priorities in order.

    “Hate the Ole song like a sickness”

  16. Habsolutely says:

    this whole language thing was just concocted by Boone to get more hits. 😉

  17. Habsrule1 says:

    Damphousse was awesome an Antichambre last night. He was the only one saying that the Habs should be looking for the best coach, not a French-speaking coach. He basically said just cause the other cities may discriminate against Francophone coaches, the Habs should not do the same to Anglophones.

    Go Habs Go!!

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

  18. RGM says:

    Not a single comment in the past 2 hours about how to get out of the 3-game losing streak. All just the language wars. I thought this was a Hockey website. LOL

    GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Step 1. Get healthy.
      Step 2. Put the Puck in the net.

    • Le Jadester says:

      I beg to differ….I just posted 10 minutes ago wondering why the 3rd line got benched ? I didn’t think they played great, but they didn’t play that bad either ?

      I was wondering if anyone saw anything else to help me out ? What did RC see ?

      Habs, OLE !

      • RGM says:

        Must have missed it in the morass. My apologies. It is a very good question. I am convinced that Darche knows where the bodies are buried or has incriminating photos. I can understand wanting to roll four lines when you’ve got 3 games in 4 nights, but you gotta play to win the game – Darche and Nokelainen are statistically not as likely as Kostitsyn to get the Habs a goal.

        GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!

      • Sean Bonjovi says:

        3rd line was awful last night from start to finnish, especially Eller.

    • mb says:

      What?! The Habs play hockey???

    • Chris says:

      Haven’t we equally analyzed that to death? 🙂

      The team, quite simply, isn’t that good. At least it isn’t so long as Markov and Gionta are hurt and Cammalleri, Subban, Plekanec and Kostitsyn are contributing little offensively.

    • WindsorHab-10 says:

      How about beating Chicago tomorrow night?
      We will.

      “Hate the Ole song like a sickness”

      • Habsrule1 says:

        Hate the Ole song?

        Bite your tongue! Although I’d be up for something more original, I do get pumped up with that one at the moment.

        Go Habs Go!!

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

    • Danno says:

      I think it’s a mistake to play Budaj against the Hawks. RC should have rested Price against the Jets instead.


      “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

    • podbay says:

      .: It is unfortunate that the incessant whining of Quebec politicians and Francophone media has made this into a circus. I hope Cunneyworth is ignoring it all and just working as hard as he can. Gauthier and Molson MUST back him up. The French media all speak English, so they will need to address Randy in English – end of story. As others have noted elsewhere, in UK and Euro soccer, some coaches can’t speak the native language of the countries in which they coach. No one cares, as long as they win.

    • G-Man says:

      1. Stop the puck
      2. Shoot puck into the net. Many, many times.
      3. Celebrate victory with a cold one.

  19. petesapizza says:

    now thats good.. lmao

  20. petesapizza says:

    let Randy coach this team. french or english it doesnt matter. these must be the sepratites talking,, yes i spelt it wrong for you french a////// how the economy there in quebec.. i know i work there …. good thing you didnt seperate or the montreal canadiens would today be called the Cornwall Canadiens,,

    go habs go

    • SmartDog says:

      I think we should have a blind coach. That way, no one can complain whether they get enough ice time. He’ll just be like “okay, next shift – go!”.

      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  21. Le Jadester says:

    Soooooooo……..for anyone who wants to talk hockey

    Who’s the first to go after the X-mas freeze ?

    a) Cammy
    b) AK
    c) Defenseman

    Still wondering why RC benched the 3rd line in da tird ?

    The 4th line was unreal last night !

    Habs, OLE !

    • habinkam says:

      PG Molson’s not stupid, and as for players Campoli for sure Diaz/Weber ( we cant keep both) BUT if PG stays i think gomez gio possibly cammy or markov all are expendable. I personally dont even think they are hurt (Of coarse markov is). Even gomez is realizing he isn’t part of this team anymore.
      It’s hard to be the captain from the press box

    • Dr.Rex says:

      It should be Cammy but it will probably be AK.

      • habinkam says:

        well i think with the right cast cammy can score 30 goals easily (13 in the 2010 playoffs that wasnt a fluke) so if he stays i wouldnt be to upset. but i would be more upset if AK left for what he is paid and what he brings on most nights anyway he is a great 2nd/3rd liner that can contribute in any role

    • Habsrule1 says:

      No significant players will be going anywhere until Markov is back and we can get a good idea of what the team is about.
      That said a defenseman or 2 and a prospect may be moved for some offensive depth.
      Not that Turris has really impressed but for the right price I would have been curious to see what he could do here.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

  22. otter649 says:

    It’s unfortuate for Cunneyworth that he has not really gotten a chance to be a head coach in The NHL until now since his professional coaching resume & experience was alot better than Boucher & Muller who both got NHL HC jobs before him……

  23. Habfan4lfe says:

    Montreal Canadiens:
    It was to be the team of the francophone community in Montreal, composed of francophone players, and under francophone ownership as soon as possible. The team’s first season was not a success, as they placed last. After the first year, ownership was transferred to George Kennedy of Montreal and the team’s fortunes improved over the next seasons.

    Guess what? George was English.

  24. habinkam says:

    Here is some food for thought how do you guys feel about Molson canning the whole staff(not sure i’m all for that part) or at least the coaching staff and asking Scotty B. to be our new GM put his staff in place. Also hiring a new assistant gm that will in a few years take his place.(obviously younger don’t know how much Scotty has left)
    IMO he is the best hockey mind ever and most certainly the best the habs have ever had. Why not let probably the most respected guy in hockey mold your current team and future gm…
    His son isn’t doing to bad in Chicago is he?

  25. Habfan10912 says:

    I love the Montreal Canadiens. I love the City of Montreal. love the fact that that French is the language there. I love the fact that you can debate the merits of whether a coach should speak your language. I am too dumb to learn French although it is on my bucket list to learn it. As a non resident of your great city and great country I respect both sides of this argument but now realize this team IS an extension of your culture. This is the reason I have fallen in love with your team, your city and your culture. For 40 years I have been awed by all of these things and have passed down my passion to my son and now my grandson. It is this culture that makes the Montreal Canadiens more then just a hockey team.

  26. doogie says:

    When I was there last February to see Gomez’s last “but”, I ordered a couple of hot dogs and asked for ketchup to with them. The guy behind the counter looked at me like i was some kind of English guy from Ontario, rather than a Fleur de Lis, moutarde et relish guy!

    French, English….who cares, bottom line is win some Cups and leave the dogs just the way they are.

    Be patient folks, it’ll get sorted out!

    * * * * * * *

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

  27. Curtis O Habs says:

    Does the GM have to speak french too? This will only further complicate things during the off season.

  28. habsnyc says:

    RC is an interim coach. Montreal should return him to his prior position and hire a French speaking interim coach.

    Hiring RC was possibly the biggest of PG numerous blunders. Until now he only hurt the team and its future. Now he has insulted the fans and injected a bunch of busy bodies into the discussion.

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

  29. ds says:

    Hopefully Phoenix moves to Quebec City and the francophones realign with them and keep politics there so that the Habs can finally flourish again.

    I’m all for drafting the best french players & best french coaches (like Burns, Demers etc) but to hire a scrub like Mario Tremblay because he speaks French is dumb.

    BTW the majority of this franchises cups and the last dynasty (70s) were all under anglophone coaches.

    • habsnyc says:

      They are not building 20,000 seats in Hamilton for a franchise to move to Quebec City.

      The issue is not Anglophone vs. Francophone. It is a question of being able to communicate with the Francophone press. Bowman spoke French when necessary, as did Gainey.

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

  30. LA Loyalist says:

    Ok. I apologize to HH and Tom Nickle. Unfortunately, the language issue is a huge button for me. My heart is pounding.

    Here is my logical refutation of why the Quebec media position is bogus and self serving:

    Had Enzo Ferrari, when he hired Gilles Villeneuve, decided instead to NOT hire him and hire an Italian driver instead, the SAME Quebec-based ink-stained wretches would have SCREAMED. “You should hire the best and Villeneuve is the best.”

    How can they now turn around and say we can’t hire the best?

    Maybe it is a Quebecois – be it Denis Savard or Roy or Boucher – maybe it’s not.

    But see the Quebec media for who and what they are. They will always put their politics ahead of what is in the best interests of the Habs, the City of Montreal, and the Province of Quebec.

    • habsnyc says:

      OK. They are self serving. They want a coach who can speak in their language so that their job is easier and they sell more papers or get more viewers. So what? Molson is a highly visible Quebec brand. It needs this publicity like it needs a hole in its head. If I am ownership, I fire PG tomorrow, reassign RC and hire a Francophone interim GM and interim head coach.

      I mean the farce that is Montreal hockey should pander to this childishness, not rise above it. And it may not even be childish. It may just be a foolish sense of entitlement for an ethnic minority that makes the papers only when they riot.

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

    • DorvalTony says:

      Stick to hockey and or the Canadiens’ current ‘situation.’ Minimizing the loss of 750,000 Anglo Quebeckers or going off on some tangent is bad polemics and distasteful.

  31. AceMagnum says:

    Way too tense these days….

    We need another “2 minutes with Rafael Diaz”…those are always hilarious.

    “Horton Hears a Boo”
    -Mike Boone April 2011

  32. Mikey_39 says:

    This article sums up the whole language debate perfectly.


    The only problem is that in the end this kind of logic will fall on deaf ears.

  33. The Dude says:

    With 8 million French living in La Belle Provence and Les Tricolour based in Montreal for over 100 years, who cares what Anglophone’s feel about an English only Coach ,after all they have their say in every other part of North America.Quebec is a distinct society in Canada…DEAL WITH IT! Les Canadiens need to go back to it’s roots “Flying Frenchmen!” and start taking care of it’s 10 million francophone fans and get back to doing what they do best…Stanley Cups! And that should shut-up everyone….Let the rebuild begin and let the Quebec flag fly high side by side the Canadian flag and always remember together we are one of the Largest,Richest most Amazing Countries EVER! So let’s not screw it up ,eh!

    • ffenliv says:

      A curious pair of comments. You think that ignoring the wealth of hockey talent outside Quebec is what will lead to cups? It only worked in the past because of area protection rules.

      I agree we shouldn’t screw it up, and that Canada is a great country, but I think there’s quite a divide between the two camps here over what ‘screwing it up’ means.

      I want my team to win, and that’s my first and only concern. I don’t care if they have to hire someone from Japan and an army of translators.

    • Bill says:

      Yeah, let’s keep having the Habs run with cultural sensitivity as their top priority. That should work well.

      The team can “take care of its francophone fans” or it can concentrate on winning cups: they don’t go together.

      The best part of your post was the “who cares about the anglophones” part. Thanks for that.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

    • Dintrox says:

      You realize Selke, Pollock, Irvin, Bowman were Anglos. They did pretty well in the cup department.

    • Chris says:

      The Canadiens can never return to their roots as the “Flying Frenchmen” because those teams were built on a system that no long exists. The opportunity for the Habs to obtain the rights of players as young as 14 or 15 years old was integral to their ability to obtain the likes of Maurice Richard, Henri Richard, Jean Beliveau, Yvan Cournoyer, etc.

      Unless you plan on abolishing the draft (something I am personally all for, but doubt will ever happen), the idea of building a superstar laden team like the Montreal Canadiens of the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s is pretty much a pipe-dream.

      Even more unlikely is a French-Canadian superstar laden team, because that would take a fantastic amount of draft luck to produce, not to mention a perpetual stay at the bottom of the rankings that defeat the whole purpose.

      • ABHabsfan says:

        Why should the draft be abolished? Is there a fairer way to distribute up-and-coming talent?

        • Chris says:

          Well, I can think of few things less “fair” then telling young athletes that they get no say in where they will work and live.

          But aside from that, I believe that the presence of a hard salary cap makes an entry draft unnecessary.

          As it stands now, teams are rewarded for poor management. If you are terrible for a few years in a row, you are rewarded by access to some of the best players in the world for the first 7 years of their professional careers.

          In my perfect world, open it up entirely. Teams are free to build their rosters as they see fit, but with the caveat that they can not under any circumstances exceed the salary cap. A team like Pittsburgh, Chicago or Vancouver might be at the top of the standings, but can they offer the same money to a young superstar 18 year-old like Taylor Hall or Ryan Nugent-Hopkins? And if the kid decides to give up the money for a shot or two with a Stanley Cup contender, isn’t that his prerogative?

          It would force teams to make tough decisions while relying on the greed that underlies the whole system anyways. If hockey players became altruistic, then I might have some concerns about a draft-free NHL. But in a system where the players want to get paid while they can, I suspect that the talent would be relatively evenly distributed. And if a few teams can’t survive because nobody wants to play there, then so be it.

      • ZepFan2 says:

        “The opportunity for the Habs to obtain the rights of players as young as 14 or 15 years old was integral to their ability to obtain the likes of Maurice Richard, Henri Richard, Jean Beliveau, Yvan Cournoyer, etc.”

        That’s a myth already debunked.


        “In 1936 the Montreal Canadiens nearly folded. The Depression had already claimed several franchises including the Ottawa Senators. What the NHL’s brain trust decided to do was they would attempt to help Montreal’s attendance and thereby hopefully their bottom line financially. So they decided that the Montreal Canadiens could take any two players from the province of Quebec in a special draft. There was one rider however. None of these players could have already been previously signed to a C form (confirmation form) with any other club. At this time in the NHL and right through the late 60’s amateur players were signed by NHL teams to C forms and then placed on their appropriate junior clubs or minor pro clubs depending on their age. The most extreme case of this was Bobby Orr. Orr signed a C form three weeks before his 12th birthday with the Boston Bruins. He was so young his parents signature was required. When he turned 14 he began playing for Boston’s junior sponsored team, the Oshawa Generals. That’s how Orr became a Bruin. From 1936-1943 Montreal protected 14 players through this special draft. Unfortunately none of them ever played a minute in the NHL.

        Welcome to the newer NHL: The National Headshot League.

        • Chris says:

          My comment pertained to the very C form (as well as A and B forms) that you mentioned in your article. For example, Jean Beliveau was signed to a “B” form by the Montreal Canadiens as a 15-year old. The “C” form committed a player to a team and at a given salary. The “B” form only committed the player to the team should they turn professional, and the salary would be negotiated at that time. Many of the Montreal Canadiens best players were signed in this way, so there was no myth involved. The commitment form system no longer exists, and thus a “Flying Frenchmen” team could never be constructed in the draft era. It is quite simply impossible. Picture a perennial Stanley Cup contender landing the rights to the kinds of talents the Habs were able to access via C-forms in this era. Highly improbable…Detroit basically did it by drafting Datsyuk and Zetterberg in the late 1990’s, two long-shots that became home-runs. But that was the last time we saw a major contender with that kind of luck, and that is now over a decade ago.

          Any team could have signed Jean Beliveau to an “A”, “B” or “C” form, and Montreal happened to get there first. Of course, the Canadiens had a huge advantage of approaching young kids in their teenage years before most teams would have chance to hear about them and exploit the fact that those kids grew up rooting for the Habs. It also helped that the Habs had a stake in most of the Quebec leagues, allowing them to identify the talented kids before the other teams had even heard of them. It was unquestionably good management, but a stacked deck nonetheless.

          As for your other point, the NHL implemented “Cultural Picks” from 1962-69, allowing teams like the Canadiens to forego their first round pick in exchange for two “Cultural Picks” that could be selected before any other team drafted.

          The Montreal Canadiens in fact DID use their selections twice. In 1968, the Montreal Canadiens selected goaltender Michel Plasse first overall. In 1969, they selected both Marc Tardif and Rejean Houle before any other team had a chance to draft. I think you could probably find that Tardif, Plasse and Houle all DID play in the NHL.

          So while the initial run of that particular program was a failure, the second was not as big a failure for the Habs. After the 1969 draft, the rest of the teams were justifiably upset that the Habs scored two of the top-draft eligible players the same year they won the Stanley Cup and the system was abolished the following season.

          • ZepFan2 says:

            “For example, Jean Beliveau was signed to a “B” form by the Montreal Canadiens as a 15-year old.”

            That may be true, but Beliveau told the Canadiens thanks, but no thanks and stayed with Quebec.

            The Canadiens weren’t the only ones to sign players at an early age. Bobby Orr comes to mind.

            “In 1963, the French Canadian rule was brought back for the Montreal Canadiens. It was not necessary, no question about it but Selke and Pollock worked a sweet deal and got it back on the books however the same rules applied. The player could not have signed a C form with any other team. From 1963-1967 none of the players Montreal selected played one minute in the NHL, ever. Finally in 1968, they drafted their first live one. A goalie named Michel Plasse. In 1969, it was determined that this would be the final year of the draft in this manner and the sponsorship of Junior A teams would cease to be. All players were to be 20 years of age or older and they would be eligible for a Universal Amateur Draft. Montreal was given one final kick at the French Canadian can and they made the most of it by selecting Rejean Houle and Marc Tardif. That was it for the French rule. By then Sam Pollock or Trader Sam as he was known, was working magic year in and year out on draft day and by flipping players in Montreal’s farm system that had been so expertly set up years before by Selke and ran by Pollock, for draft picks. Players like Guy Lafleur, Steve Shutt, Mario Tremblay, several others, were selected with picks that Pollock acquired through trades.”

            So basically 3 players selected as the “French only rule” helped. Not much of an advantage, if you ask me.

            Welcome to the newer NHL: The National Headshot League.

          • Chris says:


            “That may be true, but Beliveau told the Canadiens thanks, but no thanks and stayed with Quebec.”

            No, he played with Quebec in a non-professional league (although he stretched that mightily). In reality, the moment he was ever deemed professional, he had to play for Montreal. Which is exactly what happened when the Quebec Senior Hockey League had a dispute with the CAHA…in the process, they became professional and Beliveau now had nowhere to play unless he want to Montreal.

            In most respects, it was loyalty by Beliveau to the Aces. But he had signed a contract and had no choice in the matter. He could never play in the NHL with any other team but Montreal because of that contract he signed as a 15 year old.

            And I don’t dispute that other teams did it…I’m only pointing out that a French Canadian team like that could never be created again. Montreal could do it because they were the only team scouting Quebec heavily. Today, everybody scouts Quebec and we all know who the big superstar Quebec players are years in advance.

            As for the 1960’s French Canadian rule, it was only used twice: 1968 and 1969. So yes, none of the players selected before that ever played because there were no players selected before that.

            It is not coincidental that it became useable in the latter part of the 1960’s. The commitment form system was dismantled (with grandfathering for players already committed), thus you would not have seen much in the way of talent showing up in the early 1960’s. By the late 1960’s, the late blooming stars would have started to appear and by 1969, there were no draft-eligible players who had been committed via C-forms.

            I never said that the Canadiens had a huge advantage from the Cultural Picks clause, because the other owners very quickly realized they had been “had” when the Canadiens took the #1 and #2 ranked prospects in the draft in 1969.

          • ZepFan2 says:


            “And I don’t dispute that other teams did it…I’m only pointing out that a French Canadian team like that could never be created again. ”

            Ah, okay. I thought you were implying, like some have, that the Canadiens were the only team to do this.

            I agree, we’ll never see the flying Frenchman again.

            Welcome to the newer NHL: The National Headshot League.

      • G-Man says:

        There are only about 50 to 60 Quebecers in the NHL these days. On 30 teams that equals < 2. Quebec is still a hockey hotbed, but the numbers show less participation.

    • DorvalTony says:

      Garbage. English has been under attack in Quebec since the Quiet Revolution. Quebec City was 30% English 100 years ago, now 3%. 750,000 English QUEBECKERS left because of the nationalist xenophobia and petty squabbling. English Quebec is diminished but it still exists and should not be marginalized either by separatists or by 40 watt Anglo ‘intellects.’

      Selke, Irvin, Pollack, Bowman, Blake. Chew on that, deep thinker.

  34. Sakus Evil Twin says:

    Word on the street is that Gomez is not injured – he’s taking intensive French at UQAM.

    That way it doesn’t matter what he does on the ice.

    Bravo Scotté

    No answers, just opinions. Bite me. Och.

  35. SBAH says:

    Those who care about the language, don’t care about the cup, and those who care about the cup, don’t care about the language.

    Would love to see the HABS turn this season around and bring home the cup with Randy Cunneyworth as the coach!


  36. petesapizza says:

    i am from toronto and been a habs fan since i was a kid, who cares english or french,, the leafs are ahead of us and i hear about it everyday, we are in deep trouble if we dont rally around this team. just beat the leafs please.. make the playoffs,,, goodluck Randy. Us engish speaking fans believe in you,,,

  37. chilli says:

    This team is not suffering from coaching, we could have the greatest coach on the planet and I don’t think it would change the the fact that for some crazy reason, our offensive players are not doing their job in terms of scoring and getting points.
    Our 26th position also has nothing to do with injuries. EVERY team suffers massive injuries (Crosby, Pronger, Giroux, St. Louis), it’s the fact that our guys are not scoring and our horrendous pp.

    Benny “the chicken man” Pouliot has one less goal than Pleks. He is tied in goals with Camarro.
    Eller, who gets a lot of positive reviews on this site, is tied with Konopka in goals.
    Konopka is the one spot where PG totally messed-up. He would have changed the entire dynamic of our team. We are too small and soft, no team is worried about playing us. None. At 700g, man I wish we had him.

    It’s just crazy to me that Cammro has 6 goals, Pleks has 7 and Eller has 3. Is it possible that Gomez plays the entire season without scoring a goal….I almost want to see that.

    The Habs are NOT making the playoffs – so let’s just have fun. I still love the team no matter what and will watch every game on DVR from sunny California.


  38. Chris says:

    I’m sure I’m missing something.

    The Montreal Canadiens organization has taken message control to extremes that would make even our media-averse Prime Minister proud. So why does it matter if the GM is English-speaking or French-speaking if they never say anything at all? 🙂

    I asked in the other thread how many people actually watched the coach’s and general manager’s press conferences. My great suspicion is that the vast majority of hockey fans obtain their quotes via the media and wouldn’t know one way or the other if the coach spoke Martian to the press.

    If the press is bilingual, the language of the coach and GM of the Montreal Canadiens becomes somewhat irrelevant in this day and age.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      First line is correct.

      • Chris says:

        Alright, but I still haven’t received a single indication from a poster here that they watch press conferences or clicked on the NUMEROUS links to Martin’s quotes in the pressers posted by the Gazette staff.

        So again, what am I missing if nobody actually watches or listens to the bloody things?

        • The Cat says:

          They show the coachs ‘point de presse’ live after each game on RDS’ L’Antichambre so Im sure thats quite a few people.

          [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

        • LL-not the hockey player says:

          I was glued to RDI all day Saturday, so much so, that I didn’t leave the house.
          The voiceovers were annoying, so at some point I stopped watching.

          And I always listened to JM’s Press, if only to roll my eyes at him. 😉

    • TomNickle says:

      Regarding the press conferences. RDS showed the Saturday event. Tsn? Nope. The Score? Ditto. Sportsnet? Not on your life.

      The people who typically make the argument that language shouldn’t or doesn’t matter regarding this organization usually don’t have a finger on the pulse of the community that built it.

      You might, but language does matter, and should.

      • Chris says:

        Right…so an all-day sports show showed the press-conference.

        But my question was to you as individual hockey fans. How many of us actually watch press conferences?

        I’m not going to feel pity if the all-day sports stations like TSN or RDS have to use a reporter (gasp!) instead of just throwing some sound-bites in as filler.

        The argument here has been that the fans’ cultural attachment to the team is threatened by an anglophone coach.

        So who here watches press conferences? Because the language would ONLY matter if the press were incapable of translating the quotes for consumption by the masses in the recaps and/or columns through which the vast, vast majority of the population consumes their hockey information.

        So yes, language should matter I suppose if we were talking about hiring a Russian hockey coach who could speak neither English or French. Otherwise, I suspect strongly this is a debate that is fun (?) for all involved but in the grand scale of life means very little to the vast majority of people.

        • TomNickle says:

          I have no idea who here were watching the press conference. The point is, every sports bar, sports store, and fans very likely numbering in the six digit range were watching.

          • Chris says:

            No, that is not the point.

            When a coach is fired, that is big news. But at that point, the coach’s language skills don’t really matter. Fans might perk up when a coach is hired or fired. As you say, fans in sports bars and stores and watching sports channels at home watched that press conference.

            But other than the fans with the most voracious appetite for all things Habs, the day-to-day press conferences are pretty mundane viewing. Those are the ones I am asking about, the ones where Cunneyworth’s lack of French would seeming be an insurmountable hurdle for a huge portion of the fanbase. And I would hazard the guess that those press conferences are not listened to by anything approaching six digit figures. That’s simply my opinion, but I haven’t met many sports fans THAT rabid that they watch press conferences or interviews with the coaches unless there is nothing else on.

          • TomNickle says:

            You’re ignoring the most significant part of the fan base. No, people outside of Quebec for the most part don’t require a french speaking coach.

            That doesn’t mean the policy isn’t justified.

          • Chris says:

            Tom: My argument has nothing to do with French or English. I am asking the simple question as to whether English-speaking fans watch the English press conferences or interviews. In general, most people do not.

            I’ve yet to see any credible evidence that my French-speaking counterparts are that much more bored than we are that they watch the French versions of something we wouldn’t be caught dead watching.

            This argument comes down to the French public in Quebec NEEDING a bilingual coach to access information about the Montreal Canadiens. With every press release translated into English and French, with HabsTV providing all services in English and French (including translations of the English interviews), with a bilingual media covering every aspect of the team, it remains unclear to me how it particularly matters whether individuals are speaking in French or English so long as the information/translation is available.

      • LA Loyalist says:

        Sorry Hard Habits, Nickle is still an idiot with this parochial comment.

        Language doesn’t matter to the top soccer teams in the world.
        Language doesn’t matter in F1 to Ferrari.
        Language doesn’t matter in hockey either, when we have tons of Finns, Czechs, Russians, Swedes and the occasional Schwarz-Deutsch from Zurich.

        You two can get an hotel room and whatever, but is English the language of hockey. Deal with it.

        Is it polite and nice for the coach to be able to say ‘salut, bonjour, merci and eff you’ en francais? Of course it is. Just like I can speak politely in Korean, Japanese – and French. Just like I turn off the Canadianisms (or try to) when I’m with Americans.

        Until Quebec gets its collective head out of its a** and crawls into the 21st Century it will be like an airplane without wings, all the passengers wondering what the * happened.

      • LA Loyalist says:

        The top soccer teams in the world don’t care about language.
        The top F1 teams like Ferrari don’t care about about language.
        The best players in the world now include Russians, Swedes, Czechs, Finns and the occasional Shwarz-Deutschers from Zurich.

        Hockey is now an international sport, and the language in which it functions is English.

        Is it nice and polite to speak a little French to the media ‘salut, bonjour, merci and be able to call a writer a ‘cochon’ – heck ya. Is it mandatory here in the year 2012?

        No. You and Hard Habits can get a room and relive the 80’s — which is when most of us with any brains left Quebec. The rest of us have moved on and until the Habs do also they will keep losing.

        If your theory is so great why don’t Giroux or LeCavalier want to play in Montreal? Maybe they’re sick of the BS too.

        Sorry to be harsh but this topic makes me puke.

    • The Cat says:

      If I were Prime Minister, Id make it law to speak 3 languages and for women to ride bicycles, because women that do all have nice butts. So yeah in short, thatd be my campaign platform.

      [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

    • DorvalTony says:

      Media averse? Won a majority. You sound like a disaffected Liberal. “Democracy is when WE win. Anything else is tyranny.” Well after 50 years of Liberal corruption cleptocracy and incompetence thank God we have the Conservatives in to clean up the mess.


  39. Marcusman says:

    Forget French or English…..we all simply wanted a little more PASSION behind the bench…….here’s what Randy Cunneyworth brings to the rink…


  40. Rudy says:

    I am hoping that the team rallies around RC as to say FU, we like him regardless of what language he speaks and proceeds to win.

  41. petesapizza says:

    more than what Jm would say with his dumm look behind the bench..

  42. RGM says:

    I can think of no more damning indictment of the previous coach than this quote:
    Cunneyworth said the Canadiens hurt themselves by not forcing the offence until late in the game.
    “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.

    Seriously, WTF is that?!?!?
    GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!

  43. Jdub1985 says:

    Looks like I missed out on an epic week in sports while in Hawaii.

    Habs finally fire JM and the Clips land CP3!

    Good week for moi.

  44. Strummer says:

    Happy Birthday Andrei Markov.

    33 today- with low mileage that equals about 30 in wear and tear years.

    With the knee of a 60 year old.
    (Hey Anderi- give that 60 old his knee back!)


  45. vivsterjuve88 says:

    Sad but irrelevant story:

    I’ve been a die-hard Habs fan since I can first remember, my dad being one as well and my mom being a native of Montreal. I watch every game on RDS, but I live in Winnipeg. I’ve never seen a game live, but with the jets here I figured I finally could (except ticket prices are INSANE!!). I didn’t win the draw for access to buy tickets to either Habs game, and the season-opener was evidently impossible to gain access to. However, in october, I found a nice enough guy to sell me his tickets to the game coming up this week (Dec. 22nd) since he would be out of town for the holidays. We met through my Kijiji wanted add, but the tickets were definitely legit so I decided I may as well.
    Up until last night I was sooo excited, until I saw a news article on CTV from a guy who bought 5 sets of Jets tickets only to discover that they were all reported stolen and he was denied entrance at the gate. I went to his site where everyone is reporting info (stolenjetstickets.com) and discovered that he had bought tickets for the same seats as me, but different games.
    As it turns out, some guys broke into a season ticket-holder’s house early in the season, took all his tickets, and started selling them around. I was one of the buyers who got punked. Obviously the real season ticket-holder called in and reported his tickets stolen, so they made all his originals (like the one I’m holding) void, and printed him new ones.

    Now we’ve got all this evidence (phone numbers, calls, identifiable cars, pictures, videos) to catch a guy but Winnipeg Police doesn’t care. If it has to do with tickets bought not from True North (not that they’ve really ever had any available) then they say it’s out problem. So a set of guy breaking and entering, then scamming invalid tickets for an estimated combined $28700 isn’t the police’s problem. PLUS Montreal police won’t arrest Chara. Where is law-enforcement these days?!

    But seriously, anyone who wants to learn more, stick it to the Winnipeg Police, or add to our bag of info, check out stolenjetstickets.com


    • 123456 says:

      i find it hard to believe the police will do nothing.

      you should try to buy more from the guy for a later date – use a different email and phone number – tell him you will meet in person to get the tix and you will give him cash.

      i will not elborate on how i’d have this story unfold but i think you get the idea.

      • vivsterjuve88 says:

        HabinBurlington, 123456, I can’t say I disagree with either of u, justice is a dish best-served as revenge, and when I found out yesterday, I was immediately thinking sting operation.
        Unfortunately with the news, the website, and the return calls from the website founder, this guy is aware that everyone knows about him, so he’s gonna be a little tougher to lure out of hiding.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Sorry to hear that happened to you. I like the idea posted above from 123456. Being from the Peg I would love to help with some old school justice.

  46. petesapizza says:

    what about gomez, im sick of the people who dont understand hockey. yes gomez is paid to much but without him what is our record,, let him play , he has speed , he gets the puck in the zone so we can at least have a chance at setting up in the opposition zone he sees the ice and makes plays others cant do. shall i name them ???? subban is not passing or waiting to long to make the pass. Eller is trying to do it himself but loses the puck half the time..

  47. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …just when You thought You have seen ‘everything’ dumb in Your life, along comes ‘dumber’

    …Geoff Molson, a wealthy scion with an expensive MBA (aka, My Bullcrap Accreditation), bungles something that should have been better planned and thought-out, and not doing so, will leave a foul taste and odor on this Franchise, inside Quebec and without, among It’s Fans and present and future Players

    …One just has to be dismayed on the the capability of humans to screw things up

    …I mean what planet is Geoff living ?

    …didn’t His MBA, or His basic common-sense say to Him, okay I have a sacrificial-lamb Anglo unilingual-Coach that will be filling-in (interim) for more than half-a-season on the most highly visible cultural icon of the population of Quebec, whom are 90%+ Francophone …as well knowing as a Quebecer, the deep pride, sensitivity and insecurity much of the populace have of it’s language and culture

    …I mean, why not TELL Randy Cunneyworth to practice a few phrases in French for the presser, minimum ? …as in, Molson; “Randy, do You want to coach the Montreal Canadiens ?’ …Randy; ‘Yes Mr. Molson !’ …Molson; ‘Well, Randy, if You want this gig, here is a French phrase book. Go learn how to say “hello, I am very proud to have been appointed the Coach of the glorious Montreal Canadiens. It is a dream come true for Me, and I hope You all are patient with Me as I learn to speak to you in French as soon as possible’ …Randy; ‘Will do Mr. Molson ! ” ‘

    …I mean, what exactly is an MBA for anyway ?

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

  48. Al aboo says:

    Gomez, just throwing it out there?

  49. petesapizza says:

    yes i agree let the guy coach and see what he can do with this team.

  50. Dintrox says:

    The language debate is ridiculous. Cunneyworth is an easy target as he has no credibility as an NHL coach. If the Habs hired Holland for GM and Babcock as coach, do you think there would be any talk about language? The problem right now is that the ownership group is currently looking for a new GM and isn’t rushing to a snap decision. A new GM will have a say in who is hired as coach. Cunneyworth has his shot but I wouldn’t want to be in his position. He is a stop gap until the off season when the real rebuild (good or bad) occurs.

  51. VancouverHab says:

    Moved below as reply.

  52. bleedhabs81 says:

    Also, this may be ignorant on my part, but those that think the Montreal Canadiens transcend hockey, well, they are dilusional. They have taken false idols (ps. I am not religious).
    Yes, the Habs were once a mighty symbol of Quebec culture, but stop fooling yourself, they are now just a money making machine for Bettman, Molson, and all those tied to the NHL. They only exist to take your money. If you closed up your wallets, they would be gone. Hockey would remain… but not Montreal Canadiens.

    On ice, they no longer represent french vs english. They are now a cultural melting pot which is more representative of the new world in which we are living in than the old world of those desperately clinging to the past.

    If we are going to falsely symbolize hockey, why not attach it to something that more closely resembles what it is. It is a group of people from various backgrounds, ethnicities, languages, skin colour, and beliefs who are united in working towards a common goal. They play together, fight together, succeed together and fail together…

    Anyway, as I said, I might be ignorant…
    I am at least trying to understand.

    • vivsterjuve88 says:

      I whole-heartedly agree with your. They are one of the 30 entities in the NHL that shops from an international pool of talent to hopefully create a Stanley Cup winner. This is done in hopes of making money. French/Quebec pride doesn’t keep this franchise running; money does.

      If we can did into the international pool to stock our roster, why not for our coaching/mgmt staff? If we created our whole team out of purely French players and coaches who AREN’T on other NHL teams right now (b/c that makes them unavailable), we’d have a seriously bad team. We’d lose most if not all of our games. If these same complaining politicians could sit back satisfied with that situation, they don’t care about this franchise and don’t deserve a say. Given control they would run it into the ground.

      Until these whining idiots start reaming out the Letangs, Girouxs, Brieres, St. Louis’, Burrows’ of the league for having the gall to play on a non-french team, then how dare they pick on the french team for not recruiting purely french. If we’re limited to recruiting from only a small demographic, but this small demographic can be recruited by all competitors, then how do we stay competitive? The same argument goes for coaching staff.

      Absolute idiots, willing to sabotage their very own most recognizable institution, for all that is french. Disgusting IMHO.
      The english have strong pride for their premier league football (soccer) but that hasn’t stopped them from allowing the french Arsene Wenger from coaching beloved Arsenal for over a decade. It also hasn’t stopped them from hiring the non-english-speaking Fabio Capello to coach their national team.

  53. TommyB says:

    At least Randy Cunneyworth did manage to get the title of head coach, at least for a while. The same cannot be said for Don Lever, who was in line for the job not so long ago, only to receive a phone call, while sitting in an airport, and hearing “we’ve dicided to go in a different direction.” So, what has really changed in Montreal?

    • kakey says:

      Yeah I remember after firing Carbo, he was named assistant and was supposedly next in line. Poor guy, after grooming many prospects and winning the Calder cup that’s the way they treat him.

      Well it’s a business.

      • 24 Cups says:

        “that’s the way they treat him”

        I believe that was all on Gainey, who was the coach and GM at the time.

        • Exit716 says:

          Gauthier is also part of this rotten regime that is now in its ninth year of Gainey’s five year plan….The Habs used to be a classy organization. Not so much anymore.

      • TommyB says:

        We can just add Cunneyworth’s name to the revolving door of the head coach’s office in Montreal. RC becomes the 14th head coach since Bowman’s departure 33 years ago. That’s 14 coaches in 33 years. Maybe it’s not fair to count Geoffrion (30 games?) or Laperriere (1 game?), so really it’s twelve coaches in the last 33 years. Most of them averaged about 2-3 years, with Pat Burns topping out at 4 years. Bowman, by the way, coached the Habs for 8 seasons. That’s a lot of coaches. All of them, except for Bob Berry, spoke french. The Habs have 2 Stanley Cups to show for those 33 years. Forget language. Find a freakin’ good coach for crying out loud!

  54. Marcusman says:

    Wow the hockey season is turning out to be such a drag…..injuries, no scoring, poor defense, coaching changes,language issues…we can’t even suck right. AT THE END OF THE DAY WE CAN’T PUT THE PUCK IN THE NET!

  55. shiram says:

    So there was a game last night, with a relatively brand new coach, and since alot here complained about the old coach, I thought it would be interesting to see what people on here thought of him, his coaching style, the way he uses his players etc…

    I liked what I saw last night, though there was still some weird moves, the players we’re playing with guts and the battled. I hope to see this trend continue, Cunneyworth was talking, yelling and communicating with the players, he also spoke with the refs and that’s another thing people complained that Martin would not do.

    Ironic signature is ironic

  56. kakey says:

    I’d like to praise the Canadiens organization for bringing in players with high level of French recently, namely: David Aebischer, Mark Streit, Yannick Weber, Raphael Diaz, Dominic Moore, Cristobal Huet.

    Local reporters seeking soundbites in French got their money’s worth. Unfortunately these unsung linguistic heroes were never honored in their quest to preserve the Habs’ heritage, they were not fluent in Joual (Québécois French).

    • Al aboo says:

      If we had an elite french “PLAYER” nobody would give a sac of balls who was coachng this team…..enter Louis Leblanc….even funnier is I dont think i’ve seen gomez’ name in these pages for what seems like years!

  57. TomNickle says:

    I am not from Quebec. I am able to communicate in French as an Anglo Ontarian. I understand that there are two very determined sides to this language debate.

    There is however, no debate to be had. This team is more culturally significant than any other North American sports franchise because of its roots. This team requires a coach, general manager and team president who can communicate in French because so much of the fan base, local media and corporate sponsorship comes from the French community.

    Because of the roots of this organization, it will always be more accountable to the French portion of the fan base, if you don’t like it, you would be better off accepting it rather than moving for change in this department.

    This organization will always remember its heritage and accompanying success. They go part and parcel, so if you don’t like it, too bad.

    I don’t feel like any less of a fan because I’m not from Quebec, but I would feel like less of a fan for not embracing the backbone of the organization because its roots as I said, are such a significant part of what it is.

    This team has been built and thrived under more difficult circumstance than most, and its success, when present, is sweeter because of that.

    • G-Man says:

      +1000. Thanks, TN.

    • Hali_Hab says:

      I agree Tom. It is just annoying to have to listen to all the out side politics. I would just like to win a few games and talk about that. Not have to listen to all the media over react. The tag “interm” was applied for a reason. So i do not know why people are making this a story.

      “After 13 years, I couldn’t accept to be number two.”
      Guy Lafleur.

    • kakey says:

      I was watching Mario Dumont interviewing Gilles Proulx, who said that after a few wins all will be forgotten. This coming from a farouchely defender of anything Québec!

      If the Habs are in a current winning streak, it’ll be hard for the voices of the fringe groups to be heard, and some members of Parliament would not dare voicing their opposition in fear of being seen as putting cold shower on the party by their electors.

      • TomNickle says:

        A writer or journalist isn’t a concern. The fan who isn’t able to speak English or the business owner who spends more than he or she should on advertising with the Canadiens are the people who matter. The media is the middle man, their opinion doesn’t matter, just the job they do.

    • podbay says:

      .: A good post, but if what you say is true, why did it not matter in any way when Bowman or Blake were coaching? It can’t matter some of the time, can it? I’ve been a Habs fan for 50 years, and have never cared about who was coaching as long as the team was doing its best.

  58. HabinBurlington says:

    Is this really about a coach speaking French, or a about a coach who is French? The fact Mr. Cunneyworth is English and has zero French roots with no French Language skills (that I am aware of) makes him a very easy target. Mr. Martin while able to speak French was not a Quebecor, but was not an easy target. Mr. Cunneyworth is an easy target, and that has been proven when even the English Media (Mr. Hickey) all of a sudden have tough questions for a coach, when they could muster no such tough questions to Mr. Martin.

    • TommyB says:

      It was baffling, the way most of the media gave Jacques Martin a free pass.

    • mb says:

      I posted that a little earlier:

      “And quite honestly, like I mentioned earlier, what many fans want is not absolutely a francophone coach, but a bilingual coach. Considerable difference, here.”

      I believe that many fans want a coach who shows their will to communicate with them in their language. ‘Cause seriously, we haven’t had a stable 100% Quebecer coach in a while.

  59. bleedhabs81 says:

    The thing is, they (PG/successor I guess) will hire a french coach, and then we will all collectively run him out of town (both the french and the english united). We did this to Carbs, we did this JM… we will do it again and again, until someone gets it right.

    So, unless there is a bilingual coach available that fits what this team needs, what this team was constructed for, and what pleases the collective fanbase, we will just burn him at the stake anyway.

    BUT, not only does this coach have to be the best for the team and bilingual, he also will have to want to be here… seems like we won’t be getting the best possible solution anytime soon.

  60. Hali_Hab says:

    So now that all the fun has been sucked out of being a Montreal Canadiens fan what is there left to do?

    You will not find a bigger Hab fan than my self (although i am sure there are at least a million people that would make the same claim.) What i care about most as a fan of the Canadiens is winning! It would appear as though i have been fooled all of these years in to thinking that the people running the team thought the same way. Instead this team has become a foot in the door for every over the top spinner of non stories and ugly Political mouth piece in the province of Quebec. Now before you all get spun up, just let me state that i am not saying that those ugly people do not reside in any other province in this country. They most certainly do.

    The thing that concerns me the most is the manner in which this team and its various parts are being used to drive certain peoples agendas. It is a travesty. The people being lost in the cross fire here are us! the regular hockey fan. The ones that fill all those upper bowl seats, the ones that buy all those team based products but more importantly the ones who care! and care about the one thing that should be the common goal… WINNING!

    At the same time I do not consider my self insensitive to the cultural needs and requirements of the Francophone population. In fact i would consider my self more of a sympathizer than anything else. Being a life time Habs fan i consider the Habs as much as a part of my fabric as the french public does. I would not hesitate to use the word passionate to describe my adoration of the Bleu Blanc et Rouge.

    That being said the manner in which this team is being exploited is not acceptable. The hockey rink is no place for any of this non sense, the hockey rink should be a place where people go to escape the burdens of every day life. The hockey rink should be a place where people can go to leave their worries out side if only for a mere few hours. It should be a place where we can unite and feel the electricity that comes with such a mass of people coming together regardless of race, creed or language for a common goal. simply put the game should unite not divide.

    So when this Anglo closes up tomorrow night to watch the Habs play the Hawks on RDS. I will take solace in the fact that there are probably a lot more like me than there are of you. You just have the money and the microphone. For now!

    “After 13 years, I couldn’t accept to be number two.”
    Guy Lafleur.

  61. LL-not the hockey player says:

    Well, I just saw the cover of “Le Journal de Montreal”

    “72% sont contre un entraineur unilingue”

    and in English (same newspaper), another headline; “Another loss for Cunneyworth”

    Fellow Hab fans, regardless where you live, we’re all screwed. 😉

    • mb says:

      Oh well, I guess that just made this newspaper even lower than it used to be!
      (Coming from a franco, btw).

      Wonder what the editors were thinking, though!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I am still happy to be a Hab fan as I am proud LL, but I know there are many others like me who became die hard Hab Fans with no relation whatsoever to Quebec or the language French. I guess I can take solace that my old hometown has the Jets, but I much rather be passionate about My Habs. I hope I am allowed to say that without cultural ties.

      Your right we are all screwed.

      • LL-not the hockey player says:

        Burly, forget this language stuff, as soon as the next “scandal” happens, the papers will switch gears.
        If RC and the team start winning, they’ll all shut-up, if not, I’ll still love the team, but yes we’re screwed. 🙂

  62. Chris1138 says:

    I think that with the number of Americans on the team, the coach should speak Spanish. Problem solved.

    –| Brad Marchand | Starley Cup Chanpiar 2011 |–

  63. ZepFan2 says:


    How about a coach?

    Brad McCrimmon (RIP)? I doubt he spoke any Russian.

    Welcome to the newer NHL: The National Headshot League.

  64. petesapizza says:

    so why didnt we hold on to Kirk Muller.. he is anglo an led this team for the last 3 years,,, he was the true coach of this team.. not JM. I DONT CARE ABOUT LANGUAGE JUST GIVE ME A TEAM THAT WE CAN ALL BE PROUD OF…

    • hab1970 says:

      To play devils advocate.
      Yes the Canadiens is a cultural symbol for les Quebecois, For Montrealers I do not think an english coach is as big a deal, but off the Island it most certainly does. We often talk about politics in this Province…and I would assume that the separatist issue has toned down however it is replaced by a more nationalistic tone. And les quebecois are worried about their language dying and now seeing that the majority of the habs team is not quebecois well its a big deal and now a coach who is anglophone it plays to the insecurities regarding the culture…

    • Strummer says:

      Apparently Muller felt his lack of French language skills would keep him from being head coach of the Habs, according to V. Damphousse on RDS last night

  65. Arune Singh says:

    I grew up in Toronto and lived there till I finished high school. I have been in the US since– currently in NYC (working at Marvel– Excelsior!).

    So I’m not very much in touch with Quebec or Canadian politics. Best I can do is read about my former home online.

    A few observations/thoughts:

    – The idea of a French speaking coach in Toronto isn’t a fair comparison to the RC situation. Yes, Canada is bilingual but the majority language outside of QC is English. The coaches there should speak it. Conversely, the majority language in QC is Francais. The coach should speak it. Hell, I’d argue ANY coach of a Canadian coach should be bilingual. Which brings me to…
    – Do we expect our coaches to be IMMEDIATELY bilingual? Is it okay to have someone like RC come in and have him learn French on the job? Does that satisfy the cultural and societal concerns in Montreal? I don’t know. But I do think it’s cool to have someone care so much they learn French to get the job.
    – I’m not French Canadian. Even if I move to MTL tomorrow I’d never understand the nuances of growing up there and how the language impacts the culture– I might appreciate it all a bit more, but at this point in my life I’d be an outsider looking in. People from MTL are on either side of the language debate and I respect both sides. I also believe that there’s a basic respect issue in place here. I don’t know if a French speaking coach is the only solution, but I can appreciate why the coach should speak French.
    – At the end of the day, I think we need to show respect to both the English and French speaking members of the Canadiens Fanbase and QC itself. I think it’s important that there’s an equality in how we treat everyone and that while we recognize there are unique elements to the MTL market, it doesn’t mean we should discriminate against a different group to empower an often undermined group.

    Thank You Saku. Thank you Halak. Thank you to all who wear the CH.

    • avatar_58 says:

      That’s the part that drives me insane – RC can learn french in the off season, why is it a big deal right now?

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Well said Mr Singh.

    • citizenSanto says:

      Arune, you work at Marvel? Awesome. What’s your gig?
      I’ve been a member of the Merry Marvel Marching Society since I first wrote to Stan the man when I was 7, and got back a personally written letter.
      Make Mine Marvel!

      ps. love your avatar of Danny.
      btw, nice post.

      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

      • Arune Singh says:

        Santo– I’m the Director of Communications. I do the PR and conventions (and wear habs gear all the time).

        Thanks to everyone else for the nice words.

        Thank You Saku. Thank you Halak. Thank you to all who wear the CH.

  66. 24 Cups says:

    The tiresome politics of language aside, here’s a real hockey question. Does Budaj get a start this week against Chicago or Winnipeg?

    This is the only week the Habs have back-to-back games until Jan 14/15. Is the team going to ride Price into the ground in order to stay in the hunt for a playoff spot?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Or we go sign Marty Turco and have a real backup whom when trade deadline comes along can be traded for a draft pick if we are not in position to make playoffs ourselves.

      Yah, start him against Wpg.


      • Chris says:

        Why would anybody trade for Turco when they can just sign him right now? Turco is done.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Sorry, I disagree with you Chris. He just played great for Canada (Edit:sorry Team Redbull) this past Weekend in Europe and clearly the Habs have zero confidence in Budaj as a backup, so why not have a veteran backup. If he plays well there is always a team at playoff time who need a veteran, how is Tampa’s goalie doing. Sign him to 1 year and see what happens.

          He will get signed by someone in my opinion, but that is different than yours.

          • Strummer says:

            I said as much earlier this week in a discussion about Price heading for burn-out. He needs a Turco or JS Guiguere type to mentor and push him and play 15-20 games.


          • Chris says:

            Teams have had all year to sign Turco. After the stink-show he put up in Chicago last season, I would be surprised if he gets much of a look.

            But that wasn’t my point. Signing Turco now only to trade him at the deadline for a pick? Who would trade you any assets in two months for a guy they could have for free right now?

            If you’re going to give up draft picks, it better be for something you need. Turco is a stop-gap for a team that is going nowhere while they wait for a prospect to develop.

    • shiram says:

      I sure hope so, not only to see what Budaj can do, but because Price is heading for another back breaking year.

      Ironic signature is ironic

    • mdp2011 says:

      he is getting the start against Chicago, just saw it on twitter.

    • Habsolutely says:

      as long as its not Florida. I didn’t pay to see Budaj in nets.

    • G-Man says:

      I’d give Price the start in Chicago so he gets a better rest during the short Xmas break.
      Unless the Habs reel off 8 of the next 10, I really wouldn’t worry about a playoff spot.
      Definitely going to be a hard night to watch in Winnipeg. Our Habs may get creamed.

  67. TommyB says:

    The language issue is one that will never go away. There are two sides to this argument. One view is that the Canadiens coach, and as many others connected with the team as possible, should speak French. The other side of the argument, is that the best person(s) for the job should be given an opportunity, regardless of language. This debate will never end, so I have no intention of participating in it.

    Here’s what I didn’t like about Geoff Molson’s press release. He cowered at the threat of a francophone uprising, and perhaps a beer boycott, so he makes a statement that is meant to appease these people. Fair enough, but in the process he shot his current head coach in the knee by all but coming out and saying that he was gone at the end of this season. And though he didn’t actually say it, you know that is what he meant.

    So…no matter what Cunneyworth and the team might accomplish for the remainder of the season, it wouldn’t help Cunneyworth’s situation at all. No french, he’s gone. What kind of message does that send to the dressing room? What about if the players actually like playing for Cunneyworth? What if he has the utmost respect of all the players in the room? It all means nothing because at the end of the season, because of a language issue, their coach is history. Does anybody actually expect these guys to seriously care about this team, knowing that no matter what they do, the summer will bring another purge? And further, what kind of message is being sent to each and every non-francophone in that dressing room? Can anyone really expect players to stick around when it comes to re-signing with this team? Good luck with that one, and good luck with future attempts to land any UFA’s of value, at least in the near future. This issue will be fresh in everyone’s mind for a couple of years to come.

  68. ooder says:

    the habs are a hockey team.. not a cultural development center.
    that is it… they are not responsible for protecting the french language (the language police is). they are in the business of winning hockey games. the only reason people complain about it is because the media just wants some quotes.. that is all.
    the coach talks to his players in english, to the rest of the media in english, to his assistants in english, to the refs in english.. to anybody that matters in the NHL they speak in english
    get over it…
    The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

  69. Dr.Rex says:

    Lets play out the nightmare scenerio of Pierre McGuire becoming the next GM:

    1. Trades young talent for 12 Moen like forwards.
    2. Buys out Andrei Markov and Tomas Kaberle leaving us with a cap disaster
    3. Blames PG for finsihing last in the conference.
    4. Trades 2nd overall pick for Lecavalier and insists repeatedly it is a good move.
    5. Humiliates Price to the media repeatedly after every loss.
    6. Gives GOmez extension after he records a 3 pt night on the last game of the season.
    7. Gets canned and goes on Montreal media saying it was because of something personal.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Pierre McGuire would be worse than Rejean Houle as a GM. Thankfully Mr. Houle was a hardworking player who wore the CH proudly and still respect for his P.R. work for the Habs. I have no such respect for Pierre “I want a job in the NHL” McGuire.

  70. Al aboo says:

    There is no language controversy, , because it has nothing to do with hockey!!!!!…..if the this actually bothers you, wake up and smell the baguettes……the FLQ is a thing of the past and, oh yeah am I allowed to eat smoked meat and poutine when I’m in la bell provence or do i have to apply for a permit?

  71. HabsFan1111 says:

    How bout this scenario: Habs hire a uniligual Francophone coach. How does the English Montreal community react?

    Oh right, WE WOULDN’T CARE!!!

    We should have hired Sutter while we had to chance, poor GM, but a good coach and he would tell the french media where to put their bill 101.

    Good luck Randy!

  72. Neutral says:

    A french coach won’t help this team – this is what will help though

    keep: max-pac, cole, Kostitsyn, Desharnais, Leblanc, pk, Price, Emelin and the rest bye-bye – bring in players that can produce than and only than will the Montreal Canadiens win a 25th cup.
    too much deadwood on this team and it never gets any better.

  73. lenny says:



    here is the link to his first press conference


    I hate the Bruins, really I do!

  74. habfan53 says:

    I coun’nt figure out why they put Larry Carriere behind the bench . I remember Larry back in the Sir George Williams days as a defenceman and I know they have Randy ladouceur for that .
    Then I came across this


    If it does not link copy and paste it is Larry dropping Don Saleski with one punch

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

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