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. Strummer says:

    When I click a link to a french language article, whats the quickest way to translate it?


  2. HabinBurlington says:

    Gallagher scored for Canada in exhibition game last night and Bournival was able to play both forward and center last night to help the team as they only have 11 forwards dressed.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      OMG Don Hay made a defenseman play forward?!?
      Fire him now!!

      Go Habs Go!!

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

  3. Habfan4lfe says:

    English must speak French but English is optional for French people. That right there is wrong. That’s preferential treatment.

    • G-Man says:

      So, like, if you live in Italy, you’d speak English?

    • LafleurFan says:

      I’m older so experience impacts my opinion. Canada is richer for our long, longstanding Quebecois culture. Canada would not be Canada without all of its mosaic. Would you want all of Canada to be like, say Alberta? or Vancouver?

      Think about it. What if we immediately had the Toronto Maple Leafs organization representing Montreal, meaning Burke, Wilson, Rogers, Bell and others?

      “May you live in interesting times.”

      • Habfan4lfe says:

        You’re older eh? My mother is approaching 70, I’m 40 some. How old are you 80? My mother speaks fluent English and French. She was born in Quebec. This country has 2 official languages. Wake up. I don’t have to think about anything.

  4. LafleurFan says:

    Good Morning! Welcome to another meeting of Overreactors Abominus. Apologies if in fact no one on this site overreacts.

    “May you live in interesting times.”

  5. According to the latest poll, 82% know how to win, and 18% want to Lose.

    Outside of Quebec, 5 million Canadien fans just want this club to win.

    Inside Quebec, 5 million people want the Nordiques back.

    All I want for Christmas is more controversy so we can read the wisdom of such classics as.

    “They traded Halak? Worst trade since Roy”

    “Kaberle, Worst trade since Roy”

    “How on earth could we let D’Agostini go for nothing, I mean he’s got 6 points in 4 games”

    “That’s it, I can’t follow this losers anymore, I am now a Leaf fan”

    God Bless Us Everyone


    Still working on tickets for the Jets game. Crazy how I can see three games in Montreal (in one week) and zero in Winnipeg.

    Shane Oliver
    Brandon, MB,Canada
    R7B 2R7
    Ph- 204 724 8418

  6. HardHabits says:

    Read this comment. Made me laugh.

    All this hoopla over a coach that can’t speak French, yet the entire roster is filled with players who can’t play hockey…

    • HabinBurlington says:

      There are certainly some witty generalizations being tossed around the Internet these days with the controversy going on. Can’t believe it is helping the players. Too bad really.

  7. HabinBurlington says:

    I respect and I think I understand the reason why the francophone community desires a coach who can communicate with them in their native tongue. What I don’t understand is the way this maelstrom has evolved currently. I don’t think for a minute Geoff Molson was or is not aware of consequences for having an english only speaking Head Coach. To me it is quite evident that at the present time the organization felt it needed to make an immediate change. The current candidate who best filled the role from a purely hockey perspective was Mr. Cunneyworth. The fact that both Molson and PG agreed to this current option showed the need to first make a coaching play similar to a “hockey play”. They new it would be controversial but felt the need to first quell the storm within the dressing room and on the ice. I would be completely shocked if the ramnifications of such a move were not discussed between the three of them (PG, GM and RC). I also would be shocked if they had not also discussed the need for RC to begin learning french this offseason if indeed it appeared he was doing a good job for the team. If indeed at seasons end the coaching change had not turned out satisfactory a new coach would be found with more time available and I am sure that the French language consideration would have been foremost on the search committee’s minds.

    What I fail to understand is why Political and Media groups have stomped all over this organization treating them like 5 year olds that were completely unaware of the cultural dynamics within this hockey club. By treating the team and its fans this way, the cultural ties to French have been belittled and have ostricized many of the Anglo fans of this team.

    Most Anglo’s understand this team will almost always have a coach who will be able to communicate in French, but to say that even during an interim basis this Language issue must take precedence over immmediate Hockey Needs seems to me to be completely unreasonable.

    When Randy Cunneyworth was announced as interim Head Coach I don’t think anyone believed for a minute that this was a permanent position unless he performed like the story of Jesus turning water into wine. And if that was the case, wouldn’t we all have been happy with those results, and wouldn’t it then behoove Mr. Cunneyworth to spend much of his summer learning French to the best of his abilities.

    This maelstrom truly is a tragedy to both the team and its fans as it seems to only serve a purpose of alienating one group of people from another.

    Good luck tonight Boys! Go Habs Go

    • G-Man says:

      Gauthier disregarded the obvious. He can’t see the forrest for the trees. He should have waited until the end of the season.
      -edit- The other thing about this situation is that it has been particularly quiet when it comes to Quebec politics. All it takes is one ill-considered match.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        While that would have been ideal, if the owner and GM feel they need to make a change for the immediate, they should have the right to do so. My point is, this was by no means intended to be a permanent move and if it became so, find out if Mr. Cunneyworth would have taken seriously the task of learning french.

        • G-Man says:

          He’s been in Montreal since the summer. If I am going to work in Tokyo, I better learn Japanese. If am going to work here in Montreal, maybe it’s a good idea to pick up a few phrases in French.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I agree Gman, but there is no way when he first brought in here that he thought this soon he would be inline for Head Coaching, which mandates that you speed up the learning curve.

            As a first generation Canadian I watched as a child as my Father spent nights taking English lessons in order to adapt to this country. He was not able to learn it overnight however.

          • Mad Habber says:

            Does Quebec own part of the Canadiens? If not, I can’t see where any politician can tell Molson who should be in his management team. Would they have the right to stir up a spit storm if it was any other company other than the Canadiens? Does this not infringe on rights somewhere?

            Besides that do french canadians really want to see the team remain in the stagnate state they’ve been in for the past few months (decades according to some)? Would they have the team that is so ingrained in their culture become nothing more than a monument to it’s history.

            Or they could go with hiring the best man for the job; bring back the winning tradition that has been lost, and fading.

    • abhishek33 says:

      I too was amazed by the amount of attention this has received, especially in politics. I guess those who need a reason to trumpet the protection of the French language were looking for a new cause and they feel like they’ve found one.

      The other thing that stuns me is that the Habs are a business, just like any other. Yes, you need to listen to your customers to keep their loyalty, but when an important job has to be filled, you take the best candidate available. It’s not in the best interest of the Habs to just hand out another contract just to please the media.

      On the other side, I would expect that the future coach, irrelevant of the language he speaks today, should pick up the French language. But in the meantime, why not hire an interpreter? I think that would be money well spent, considering it would calm the storm for the short term.

  8. Bash says:

    I think we have a game tonight don’t we?

    DD, Pac, Leblanc
    Cole, Eller, Moen
    Pleks, Kost,Camm
    Noke, Blund, Darche

    PK Emelin
    Gorges, Gill
    Kab, Diaz

    “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

  9. Habsbill24 says:

    The language outrage only points out why this team has not won a Cup in 19 years. Not only does a potential free agent have to pay significantly more in taxes to play in Montreal, there is this unyielding media coverage that hounds players and makes issues out of non hockey matters. Somebody described this as a circus, and that is what it is. We overpay our free agents to entice them to pay the extra taxes in Montreal and to put up with this nonsense. The result by overpaying is that indirectly the Habs have a smaller Cap than other teams because the price is ALWAYS higher for the Habs. Cole, for example may have demanded four years at 4.5M from the Habs but from Florida, without state taxes and the media scrutiny he may have accepted 4M (I know this did not happen but it is an example of what the behind the scenes negotiations might be). The media, fans, the language police are all only insuring that we will not see a Cup again in Montreal for decades. Do you think Mike Cammalleri is happy with his season? He is probably sick about it. He was a guy who embraced playing in Montreal and now we, the fans, are trying to run him out of town. No parade down “the ususal route” on Ste-Catherine Street any time soon.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Let’s take your arguments one by one, just for fun.

      “The language outrage only points out why this team has not won a Cup in 19 years.”

      Well, no. The team hasn’t won a cup because there are 30 teams now. Only 9 teams have won the cup since 1993. Alo the last time we won it half the team was French. Not winning actually coincided with abandoning the French bias. (Although I think they are unrelated.)

      “Somebody described this as a circus, and that is what it is.”

      Always has been.

      “Cole, for example may have demanded four years at 4.5M from the Habs but from Florida, without state taxes and the media scrutiny he may have accepted 4M ”

      Taxes aren’t under the Canadiens’ control. Besides almost all the teams that have won the cup recently built through the draft. Usually by tanking. In fact the Habs have rebuilt the entire team with free agents two years ago, something no cup winner has ever done.

      “He was a guy who embraced playing in Montreal and now we, the fans, are trying to run him out of town.”

      Nothing to do with language, and anyway who’s trying to run him out of town?

      Bottom line is we are not a challenger – just like the Maple Leafs – because unlike the Pens and Black Hawks we have not drafted high, because fan pressure prevents the team from tanking deliberately.

      • Habsbill24 says:

        Well just maybe limiting GMs and coaches to the French speaking population has something to do with the 19 years of poor drafting and management the team has had had because the team does not hire the best candidiates regardless of language skills.

        The Habs have a smaller French speaking player base because the number of Canadian born players in the league has dropped tremendously in the last 19 years plus the number of quality French speaking players in the league is down. So the team did not abandon the French speaking player, there are just less of them, and the team’s French speaking managment passed over players like Claude Giroux in favor of others. The 1993 team also only had North American born players so perhaps that was the mistake, taking on Europeans.

        Yes the team cannot do anything about taxes, but when you pile on other baggage like the media circus it makes it difficult to attract players to the Canadiens. Briere and Shanahan being two players that come to mind that turned down the Habs. I am all in favor of a French speaking coach but the nonsense about Cunneyworth is ridiculous. Martin’s firing was a panic move in a desparate attempt to salvage the season. There was no time really to do a full search and with Gauthier’s job on the line as well, Cunneyworth was the best option on short notice. He is “interim” and he said he will learn French but that is apparently not enough to satisfy some media and political hacks that are looking for their 15 minutes of fame. They prefer to skewer Cunneyworth and the Habs. We all saw how successful another panic move was when it was when it hired Houle (French speaker) as GM and Tremblay (French speaker) as coach and we all saw how successful that was.

        If I am Shea Weber, looking at the tax situation and the media stuff, no way I consider the Habs as a viable free agent option.

  10. nickster13 says:

    Listen to this: Pang raving about Cunneyworth and upset at the situation going on.


    Also, I really think Darren Pang is a great analyst and seems like a good guy.

  11. madhabsfan says:

    As a longtime reader of Henry Aubin’s work in the Montreal Gazette, I must say that I am shocked at his recent article on on yet another language controversy surrounding the Montreal Canadiens. Not only does it completely disregard the rich Anglo heritage in both the city and the Canadiens organization, but it appropriates baseless studies by radical separatist groups which spend much of their time defacing signs containing English, sabotaging Federalist gatherings, and purposely intimidating non-francophones. The controversy surrounding team is symptomatic only of an insecure society which refuses to accept the national and international prevalence of the English language, and is categorically against even a single Anglophone holding any status in the province.

    • G-Man says:

      What would you do when you are the only tiny French island in a sea of English? Do you let your culture be wiped out or do you protect your language and culture through laws and enforcement?

  12. habsperspective says:

    If they win tonight, they hold on to 12th!

    Good news.

  13. SlovakHab says:

    Not only Habs haven’t won anything for a very long time and we look like an AHL team next to our biggest rivals (who also have the depth to make sure they will beat us for years to come), but in addition this organization makes fools of themselves on another, non-hockey level. What kind of circus is this?
    Ok so let’s also make sure every single players speaks French before they can play for the Habs. No exceptions! Let’s absolutely forget about hockey – let’s hire every single person in the organization based predominately on their language skills (including the draft – players have to sit a French language test and score at least 90% or we don’t draft them). Why only coach when we can have an all-Quebec team – pretty sure the Cups would be guaranteed every year, no?

  14. daveho29 says:

    If this whole language debate were reversed and a team in “English” Canada hired a unilingual Francophone coach and the fans were all up in arms about it, the Francophone community would be screaming discrimination. Which is exactly was this whole issue is.

    • G-Man says:

      Do you work in Montreal? Most of us, in order to have a job, must be bilingual.

      • Dulljerk says:

        Oh please, almost everyone in Montreal under 100 years old speaks english fine. I have friends who have lived in Montreal all their life who can’t speak french, other than “bonjour”. And it absolutely is discrimination, always has been, always will be (unfortunately).

        “Is the little dog going to yap, or is he going to bite?”

        • Habsrule1 says:

          You have friends that have lived in Montreal their whole lives and don’t speak French? I find that a bit lazy, and I’m against the whole French coach thing.
          There were stats posted that 54% of Montrealers do not speak English (I hope I got that right?). It seems crazy to me, but if the people you are catering to speak French, then you should speak French. If your job means you will speak to a few French customers, then you need to speak French. In this case, the coach speaks to people who understand English, so there should be no issue.
          If those same people (RDS, for example) have customers who only understand French, it is up to them to translate.
          Bottom line: BEST coach for the job. Period.

          Go Habs Go!!

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

        • G-Man says:

          Just like when unilingual English managers ran things in Montreal, right? The 50s and 60s are long gone.

          • Habsrule1 says:

            Not sure what that has to do with my post, but ok. The fact is that some jobs call for you to be bilingual. that is not discrimination. On the other hand, when your job does not call for you to be bilingual to perform its functions, then it should not matter. Many non French-speaking Quebecers have gotten jobs in this province, but they couls not get other specific jobs. If part of the Habs’ coaches job was to speak directly to French-speaking only customers or suppliers, etc, etc…then I would say he definitely needs to speak French. That is not the case here.

            Go Habs Go!!

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

  15. Marc10 says:

    Assuming we’re toast after this road trip, I’m open to the team immediately firing PG and the new GM offloading anyone who won’t bring us a cup in 3 to 5 — and to do so as quickly as possible to ensure we don’t win another game and finish dead last this year and the next.

    And then we draft 2 centers. Preferably large, talented centers and a whole bunch of other guys to restock HAM.

    Here’s my scorched earth scenario: Bye bye to Pleks, Cams, Gio, Gomer, AK46, Kabi, Markov, Skillzy, Moen, Weber, Darche, and maybe Diaz.

    Resign Gorges, keep Cole (unless offer is too good), resign the rest – give Pricey, MaxPac, Eller, DD and Subbidoo long term deals while the team is terrible (maybe we save a couple of bucks…)

    In the offseason, target character guys and tough D to eventually support Tinordi, Beaulieu, Bournival, Leblanc, Kristo, Bennett, and whoever we draft.

    Too soon? I think I’ve seen enough…

    • Marc10 says:

      I know some guys are on no-trades… but who would want to stick around if they could have a crack on a competitor… ?

    • DickandDanny says:

      So glad you are not our next GM. Get rid of Plekanec and Kostitsyn. That would be brilliant. Our best two way centre and penalty killer who is also leading the team in scoring and also one of our hardest hitting forwards who can score. Yup, brilliant. Kaberle is here for another 2 1/2, so get used to him, and so is Markov.

      “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

      • Marc10 says:

        AK46 is gone whether you like it or not. So you might as well get something in return…

        As for Pleks, I like him just fine, but as we’re not progressing and are likely going to be a middle of the road team unless we do a major overhaul, I’d consider him along with any other player above 25.

        That’s all I’m saying. Would love to hear your genius idea as to where our next Cup is going to come from, but I’m not holding my breath;-)

        • The Cat says:

          Everybodys tradeable depending on what you get in return. I would trade Pleks but given the thin supply of centremen on the habs; a better centreman would have to be coming the habs way in that trade.

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

          • Marc10 says:

            I’d settle for a younger center at this point with some potential.

            To truly build a contender, we’ll need to have world class goaltending (which we have), a solid D (nowhere near), four lines with at least two dominant centers who win most of their match ups.

            The only way we land a top center is via the draft. It’s nearly impossible otherwise without giving up Pricey, PK or Max as UFAs are few and tend to favour other destinations.

            So if we implode on this road trip, I say we tank and tank for real.

          • The Cat says:

            Given that a rebuild probably isnt feasible considering the last decade. Im not saying Im not in favour of it but this is Montreal. Why wouldnt people trade Price? A top flight centreman/d-man is a lot harder to find than a good goalie, and with their size and todays equipment, theyre all pretty much equal. I used to think goaltenders were the most important part but not anymore in todays NHL. The key pieces in front are a lot more important, unless we all think Brian Elliot went to a really really good hockey school this summer and Thomas Vokoun went to a bad one.

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

          • Marc10 says:

            Hmm… I’d argue the only reason Boston won last year (let alone got out of the first round) was Timmy T. (Well that and the near killing of Max…)

            Average goaltending won’t win you a cup very often, but I see your point.

            I just don’t see who we could land as a bonafied first line superstar for Price. There’s no way TB would give us Stamkos. (I don’t rate Tavares that much…) The only way to land one of those is via UFA or landing a low pick in the draft.

            I hear you… Montreal wouldn’t tolerate losing, but you know… I think we’d only need to truly suck for two years at the most. Provided Pricey, PK, Max and the rest of the kids are willing to endure for two years, we could graft on an Ovie or a Toews to our current crop of kids.

            Look at Ottawa and Toronto. They likely won’t make the show again, but they’re already showing signs of turning the corner. What do we want to do? Build a contender or live with a pretender…?

          • LafleurFan says:

            Way to hang in for 5 hours overnight, Marc 10. Need to get better but blowing up the team for picks guarantees nothing. Don’t think Jersey’s going to win any time soon and they jumped through hoops to lock up Kovalchuk.

            “May you live in interesting times.”

    • Habsrule1 says:

      I think you have the right idea, but I’d keep Plek & Cammi for sure. They have been very good for us until recently. This is the classic “go through a slump and you’re gone” mentality that I can’t stand. Even AK46, with all his faults, has been one of our most consistent goal scorers. I’d actually keep Cammi, Pleks and Gionta for sure. AK46 would be a strong maybe, and Markov would stay if 100%.
      I don’t think enough credit has been given for our recent drafting. Although we don’t really know yet how they will perform in the NHL, our prospects have great potential. I think we’ll have a very good team in 2 or 3 years, depending on development, of course.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

  16. billylove says:

    I’ve only had the opportunity to visit Montreal twice and both times found the people and the city to be fantastic. It truly is one of the world’s great cities. I don’t believe I’m qualified to issue an educated opinion regarding the language debate especially since I live in the US. I do understand the opposing viewpoints and have found many posts to be very informative. I admire the sheer passion expressed by many in arguing their position. My only thought – wish the team showed as much passion as you!

  17. sheds88 says:

    what if Lindy Ruff becomes available if the sabres doesn’t smarten up. Do we not go after him because he is anglophone. c’mon i would die for a coach like lindy

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

  18. Canayens says:

    If they all have to duke it out for the head coaching job:

    Kirk Muller vs Randy Cunneyworth http://youtu.be/SjHLMG1N9hk

    Randy Cunneyworth scores on Patrick Roy http://youtu.be/lVKhDFGJYkM?t=1m9s

  19. Habalisous says:

    What a mess this organization has become since Gillette left. Jeff Molson is a dweeb who should keep his nose out of the front office. If he dosen’t like the way the team is being run then he should get out of his doll house and fire the GM. Honestly, the firing of Martin makes no sense at all. The fact that they are shocked by the whole language thing proves they have no clue what is going on.

    God help the Habs, they’ll need everything they can get now with this clown car full of baffoons running the show.

    ”You miss 100% of the shots you never take.” – Wayne Gretzky

  20. BoomBoom says:

    As a Habs fan, I can’t wait for the 2011 calendar year to end…2011 has not been kind to the Habs….Max Pac nearly getting killed, losing 3 OTs and the series to Boston, Bruins winning the cup, Markov not playing a new game in the new season, lots of injuries, poor seasons so far for Cammy, Gomez and Gionta, and now this BS with the interim ‘anglo’ coach. With the way some of the media and the politicians are going about this, you’d think Molson took a dump and wiped his butt with the QUebec flag. Seriously this is an interim coach.

    I am hoping that a few wins and the holidays will see this whole language debate blow over and we can go back to discussing HOCKEY and THE HABS.

    I am born and raised in Mtl, am not a francophone but am married to one…yeah the Habs are part of Quebec culture but they also represent Mtl a cosmopolitan city. RC is an interim coach of the Habs not some all powerful being placed in Montreal to destroy the French culture and language. French media and politicians and others dying for attention are tripping over themselves to show everyone else how ‘Quebecois’ they are are by showing their outrage over RC being named INTERIM coach. A lot of this is supported by Peladeau and his b-tch Rejean Tremblay bitter that he didn’t get the Habs. Peladeau is a weasel and I hope for one that he never becomes an NHL owner especially in QUebec city. I say Seattle and Hamilton before Quebec City as long as the weasel Peladeau is involved. My rant is over.

    I want to wish everyone on this site a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a great 2012. Let’s hope that 2012 is a much better year for the Habs than 2011 was. Best of luck to RC for 2012 because the garbage you’ve had to put up with so far is unbelievable.

    PS: Gauthier should go, not so much for his hockey operations but much more for his dictatorship in running the Habs front office. Vincent Damphousse would make a great GM in my eyes and he has made the most sense on RDS than anyone else ever since RC was hired.

    C’est le but!

  21. RiverviewCanadien says:

    Last time I checked Mats Naslund was the last Canadien to score over 100 points. Nobody complained what nationality he was. The Canadiens faithful even gave him a french nickname. Funny how when the team is winning, people could careless what language you speak.

    This is a diversion tactic, nothing more. Draws heat away from how bad this team is playing. Gives the players an excuse as well, all the media crap and all. Imagine how easy it is for opposing teams to rib the Habs on the ice now (i.e. Pacioretty incident with the Police, now the whole “Your coach is not wanted because he can’t speak french”…). I wonder why Briere did not want to play for the Habs?

    BTW, wasn’t it a french coach and french front office who traded away the best goalie ever? Who also was BORN in la belle province!

    Boy I feel bad for Randy. What a storm he is now caught in.

    Good luck Mr. Cunneyworth (what a kick ass last name).

  22. saskhabfan says:

    Molson spent $500 million to buy the habs. What right do people have to tell molson how to run his team or who he can hire to help run it? I also wonder how much of those ignorant members of the quebec governments salary is paid for by the ridiculous amount of taxes molson payes every year. If some members of the media want to be dicks and disrespect cunneyworth during a press conference then they can say adios to their media pass.Its time molson reminds some people who the habs actually belong to. The habs are the property of molson not a bunch of old school serpartists or french dinosauer journalists.

  23. montreal ace says:

    Montreal Canadiens have announced a job opening for a french play by play man, opening is available to all, duties may include coaching, with the possibility of a plum gig at RDS if things dont work out.

  24. CanadienBoy says:

    Peter i m getting tired of all the BS as well but agree with u the media are driven this like a circus and i guarantee all of you when they go home at night and they need last min. shopping or check s&& on the Internet they log on English SITE that is the reality of this wold and multi nationality hockey teams

  25. saskhabfan says:

    Molson should take this oppurtunity to make a deal with the french media. We will hire a french coach if you take gomez.

  26. Stooof says:

    The sadest thing aobut this year is cammellari is supposed to be our gaborik. sniipin. sad sd

  27. immortalhab says:

    I like the idea of a line- how would it apply to what the Bruins are allowed to do?

  28. mike3131 says:

    I just thought of an idea regarding illegal hits. I’m in my apartment with the Panthers vs. Phoenix game on and I saw Samuelsson get injured by a hit from Doan. Samuelsson was about 7 feet away from the boards and got knocked awkwardly backwards into the boards.
    Maybe the league can put two thin red lines parallel to the boards all around (looking like a track lane on the ice) and within this “lane”, lateral hits (toward the boards) would be illegal and may be subject to supplemental discipline. It wouldn’t look nice, but this rule could be one to be introduced at the R&D camp.

    On a different note, they interviewed Paul Bissonette (Biz Nasty) during the intermission and he said a Habs fan once tweeted that he wished Biz got cancer and died. Then the fan told Biz that he didn’t say what type of cancer. So Panthers fans now have a good idea of what us Habs fans are like.

    • habinkam says:

      great idea but i think you need to tweak it a little hits towards the boards are ok as long as the receiving player is inside the lines. if the receiving player is outside; illegal hit. Because if hit into the boards were illegal it would pretty much non contact.

  29. Neutral says:

    If the Habs are thinking selling – why not Kostitsyn and Cammalleri for Bobby Ryan from the Ducks

  30. immortalhab says:

    Hockey? This site is about hockey?

  31. JF says:

    This whole mess is the fault of Pierre Gauthier, and he should pay for it with his job. He gambled on certain things over the summer and committed a series of blunders which resulted in the Habs icing a bad team, a team that on most nights can barely compete with any other in the League. Since the season began, he has made one desperation move after another to get the team on track and save his job. The firing of Jacques Martin and the promotion of Randy Cunneyworth are the culmination of a catastrophic autumn, and have unleashed a firestorm of probably unimagined proportions, a storm which will almost certainly engulf poor Mr. Cunneyworth and plunge the team into who knows what depths.

    Gauthier seems to be lacking in imagination. He appears not to have foreseen the result of appointing an anglophone interim coach; his reply during the press conference to questions about language was a terse, “Les langues, ça s’apprend.” True, but it sounded like a cavalier dismissal of the concerns of the francophone majority.

    The sad thing about the latest instalment of this mess is that it need not have happened. Jacques Martin was more or less keeping the team afloat despite its very apparent mediocrity and all its problems – injuries, powerplay, under-performing veterans, etc. The right course of action would have been to let him finish the season, then re-evaluate things and perhaps make a change. Instead of which, we have acrimonious and impassioned discussions about language, the sacred trust of the Habs, the betrayal of the Quebec people, the mission of Patrick Roy, and so on – almost to the exclusion of meaningful discussion of hockey and consideration of what (if anything) the Habs can do to start winning.

    • doogie says:

      Gauthier is trying to plug the holes in the proverbial dam of destruction left behind by BG23. Not PG’s fault, go back one chapter.

      * * * * * * *

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

  32. WestHab says:

    I’d like to make a final statement on the current debate that has torn a lot of Habs fans across the nation apart. I’m an expatriate Montrealer who always had a hard time with the French language. This is my fault not anyone else’s. My current exposure to the language is RDS. I recognize that Montreal is a French town and for anyone living there it can only be comfortable having decent command of the language. I believe that it is most desirable for the head coach to conduct himself in French as it is for anyone else working there. This is for the respect of his/her fellow citizens and also for the self interest of the applicant. You’ll get to more good parties with French. But I believe also that there should be no set policy insisting that the head coach of the Canadiens have French. The team is giving the other 29 teams an advantage by doing so. They can hire bilingual or unilingual English coaches. The Habs from time to time should be able to hire a English only coach if he fits all other criteria as Vincent Damphousse suggested on RDS last night. I whish Randy Cunnyworth the best. If the remainder of the season is kind I hope he makes a bid to stay perhaps pick up some French.

  33. montreal ace says:

    I wonder if PJ Stock, would take the job of translator and teacher for Cunney

  34. nova scotia vees says:

    I lived in Montreal in 1965…was hired as a dental assistant to a French dentist in Pte Claire, who knew I couldn’t speak French. He spent the first few weeks humiliating me in front of the patients…of course I quit.
    Then in 1976 I covered the 1976 Canada Cup in Montreal. That ignoramous Rejean Tremblay told some of the Habs on the team not to speak to me in English. Lucky me, they told him where to go, as I had covered some of them when they played in Halifax.
    Racism still reigns in la belle province

  35. immortalhab says:

    Could he go by Michel Babcock?

  36. immortalhab says:

    Can’t anyone remember 1993!!! The year they spoke the puck into the net?!

    It is not skaters we need ladies and gentlemen, but orators. It is not scorers we want but communicators!

  37. saskhabfan says:

    Is this an issue if the new coaches name is mike babcock?

  38. stevieray says:

    So with many previuosly wanting Muller to coach…was he Bilingual ???
    just sayin ..
    This issue is taking up way to much space and time on this site .
    utter foolisiness !

  39. immortalhab says:

    I started kindergarten in the late 70s and got my ass kicked by the Anglos every year starting in 1980. My parents generation also identified with the Rocket as our hero, the guy that proved we were just as good as anyone. Then when Quebecers say we are not as good of fans because we aren’t from Quebec, I feel like they have always turned their back on us francophones outside the province. The truth is, Quebec francophones know very little about life outside the province. A lot of qbcrs come to work here in AB. They were separatists before they got here, then they change their minds when they realize that people out west aren’t down on them like they are led to believe. I’m quoting Qbcrs when I say that their media keeps them in the dark.
    Just you wait and see how many Montreal fans from QB will switch and become Nordiques fans when they get their franchise back. They will see it as the team that has the responsibility of protecting the language.
    Although I’m not a fan of Mordechai Richler, he said: “we are constantly being told that French is the most vibrant culture in Canada, yet it is so fragile that the sight of a sign in English can send it hurtling into the gutter.”
    C’mon, dear freres, are we that weak? Do you really think we can’t survive an English speaking coach? After all the ass-lickings I took, you can’t survive this?

    • Sal says:

      It always seemed to me as an Ontarian, looking from outside Quebec, that the Quebecers who experinced the rest of Canada, either through sports, entertainment, politics, etc., were the most outspoken proponents of keeping Canada together, during the period of Separatism. There must be some truth to your assertion that the French Media in Quebec plays a crucial role maintaining the relative insularity of Quebecers. That Quebec and it’s people must to do everything they need to, to protect and preserve their language and culture, it is alo true, that that goal is not threatened by an English only speaking Hab Coach.

      Sal from the Hammer

  40. Habsolutely says:

    with back-to-back games against Chicago and Winny the Poo, Randy Cunney sure has his work cut out for him.

  41. Mattyleg says:

    I’ve disagreed with HH on many points, but I have to say that his long post below is one of the best things he’s written.

    Gives me a different angle on the guy.

    Good stuff, HH.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  42. sheds88 says:

    if having to learn french is part of the criteria to be the coach of the montreal canadiens, think of how many coaching candidates will turn down the offer from PG ( or whoever may be GM at the time ). coaching in this market is tough enough let alone trying to learn another language.
    i don’t know why they keep comparing Carey Price to God………i mean he’s good, but he’s no Carey Price.

  43. gumper says:

    Well, I have nothing to add or subtract from the French language debate, per se, but I do wonder a couple of things. I wonder if PG and GM are so out of touch with the Quebec ethos that they were unable to predict the furor it was going to cause to select an Anglo coach, albeit on an interim basis. Because it has to either be that, or that they really didn’t give rat’s a$$ about how Quebecers would react to the hiring. The other thing I’m getting migraine headaches wondering about, is how this whole thing will unfold. Because what it’s likely to come down to is, who’s steering the ship at trade deadline time when the organization will likely be looking to unload some large contracts for draft picks or young prospects. The hiring of an interim coach, “till the end of the season” would indicate that PG’s job is safe till that juncture anyway, which means he will be making the decisions come trade deadline. This makes me feel somewhere between uneasy and nauseous. Are we headed into the desert the Leafs have been roaming aimlessly in for the past decade or so? If so, maybe we could borrow their roadmap and shorten the duration of our exile. Anybody else get the feeling that no one’s at the helm?

  44. Fool of Chu says:

    What I find funny:
    Jacques Martin’s style of play was considered boring.

    But Boucher, who plays the 1-3-1 trap in Tampa with highly skilled personnel, is considered to be a brilliant, young mind in today’s coaching, who would, no doubt, awake the players out of their ongoing offensive lethargy…

    • kakey says:

      Boucher’s Lightning is sitting at 13th right now. He might be fired already if he is the Habs’ coach.

      Not saying he’s no good. But I’d rather have him suck and learn in other teams than suck and learn in here.

  45. saskhabfan says:

    This is why i’m looking forward to the nords getting their own team again. This way the nords can hire,draft and sign every french management,coaching staff and player they want and the habs can be allowed to be run like a professional sports organization that cares about winning instead of keeping insecure franco’s happy. I have to wonder though,if the nordiques do get their own team again will anglo’s like myself be allowed to use the same entrance as the franco’s? Or will we be racially segregated to use a separate entrance.

  46. prankstergod says:

    I don’t usually post here, though I’m on this site an unhealthy amount, but I thought that I’d like to touch on a couple of the issues being discussed today.

    Firstly, the language debate. I tend to believe that the coach of the team should be bilingual – but not necessarily when they are hired. If a coach that speaks only English is hired it should be understood that they will learn French. The league and the players communicate in English, and the coach is primarily responsible for producing winning hockey – speaking to the media is a distant second. The cultural significance of the team cannot and should not be ignored, however, and a coach or GM or player committed to this team ought to learn the language. Ultimately, what every fan wants is the team to win, but narrowing the field of candidates to only those that speak French or are from Quebec is limiting. It is simply a matter of probability – the probability that the best hockey coach will always speak French and be from Quebec is nil. Fans and media do the team and its chances of winning a disservice by demanding this. The team, in my opinion, should always seek far and wide for the best candidate and the understanding should be that the successful person will learn the language and respect the culture. I think most fans have a reasonable view on this issue, but when politicians (like the city council today) start to get involved it is embarrassing.

    The other issue I noticed today is the question of ‘who is a fan?’. Apparently, those of us that do not live in Montreal are not real fans, despite the fact that I have cheered for the Habs for as long as I can remember and live and die with each and every game. The sad idea that someone can claim they are a ‘better’ fan than another is silly. So is the claim that we can’t understand what the team means to them……to that I would say that no one can tell me what the Habs mean to me. My passion for this team will match any other, no question, and I would never question the passion of another fan regardless of if they are from Montreal, New Brunswick, or Finland. Who cares? We’re all fans, and we want/need this team to win. Slagging fellow fans as ‘lesser than’ is pathetic and embarrassing.

    Hope everyone has a nice Christmas and that we have a couple of road W’s to celebrate by then. Cheers.

    • habfan01 says:

      two thumbs up. As long as an english speaking coach or gm is willing to learn the language, the fact he is english should not stop him from getting and keeping the job. Nor should the fact a complete hockey moron is french should not be a factor in his keeping the job.

    • mb says:

      Oh well, you should post more often. That was well said.

      • prankstergod says:

        Thanks. I probably would post more, but most times someone says what I’m thinking anyhow. That and the fact that I’ve seen the ‘debates’ on here spiral ridiculously out of control and get personal, and that kind of aggravation I don’t need. Cheers.

    • Clay says:

      I appreciate what you’re saying, but I still disagree. Asking someone to learn a language as a prerequisite for the job is just foolishly limiting the talent pool. Learning a language is hard work, and very time consuming – time a coach/GM would better spend worrying about the team and then spending with their families.

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

      • prankstergod says:

        I agree that it will limit the talent pool, and for my part I wouldn’t be upset if the coach was English only. It’s a mathematical certainty that reducing the search for a candidate to a specific and small region will limit the talent pool and place the Canadiens at a competitive disadvantage. However, I do think that the Habs are a more significant part of the culture in Quebec than most other teams can lay claim to where they play. For this reason, a potential coach needs to show respect and understanding for the history and culture in which the team exists. Learning the language will be necessary for any serious coaching candidate.

  47. The Dude says:

    I wonder what French Quebecois are posting on their blogs? I’m sure the quotes will be very selective here ……”The Montreal Canadiens belong to the people of Quebec”….Serge Savard.

    • kakey says:

      Here’s a sample: http://www.cyberpresse.ca/debats/le-debat-du-jour/201112/19/01-4479353-lentraineur-du-canadien-doit-il-imperativement-parler-francais.php?utm_categorieinterne=trafficdrivers&utm_contenuinterne=cyberpresse_la-presse-debats-participez_1457501_accueil_ECRAN1POS1

      It’s mostly those accusing management for not being sensitive to the team’s heritage and its fans, and the usual few who don’t care as long as the coach is good.

      Same old same old.

      • The Dude says:

        Thanks kakey….I wonder what the French Quebecois bloggers would say to the post here,lol. Like hot pepper juice in a shot glass me thinks…..

      • Clay says:

        That’s rich, talking about the team’s heritage. Are the Quebecois descended from Irish immigrants, like the team’s founder is?

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

    • ZepFan2 says:

      Here ya’ go…

      Hockey is a sport, not a French course.

      With all due respect I owe you, I disagree with your article.
      For me, any good coach will do since he knows how to motivate players. Certe Quebec is a French-speaking city but the rest of the hockey Hockey. Not five minutes of English per day that will make us lose our values. The key is to win games and find the best coaches available. Only the results count. And let me add that denigrate a coach in this way, because of its non-bilingualism is also a lack of respect for him and the rest of Canada. Yes, a unilingual French can not be at the helm in Toronto, for the sole reason that English is the language of the buisiness any-where in the world. This is despite our love for the French, we must accept it. In short, a good coach is the priority. If your child was fluently bilingual and that he had to choose a teacher in any field. Did you choose not the best, English or French. The players also deserve the best coach because the fans deserve the victories (and not a coach English or French as you think everyone, no matter I’m sure fans do not want that victory).
      Also, you agree in your article, you said you were able to accept an English coach to the extent that it would be a superstar. Where is the problem? If now any good coach is bilingual in the scope of the CH, why not give a chance to Cunnyworth?
      In conclusion, I would say that your article is useless and degrading to the head coach of Canadians. In addition, it is only by interim, I do not see the point of making a drama and upset all Quebecers for a history of language, the CH will hire a bilingual at the end of the season . So no need to shout above all the market Cunnyworth will be fired! But this is probably your job, looking for lice where there is none, to upset the public by tickets which deals more with politics than sports. It’s very unfortunate that sports journalists are more interested in a history of language as the team’s success. Be the model, millions of people you read every day about more sports!
      Thank you for reading and in good English as Carey Price said: CHILL OUT! It’s just a sport, the sport is supposed to unite us, not create controversy like this.
      Good day! Vive le Quebec and GO HABS GO!”


      Welcome to the newer NHL: The National Headshot League.

  48. You know I really love the idea of cities, or areas having as many people from that area as possible on the team. As a Quebecker I like having a Louis Leblanc or even a Darche on the team, cause they’re local boys. But the only problem is that pro teams don’t operate with that mentality, Montreal included, and when you limit the pool of applicants for a position you run the risk of losing the best possible man for the job. If you hire an Anglo in Quebec he should probably try to pick up the language, but how can you eliminate the majority of possible coaches and not see it as being a move that will hurt the club?


  49. doogie says:

    Habs are enjoying a lovely evening in a Chicago hotel, relaxing and gearing up for the game tomorrow; all the while, the Hawks are in tough playing the pesky Penguins in the eastern time zone. Then a 1.5 hr flight home to Chicago – back to central time (gain an hour) and snug in their beds by 2am.

    I call it a “schedule loss” for the Hawks. Now all the Habs have to do is play extra hard and work their butts off. Help out Budaj and a possible W. Call your bookie!

    * * * * * * *

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

  50. fun police says:

    i’m fully bilingual. grew up in a french family in norther ontario. we may not be quebec french, but none the less, i consider myself fluent in both official languages. For better or worse, the habs have had a french speaking coach for the last decade. Mr. molson has made it clear that the next coach will be bilingual. In the meantime we have an interim coach who is bridging the gap until a new GM picks his favourite french canadian coach is hired. The french media is embarrassing itself.
    throughout history, culture has been used as an excuse to be a bigot. the canadiens have a positive track record in protecting the french heritage of the game, but the hate and venom on display right now has nothing to do with heritage. The media can talk about social responsibility all they want, unfortunately their anger is speaking louder than their words.

    • SPATS says:

      Well said. You’re Claude Giroux french eh? Not that most quebecois would realize he’s from Hearst Ontario. They’d embrace him quicker than they embraced me… I’m a born quebecois with a french last name and english first name. I got out after the 95 referendumb. A co worker called me a traitor to his cause because of my last name. Our company was split and on the day of the fed rally at place du canada, he saw me heading out with the other more obvious members from the “no” side. Unfortunate, because up until that moment, we got along famously. Then he confronted me and showed his hand and I realized he was drinking the Qool Aid. I got laid off a few weeks later and decided (like most free agents) to take the opportunity to pursue a better offer outta town. Never regretted it. Don’t have to deal with snow or separatistes here in beautiful Victoria BC


  51. Pucknut says:

    RC has accepted an interim coaching job in the toughest market in the NHL. From the minute it was announced, this guy has been critisized & scrutinized. All of this coming after he proclaimed his pride at being named “INTERIM” coach for this storied franchise.

    What the “PLAYERS” need to do now is play their collective F’n asses off every game, like PROFESSIONALS, to take some of the heat off of RC who is acting every bit the professional in this situation.

    Shame on them; if they don’t

  52. ProHabs says:

    You would think that if the players had any pride, they would bust their a$$e$ to win one for Cunneyworth to relieve some of the heat from him.

    Also, if this management had any vision at all, they would have never let Boucher go. Then there wouldn’t be any issues with the coach. But instead of thinking 1 or 2 years down the line, they think of bandage solutions.

    • foghorn11 says:

      come on the only times the habs have had anyy sucess it hasnt been with a french coach toe blake dick irvin scotty bowman bring on the irishman paqddy roy

      t lett

    • kakey says:

      Hypothetically, if Boucher, as a Habs’ coach, has the exact same record as he had since last season with Tampa (2010-2011: 5th in the east, conference final exit. 2011-2012, currently 13th in the east), I would suppose that everyone will jump on him now for having a bad sophomore year, and if PG is as trigger happy as now, I dare hope that he will be given a fair chance to continue. If not, he’ll be another Julien, Therrien, Vignault, (Francophone) coaches that we churned out to the benefit for the rest of the league.

    • Pucknut says:

      Sorry Pro, we were thinking the same thing. Absolutely right

  53. kakey says:

    When will the white jerseys make a come back as the home jersey?

  54. pierre lapuck says:

    I grew up out west and now live in Toronto. I’m 61 years old, I have my H.S. French and the little I’ve garnered as I have aged. I don’t need to speak French to be a Habs fan but I think I understand what it means and why it so important to Quebecers. So; if Cunneyworth is the guy he better learn French if not Bonjour Patrick.

  55. Tis Himself says:

    I think it’s time we all throw in the towel on trying to find a coach that speaks French, face the real problem with the squad and get a skipper who understands Calculus!

  56. kakey says:

    Just noticed that we have Mike Cammalleri, P.K. Subban, Chris Campoli, Michael Blunden, and coach Randy Cunneyworth all originally from the GTA, more than the Leafs, whose only local player is Nazem Kadri. Plus we have former Leafs Kaberle and Gill.

    The Leafs have mostly prairie boys.

  57. WestHab says:

    I have not seen Timo through all this . Has he finally crossed over?

  58. I’m beginning to feel like a second class fan…after all, I’m from Newfoundland and I can’t speak french very well…I’m sure in the eyes of Le Journal de Montreal I’m not worthy of being an Habs fan.


  59. Izzy says:

    Just as soon as ignorance goes to 40$ a barrel, I want the drilling rights to Francois Gagnons head….

    After Emelin hits you, you get coloring books for christmas……

  60. nellis13 says:

    I’m pretty sure if we won the last 2 games this wouldn’t be nearly as big of an issue. I’m also pretty sure if we got a french coach and went on a losing streak a lot of the
    same people bitching now would still be bitching – and yes, some of them would be on the other side of the argument. the more we lose the worse the is going to get

  61. HabinBurlington says:

    Not sure it will go over well with the female fan base John.


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