Savard’s interest flagging?

In an exclusive interview with Jean-François Bégin of La Presse, Serge Savard indicates he is not as interested in buying the Canadiens as he was before the Molson family got into the hunt.

Savard, a Hall of Fame defenceman and former general manager of the team, told Bégin that he was not prepared to compete against the financial might of the Molsons, a family he has known well since his playing days.

Savard has been linked with a bid by BCE, which would buy the Canadiens in order to protect its Bell Centre naming rights and its partial ownership of RDS.

The French sports network is threatened by the prospect of Quebecor buying the Canadiens and seeking a licence for a new specialty network along the lines of Leafs TV in Ontario. This eventuality would cripple RDS.

Quebecor boss Pierre Karl Péladeau, in a speech to a Quebec business group on Tuesday, criticized Bob Gainey for hiring Jacques Martin while the Canadiens’ ownership situation is in flux.

Péladeau’s intemperate remarks – second-guessing a hockey man, even before he owns the team  – are seen as a harbinger of the kind of meddling we can expect if the Canadiens ever become part of the Quebecor colossus, which includes the TVA television network, Videotron cable and the scab Journal de Montréal, where a staff that includes some of the best hockey writers in the business has been locked out since January.

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