As the Montreal Canadiens celebrate their 100th anniversary season they have decided to remedy a few ailments that have afflicted the team for some time now.
Canadiens’ management has decided to correct a few oversights that fans had grown weary of over the years. In preparing for the 100th season celebrations, the team reconciled with former superstars previously banned from the Habs Kingdom, retired a flurry of jerseys that had long merited their rightful ascent to the rafters, and constructed the ever missing Canadiens shrine where finally fans will publicly worship their heroes and rub the feet of statues the team has commissioned for this Centennial Plaza. And finally, in what the team’s administration is calling the single most important move in this 100th season, the Canadiens will be launching a lawsuit against goaltender Carey Price for keeping a portrait of Garth Brooks on his goalie mask.
The team has announced that the trial of the Century Season will proceed on January 15th, before the puck is dropped against the Nashville Predators that insisted on being there through this ordeal in order pledge their support to a young Price who, incredibly, has displayed little shame in manifesting his undying love for country music.
“With Garth Brooks’ mug off the face of our franchise, we feel we can lift the fans’ burden who feel compelled to cheer for a goalie they love but who betrays them by taking a public liking to terrible terrible music” Canadiens’ owner George Gillette announced at a press conference to disclose the team’s decision to take legal action. “How can we impose that kind of dilemma on our loyal fans? I mean they love Price, they love the kid, but come on, you can’t paint Garth Brooks on your mask in Montreal with one hand and hold the Stanley Cup with the other. The kid’s gotta choose. It’s Garth Brooks or it’s us. Basically, we’re leaving it up to the courts, they’re better equipped than we are to handle these situations. Whatever the case, we’re not backing down.”
Team president Pierre Boivin told the media that “this country joke, with that clown country singer on his mask, it has to stop. It’s costing us in so many ways. Our fan base is eroding. The players aren’t taking him seriously. I mean, I won’t say who, I won’t say the player’s name, but Alex Kovalev told me that he’s scared out there on the ice, he just feels like nobody’s in the crease. He’s got no confidence in the kid. Honestly, I can’t blame him, I mean, it’s Garth Brooks on that mask, you know, not the first guy you want the opponent to be staring at for any measure of intimidation. Why not paint the Olsen twins while you’re at it.”
Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau told reporters that there was still time to settle this case out of court and avoid a full blown trial. “The kid can be flexible, you know, find a way to look like you’ve got hockey on your mind when you put on that mask. To me, Price could put on a Donald Duck mask and it would have the same impact on a game. One of those huge Disney on Ice ones, that enormous white head with the huge yellow beak. What message are you sending with Garth Brooks? You’re laughing at tradition, you’re admitting to loving really bad music. I mean, it’s a double-whammy: Garth Brooks has nothing to do with the Canadiens and he’s the least talented musician I’ve ever heard. It’s a lose-lose situation.”
GM Bob Gainey offered this thought on the upcoming trial. “It’s very sad and of course it hurts the organization, but you know who loses in the end? The fans, that’s who. First, they recognize good music here in Montreal when they hear it. You got a picture of Peter Gabriel on that mask instead of Garth Brooks and I don’t think we’re in court right now. Personally, I’d be thrilled if the kid put Kanye up there, I mean that guy’s the bomb. But Carey won’t listen to anybody. He doesn’t care that the team’s tradition means something and that country music might very well be the worst form of human expression known to man. The judges will be sensitive to that.”
Long time Canadiens’ ambassador Jean Béliveau believes the team will find vindication through the judicial process. “That Garth fellow is coming down. It’s just not proper form. You want to paint Shania Twain in the Habs jersey, at least you’re showing a certain degree of consideration, even though you are acknowledging that you like country music which has always felt like an army of monkeys jumping on my eardrums, and violently ripping them to pieces. If he’s not showing any respect for this team’s enormous tradition, he’s not even thinking about his own legacy. What if he makes it into Centennial Plaza one day? What’s that statue going to look like? Who’s going to pay tribute to a guy with a Garth Brooks face chiseled on the side of his mask? It’s preposterous.”
Boivin went on to say that they had given Price several options, all of which the goalie turned down. “When we saw how attached Carey was to Garth Brooks, we said ok, we have to be flexible. We told him fine, Carey, keep Garth Brooks, but just make him look like a hockey player. Lose Brooks’ cowboy hat and give him a helmet, or keep the cowboy hat, but cover his face with a mean hockey mask. Basically, we felt we had put a strong proposal on the table when we offered to settle the dispute for a drawing of Garth Brooks wearing that Gerry Cheevers mask. It went down to the wire, but talks broke off at around 3am last night. We’re here now and it’s a sad thing.”
In his defense, a daring Price retaliated by reaffirming his commitment to Garth Brooks. “Anybody who can look at this guy, the pearly white smile, the hat, the pudgy cheeks, those relaxed fit jeans, the horse head bolo tie, and that music, the sound of that music, and not feel pumped, to me, that person’s not human. Nothing can motivate someone like that. I look at my mask and I can visualize the line dancing, those crazy country beats, and Garth pouring his heart out, and it just makes me want to cry. But I channel all that emotion before a game. I stare at that painting of Garth Brooks for like 45 minutes and then I feel like a caged lion. And knowing he’s right there on the ice with me, right there on my mask, it’s tremendous. I feel like he’s singing to me all game long, and I draw so much energy from it, from that imaginary Garth Brooks concert playing in my head. It fills my heart, my achy breaky heart. I just don’t think you understand.”
No word on whether the team will take similar action to have the George Strait portrait removed from the other side of Price’s mask. “Everything in due course”, a defiant Gillette told the media. “We’re going to tackle this mask business carefully, one crappy country music singer at a time”.