I don’t buy the argument that we can’t criticize a player. Sure, it shouldn’t get personal but he’s been a player in Montreal for how long now? 10 years? He knew the market and he had to know that such a massive contract was only going to intensify the spotlight on him. I’m not saying it’s okay to rake him over the coals and ridicule him but he’s handsomely paid to do a job and right now he’s doing it poorly. People pay a lot of money to see him play and, IMO, they’re entitled to call him out for subpar performances.
I wouldn’t be surprised if part of that ridiculous ask was to compensate for the rabid fans/media and the flak he know he was likely to get over the course of the contract.
Regardless, it is what it is. Has he been a stand up guy and owned his shortcomings? Absolutely. But he doesn’t get a free pass. Nor should he. Nor should any player. If you can’t handle the criticism that comes with playing in a professional league, get out of your contract and join a beer league.