Larry-Launstein-Jr

State Of The Habs 2018-19

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2 hours ago, Larry-Launstein-Jr said:

Ken Dryden said it best when he said in his book "The Game," about the choice the Canadiens have - do they want to win or stay French-Canadian? And this was all the way back to 1984!  This is not meant to offend the French Canadian members of this board - this is what Dryden actually said.

Common sense over politics. I like it. ;)

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2 hours ago, Larry-Launstein-Jr said:

Ken Dryden said it best when he said in his book "The Game," about the choice the Canadiens have - do they want to win or stay French-Canadian? And this was all the way back to 1984!  This is not meant to offend the French Canadian members of this board - this is what Dryden actually said.

And it's true. It has nothing to do with being French, it has everything to do with purposely limiting you candidate pool and over-valuing certain commodities because of language rather than ability. Imagine we changed Francophone for something else: German, black, Western Canadian, guys with last names that start with M, etc. Sure, there might be some decent candidates in each of those pools, but there's no way you can build as good a team as a squad that's open to accepting everyone. To boot, it's not even like we have a monopoly on Francophones. It's not like we can say Giroux and Bergeron and Vlasic and Luongo and Fleury all belong to us by default. Each of those guys can choose where they want to go. So to say to yourself, we want a French GM and French coach and 6 French players and so on, it's purposely handicapping your opportunity to select the best folks for the job. Shame on Molson for buying into this. Look where it's gotten us.

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The Habs are going to have a French-speaking coach and GM. That's all there is to it. It's not even "politics" (even though I believe the "politics" of representation for French Canadians in one of the few big French-Canadian institutions in a highly Anglophone Canadian business climate is more important than a sports team's success (and I also don't believe it's hampering the team)). It's just business, the Habs have by far the biggest francophone fanbase of any hockey team in the world and it is important the coach and GM be able to function in a fan/media relations capacity as well.  

Hiring Claude Julien, or Dominique Ducharme, or Stephane Waite, or hypothetically Julien Brisebois isn't the problem, it's hiring Michel Therrien and (not firing) Marc Bergevin and JJ Daigneault. Hiring a non-Francophone management team is not going to be some panacea for all the Habs' problems. Do we believe that if the Habs got anglophone management it would be Mike Babcock and Stan Bowman? We'd get Randy Carlyle and Jim Benning. The problem is the Habs have the Francophone versions of those two, not that MB and Julien are Francophones. The common refrain is "what about Scotty Bowman?" Yeah, Scotty Bowman from Verdun who speaks fluent French. 

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18 hours ago, Larry-Launstein-Jr said:

Ken Dryden said it best when he said in his book "The Game," about the choice the Canadiens have - do they want to win or stay French-Canadian? And this was all the way back to 1984!  This is not meant to offend the French Canadian members of this board - this is what Dryden actually said.

I don’t get the sense that on the ice is about being French Canadian from management.  If there was a player bias toward Quebec players, then why didn’t they swing a deal with the Islanders and grab Veleno and Beaudoin?  There’s your hometown centre/left d combo you lack.  Or better yet, package 2 of your 2nd rounders for a late 1st to get Veleno.  Watch for Detroit this season or next.  They raided the Q, to jumpstart their rebuild.

Bergevin did the right thing by not spending multiple assets on Ryan O’Rielly.  He added to his assets this off season.  I still think Bergevin is going to swing it so that Kotkaniemi stays.  He’s the only thing we have close to a #1 centre.  I also think guys like William Bitten, Lucas Vjedimo and Hayden Verbeek could be this year’s Victor Mete.

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Ryan Poehling will be a far better center than Kotkaniemi is.  With Poehling a legit center we should have drafted Zadina a hands down better offensive player.  Regardless if we are enetering a rebuild or not you take the best player available.  And you let the player play the position he is ment for, not draft a Center and put him on wing, Gally will excel in Pheonix because out poor coaching and GM wouldn't play him at center.

 

Our coach and GM is a dinosaur, the game is no longer about Grit it's about skill.

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3 minutes ago, 26NCounting said:

Ryan Poehling will be a far better center than Kotkaniemi is.

 

It's certainly possible but not sure why you'd believe that right now. When Poehling was Kotkaniemi's age he had 13 points in 35 games in college. Kotkaniemi just had 29 points in 57 games in a high-end professional league. Poehling had a big jump in his draft + 1 season but that's still only 31 points in college which is far less impressive than 29P in the 4th best pro league in the world even without considering age. I like Poehling a lot but he's not in the same class of prospect as Kotkaniemi IMO. 

 

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13 minutes ago, 26NCounting said:

Ryan Poehling will be a far better center than Kotkaniemi is. 

Thats a pretty bold statement considering that Kotkaniemi at age 17 has better metrics than every other finn who played in the same leauge as his in his draft year. He has better numbers at 17 than Patrik Laine, Sebastian Aho, Jesse Puljujarvi, Mikko Rantanen and Rasmus Kupari.   

Poehling has made some big strides this year & i think he's going to be great but Kotkaniemi still projects higher - by a fair bit - at this stage. Lets see where they are both at in a year. 

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8 minutes ago, maas_art said:

Thats a pretty bold statement considering that Kotkaniemi at age 17 has better metrics than every other finn who played in the same leauge as his in his draft year. He has better numbers at 17 than Patrik Laine, Sebastian Aho, Jesse Puljujarvi, Mikko Rantanen and Rasmus Kupari.   

Poehling has made some big strides this year & i think he's going to be great but Kotkaniemi still projects higher - by a fair bit - at this stage. Lets see where they are both at in a year. 

That’s some pretty elite company he’s beating.  I love both centres and hope we develop them right ( but like my Grampy Cloutier always said: “ You can hope in one hand and poop in the other and see which gets fuller first.”).  I also hope we hang onto our prospects but Bergevin doesn’t have a proven record of developing through the draft.

Getting back to the: Poehling is better, statement, I prefer to see both as our future 1/2 punch down the middle with Jake Evans in the 3 spot.  Kotkaniemi is our clear cut number one centre of the future.  I still think he makes the team out of camp.  But we’ll see.

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44 minutes ago, East_Coast_Juggalo_13 said:

I love both centres and hope we develop them right

The worry that i have is that I lack faith in our development & assessment team.  Now, maybe the additions this summer will help but its tricky with a young player to know where he is best suited to develop.   Its incredibly unlikely, but remotely possible, that Poehling or Kotkaniemi come to camp and show that they have nothing else to learn in any league other than the NHL.  So do you send them back just because its the 'thing to do?'   Or, like Mete last year, do you say "this is the place they learn and develop" and let them play.  

Always a tough call. If i had more faith, id be a lot happier.    I am 95% sure neither starts the year on our roster, although Im also 80-90% sure both want to & will do everything they can to show they deserve to stay. 

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I just have the faith is Poehling, have watched him play and the kids hockey IQ is huge.  He will be a better 2 way center and with a Zadina caliber player on the wing would have been a very nice line.

 

 

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20 hours ago, Habs=stanleycup said:

Common sense over politics. I like it. ;)

Common sense is why management won't do the right thing.  

 

 

 

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Here we are talking about the Canadiens rebuild. Let's not forget how long it took Las Vegas to build a Stanley Cup finalist. Somebody is doing something right with that team.

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29 minutes ago, Larry-Launstein-Jr said:

Here we are talking about the Canadiens rebuild. Let's not forget how long it took Las Vegas to build a Stanley Cup finalist. Somebody is doing something right with that team.

They were given that team!

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57 minutes ago, FireHabs said:

They were given that team!

Nobody expected them to get as far as they did. I don't think it was entirely by chance, but let's remember, these guys were players their old teams did not want.

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8 hours ago, Noob616 said:

The Habs are going to have a French-speaking coach and GM. That's all there is to it. It's not even "politics" (even though I believe the "politics" of representation for French Canadians in one of the few big French-Canadian institutions in a highly Anglophone Canadian business climate is more important than a sports team's success (and I also don't believe it's hampering the team)). It's just business, the Habs have by far the biggest francophone fanbase of any hockey team in the world and it is important the coach and GM be able to function in a fan/media relations capacity as well.  

Hiring Claude Julien, or Dominique Ducharme, or Stephane Waite, or hypothetically Julien Brisebois isn't the problem, it's hiring Michel Therrien and (not firing) Marc Bergevin and JJ Daigneault. Hiring a non-Francophone management team is not going to be some panacea for all the Habs' problems. Do we believe that if the Habs got anglophone management it would be Mike Babcock and Stan Bowman? We'd get Randy Carlyle and Jim Benning. The problem is the Habs have the Francophone versions of those two, not that MB and Julien are Francophones. The common refrain is "what about Scotty Bowman?" Yeah, Scotty Bowman from Verdun who speaks fluent French. 

Sorry, but I disagree. The problem starts with the fact the team has excluded the likes of Babcock, Robinson, Jim Nill, Trotz, Quenneville, and so on before they even started the search. The pool of Francophone candidates is a subset of the total pool of coaching candidates, so no matter how you cut it, the Habs have limited the number of options they have before even interviewing anyone. Look at what we've ended up with in recent years: Tremblay, Carbonneau, Therrien, etc. We even had to circle back to Therrien twice because we couldn't find anyone else. So sure, you find a Julien or a Martin every so often, but a lot of the time, you're settling for a guy who's not the best available. Why not just stack the odds in your favor?

I don't buy the business argument either. Even if you put aside Bowman, no one complained about Dick Irvin Sr. winning Cups. No one complained about captain Kirk Muller hoisting the Cup. No one complained about Koivu or Pacioretty or Price not speaking French. Seems to me like people shut up about language issues when we're winning. When we lose, that's when the ugly politics rear their faces. The fact is that the Habs do not need to have Francophones in key positions to run a business. They need to have Francophone PR guys and they need to have Francophone ticket sales people and concession stand operators. I get that. But the players speak to the media just as often as the coach, and no one has made a stink about not being able to understand Shea Weber or PK Subban or Andrei Markov. What's the difference with the coach or GM? It's a made up, imaginary line that certain political pundits drew in the sand and made a stand on. Nothing more. The Habs have a ton of cash and they can easily afford translators for press conferences, not to mention that the entire media are just about fluently bilingual. I watch all the hockey games in French by personal choice and when they have Anglophone guests on, they translate. When the press conferences feature English bits, they translate or run subtitles. No one is quitting being a fan of the Habs because they didn't see the words coming directly out of the coach's mouth. If they do, they're probably not a real fan. Real fans want wins and Cups and to see talent. If a guy speaks only Russian or Polish or German but kills it on the ice, I couldn't give a damn and the same goes for my coach and GM. If they get the job done, then language just doesn't matter.

For me, I hated Therrien as a coach and I more or less like Julien, albeit there were things I liked about Therrien and things I hate about Julien. Nothing's ever fully black and white. If we had Carlyle or Benning, I'd hate having them too, just as I'd hate having Hartley or Roy. It has nothing to do with language, it has to do with how good the guy is at their job. No one is suggesting we go out and hire bad Anglophones or Russians. We're simply saying that the opportunity to find the best talent should be opened up to everyone equally. In a cap world where the Habs have no legitimate spending advantage (and perhaps a tax disadvantage) over other teams and where every little thing matters to separate yourself from the pack, you can't set yourself back with a stupid language issue. It's inane, and I'd argue it's actually bad business to continue to hire people who are inadequate at their jobs and make the product you're selling inferior.

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Geoff Molson, end of season press conference, April 9th:
“The real message is we weren’t good enough and we have to get better. And changes are coming so we can get better.
… Marc and I are completely aligned on this. The time is now.”

 

Geoff Molson, July 9th.

“I’m excited about the future, Is it going to be this year? I have no idea. But I’m excited about the future and I sincerely believe that. And some of the players we have now in our pipeline give me reason to believe that. The ducks need to align in order to get to the ultimate goal and last year, they didn’t. None of them did. We’re starting again in September and there have been some changes. I don’t agree with you when you say we haven’t made any changes. There’s been some very positive changes, I believe, and ones that are going to help us as a team, but also from a coaching perspective.”

“I think what I said is we’re going to make some changes and we’re going to adjust our approach so we are better,” Molson said. “I never said ‘now.’ I said ‘we are better period, now and in the long term’ … we’re trying our best. We’re trying to put the best possible team forward, but at the same time we’re not mortgaging the future to do that. The time is now to make changes and we’ve made some and there may be more coming.”



Uh.... 

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11 minutes ago, maas_art said:

Geoff Molson, end of season press conference, April 9th:
“The real message is we weren’t good enough and we have to get better. And changes are coming so we can get better.
… Marc and I are completely aligned on this. The time is now.”

 

Geoff Molson, July 9th.

“I’m excited about the future, Is it going to be this year? I have no idea. But I’m excited about the future and I sincerely believe that. And some of the players we have now in our pipeline give me reason to believe that. The ducks need to align in order to get to the ultimate goal and last year, they didn’t. None of them did. We’re starting again in September and there have been some changes. I don’t agree with you when you say we haven’t made any changes. There’s been some very positive changes, I believe, and ones that are going to help us as a team, but also from a coaching perspective.”

“I think what I said is we’re going to make some changes and we’re going to adjust our approach so we are better,” Molson said. “I never said ‘now.’ I said ‘we are better period, now and in the long term’ … we’re trying our best. We’re trying to put the best possible team forward, but at the same time we’re not mortgaging the future to do that. The time is now to make changes and we’ve made some and there may be more coming.”



Uh.... 

Spoken like a true politician. Full of lies, deceit and contradictions. No wonder he and MB are foxhole buddies. It's them against the fans basically.

Disgraceful.

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29 minutes ago, maas_art said:

Geoff Molson, end of season press conference, April 9th:
“The real message is we weren’t good enough and we have to get better. And changes are coming so we can get better.
… Marc and I are completely aligned on this. The time is now.”

 

Geoff Molson, July 9th.

“I’m excited about the future, Is it going to be this year? I have no idea. But I’m excited about the future and I sincerely believe that. And some of the players we have now in our pipeline give me reason to believe that. The ducks need to align in order to get to the ultimate goal and last year, they didn’t. None of them did. We’re starting again in September and there have been some changes. I don’t agree with you when you say we haven’t made any changes. There’s been some very positive changes, I believe, and ones that are going to help us as a team, but also from a coaching perspective.”

“I think what I said is we’re going to make some changes and we’re going to adjust our approach so we are better,” Molson said. “I never said ‘now.’ I said ‘we are better period, now and in the long term’ … we’re trying our best. We’re trying to put the best possible team forward, but at the same time we’re not mortgaging the future to do that. The time is now to make changes and we’ve made some and there may be more coming.”



Uh.... 

If you want to reset/rebuild, fine. Take 2 years to build a winner. But don't come out and preach transparency and then lie to us yet again. Admit that you're bad, tell us what you're going to do to fix it, and for Pete's sake, fire the GM who put you in this mess.

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11 hours ago, 26NCounting said:

Ryan Poehling will be a far better center than Kotkaniemi is.  With Poehling a legit center we should have drafted Zadina a hands down better offensive player.  Regardless if we are enetering a rebuild or not you take the best player available.  And you let the player play the position he is ment for, not draft a Center and put him on wing, Gally will excel in Pheonix because out poor coaching and GM wouldn't play him at center.

 

Our coach and GM is a dinosaur, the game is no longer about Grit it's about skill.

Kotkaniemi has the potential to be our #1 center.  Poehling has the potential to be a very good 2C with enough talent to be 1C if needed.     Kotkaniemi has already shown more talent at 17 than Poehling has at 19

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5 hours ago, Larry-Launstein-Jr said:

Nobody expected them to get as far as they did. I don't think it was entirely by chance, but let's remember, these guys were players their old teams did not want.

Yes, but I'm going to guess the NHL definitely wanted them in the Final.       NHL, NFL, NBA are more entertainment than sport these days and it having watched the Vegas games ... well my wacky opinion is they were definitely helped along all season.

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Knowing MB they will both be wingers in 2 years, guaranteed

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7 hours ago, HabsAlways said:

Yes, but I'm going to guess the NHL definitely wanted them in the Final.       NHL, NFL, NBA are more entertainment than sport these days and it having watched the Vegas games ... well my wacky opinion is they were definitely helped along all season.

I think they helped themselves along for the most part. I give them credit ... they made a lot of their own breaks. Did the NHL want them to succeed? Yes. Did the league help them along? I'm not so sure.

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15 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

Sorry, but I disagree. The problem starts with the fact the team has excluded the likes of Babcock, Robinson, Jim Nill, Trotz, Quenneville, and so on before they even started the search. The pool of Francophone candidates is a subset of the total pool of coaching candidates, so no matter how you cut it, the Habs have limited the number of options they have before even interviewing anyone. Look at what we've ended up with in recent years: Tremblay, Carbonneau, Therrien, etc. We even had to circle back to Therrien twice because we couldn't find anyone else. So sure, you find a Julien or a Martin every so often, but a lot of the time, you're settling for a guy who's not the best available. Why not just stack the odds in your favor?

 

I'm just not that convinced that the pool of competent coaches is so small that the Francophone thing is inherently an issue. Obviously if the Habs only signed Francophone players it would be nearly impossible to be competitive, but Claude Julien stacks up against the best coaches in the league, and Guy Boucher is a competent middle of the road coach who's comparable to what most teams with average coaching have. As much as people ragged on Jacques Martin he is a very good coach as well, and he immediately figured out what kind of player PK Subban was and used him as a top pair guy. Alain Vigneault too, I think he's lost some of his lustre lately but he's still a very good coach who got 100 point seasons of out old and mediocre Rangers teams. 

What I think is the Habs need to commit to using development leagues as a pipeline for coaches instead of hiring guys like Sylvain Lefebvre who have little shot at becoming NHL coaches. Guy Boucher is one example, although I don't blame them for not replacing Martin with him in 2010. To their credit they seem to be on this path now, they've hired Ducharme as an assistant and Bouchard as the AHL coach, and there's rumblings they're going to buy an ECHL team and move it to Trois Rivieres in the next couple seasons and presumably they'd be looking for coaches out of the QMJHL for that team as well. There needs to be succession plans in place and it's pretty obvious that's the intention with Ducharme and/or Bouchard. 

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They need to have Francophone PR guys and they need to have Francophone ticket sales people and concession stand operators. I get that. But the players speak to the media just as often as the coach,

 

The players in totality but not as individuals, and they're also usually asked much less important questions. The coach is a singular figure that effectively functions as a club spokesperson for the most important company in Quebec. I do not believe translating is enough in that situation. If the Habs' sole jurisdiction was Montreal I'd agree but the team is followed by (and arguably representative of) people from the whole province and outside of Montreal it's a small portion of people who speak English, and in my opinion it's important the coach in that role speaks French. They don't need to be Quebecois but I think the language is important. Julien is from Ottawa, Bowman was an Anglo-Montealer, Bob Hartley is a Francophone, French media has been pining for Giroux and Toews as Francophone stars, etc.

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and no one has made a stink about not being able to understand Shea Weber or PK Subban or Andrei Markov. What's the difference with the coach or GM? It's a made up, imaginary line that certain political pundits drew in the sand and made a stand on.

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For me the difference is it would be virtually impossible to have a predominantly Francophone team and be successful, but I'm not convinced the marginal value between Claude Julien and Mike Babcock or the marginal difference between Julien Brisebois and Jason Botterill or whoever is an issue. Especially when these days team front offices are so much more collaborative with specialist scouts in each region and player development coaches etc etc, the person with the "GM" title doesn't even necessarily need to be the person pulling the strings. 

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Nothing more. The Habs have a ton of cash and they can easily afford translators for press conferences, not to mention that the entire media are just about fluently bilingual. I watch all the hockey games in French by personal choice and when they have Anglophone guests on, they translate. When the press conferences feature English bits, they translate or run subtitles. No one is quitting being a fan of the Habs because they didn't see the words coming directly out of the coach's mouth. If they do, they're probably not a real fan. Real fans want wins and Cups and to see talent. If a guy speaks only Russian or Polish or German but kills it on the ice, I couldn't give a damn and the same goes for my coach and GM. If they get the job done, then language just doesn't matter.

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In principle, I agree with you but it's very easy for me to say that because I could follow any of 30 NHL teams, MLB teams, NBA teams, NFL teams, or basically any other sports team in Canada and have a coach that's generally representative of me. It wouldn't bother me because it isn't political for me as an Anglophone Canadian to have a Russian speaking coach of the Habs since it's not representative of anything other than a hockey team. I know that as a white Anglophone Canadian with a very weak regional Maritimes accent my language or speech will basically never be a hindrance to anything in my professional career. If I were a Francophone in Val d'Or I don't know that losing probably the most notable Francophone public figure outside of Trudeau/Macron would be something I'd just brush off. I agree, I imagine most Habs fans would get over it if the team was winning cups with Mikhail Babkov from St. Petersburg as head coach, but I don't think translating press conferences and interviews is ideal. I watch a lot of the press conferences and the translations tend to lack a lot of the nuance that comes first in the French parts, even for someone like Julien who is as comfortable in French and English. For Bergevin who's not as comfortable in English a lot of stuff gets lost in translation. 

Sports are political. They're always political, always have been, and always will be deeply political. Some of the most memorable moments in Habs history are Richard's suspension, Patrick Roy leading an underdog to a cup, and dynasties full of Francophone superstars in a country that did its best to suppress and marginalize Francophones. The most famous hockey memories overall too, Miracle on Ice, 1972, 2010 Olympics, Those games and Habs moments all took on deeper importance due to political implications. When Habs fans booed the American anthem after overworked US pilots on amphetamines bombed Canadian soldiers in a deeply unpopular war (and when the US was about to start another ghoulish war) that was political. When Bruins fans chanted "USA" at the Habs because their Bergeron and Julien led Bruins were beating the Habs with more American players, that was political. The Habs hiring a Francophone coach and GM is political too, and I have no problem with someone disagreeing with the decision, but I personally agree with it and think it's overblown as an issue. I just don't think it's fair to brush it off as "politics' because the whole institution of professional sports and hockey has always been deeply political and always will be. 

The easy counter-argument to my position is that FC Barcelona doesn't have a Catalan coach, and Catalonia is a roughly analogous minority within Spain, and arguably the issues run even deeper considering the Spanish civil war, yet their coach is from the other side of Spain and doesn't speak Catalan. It's not quite the same because Spanish and Catalan are so similar, but in terms of the politics Catalonia and Quebec are very similar regional identities within a larger nation with concerning histories of mistreating them. That's probably proof of concept that the Habs could hire a non-Francophone coach and be fine, but I guess I'd split hairs with the language because 99% of people in Barcelona would also speak Spanish while English is a wholly different language that isn't mutually intelligible. 

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In a cap world where the Habs have no legitimate spending advantage (and perhaps a tax disadvantage) over other teams and where every little thing matters to separate yourself from the pack, you can't set yourself back with a stupid language issue. It's inane, and I'd argue it's actually bad business to continue to hire people who are inadequate at their jobs and make the product you're selling inferior.

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I guess agree to disagree then. I don't believe the language thing is a stupid issue, nor do I think it's holding the team back. You could make the same argument about the Leafs and "Good Ontario Boys". They have Brown, Hyman, Kadri, Leivo, Marner, and Tavares as "Good Ontario Boys" and they're generally all well liked by fans. You could make the same argument about them having half their forward group from Ontario when proportionally it should be 3/12 or something, and how that wouldn't be smart because of how thin the NHL talent pool is. (Granted, I think many Leafs/Doug Ford fans wouldn't consider Kadri a "Good Ontario Boy", it's pretty obviously a dog whistle that applies to "John Tavares" and not "Nazem Kadri" for obvious reasons). But of course it isn't an issue, the issue with "Good Ontario Boys" is when they're David Clarkson or Dave Bolland, not Tavares or Marner. Same as how the Francophone stuff is an issue if it's Briere or Therrien, not Hudon or Ducharme. 

There's also an argument to be made that the Habs could do better by hiring Francophones because they're generally outside the old boys club and cronyism of Hockey Canada and the general "hockey men" community which tends to heavily skew Anglophone. Therrien is a counter to that but I think looking at guys like Vigneault, Julien, and Boucher who got their start with the Habs and went on to coach two of the biggest American franchises and an up and coming Tampa Bay team is perhaps an argument in favour of it. I guess I just look at Burns, Demers, Laperriere, Tremblay, Vigneault, Therrien, Julien, Gainey, Carbonneau, Martin, Therrien, Julien, and likely later Ducharme/Bouchard and have a hard time seeing that as a notably bad record compared to other teams. That's four very good coaches in that record plus Boucher who came through the Habs organization and has established himself as a godo coach. Is that list different than most other teams? I dunno. 

Edited by Noob616
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15 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

Sorry, but I disagree. The problem starts with the fact the team has excluded the likes of Babcock, Robinson, Jim Nill, Trotz, Quenneville, and so on before they even started the search. The pool of Francophone candidates is a subset of the total pool of coaching candidates, so no matter how you cut it, the Habs have limited the number of options they have before even interviewing anyone. Look at what we've ended up with in recent years: Tremblay, Carbonneau, Therrien, etc. We even had to circle back to Therrien twice because we couldn't find anyone else. So sure, you find a Julien or a Martin every so often, but a lot of the time, you're settling for a guy who's not the best available. Why not just stack the odds in your favor?

I don't buy the business argument either. Even if you put aside Bowman, no one complained about Dick Irvin Sr. winning Cups. No one complained about captain Kirk Muller hoisting the Cup. No one complained about Koivu or Pacioretty or Price not speaking French. Seems to me like people shut up about language issues when we're winning. When we lose, that's when the ugly politics rear their faces. The fact is that the Habs do not need to have Francophones in key positions to run a business. They need to have Francophone PR guys and they need to have Francophone ticket sales people and concession stand operators. I get that. But the players speak to the media just as often as the coach, and no one has made a stink about not being able to understand Shea Weber or PK Subban or Andrei Markov. What's the difference with the coach or GM? It's a made up, imaginary line that certain political pundits drew in the sand and made a stand on. Nothing more. The Habs have a ton of cash and they can easily afford translators for press conferences, not to mention that the entire media are just about fluently bilingual. I watch all the hockey games in French by personal choice and when they have Anglophone guests on, they translate. When the press conferences feature English bits, they translate or run subtitles. No one is quitting being a fan of the Habs because they didn't see the words coming directly out of the coach's mouth. If they do, they're probably not a real fan. Real fans want wins and Cups and to see talent. If a guy speaks only Russian or Polish or German but kills it on the ice, I couldn't give a damn and the same goes for my coach and GM. If they get the job done, then language just doesn't matter.

For me, I hated Therrien as a coach and I more or less like Julien, albeit there were things I liked about Therrien and things I hate about Julien. Nothing's ever fully black and white. If we had Carlyle or Benning, I'd hate having them too, just as I'd hate having Hartley or Roy. It has nothing to do with language, it has to do with how good the guy is at their job. No one is suggesting we go out and hire bad Anglophones or Russians. We're simply saying that the opportunity to find the best talent should be opened up to everyone equally. In a cap world where the Habs have no legitimate spending advantage (and perhaps a tax disadvantage) over other teams and where every little thing matters to separate yourself from the pack, you can't set yourself back with a stupid language issue. It's inane, and I'd argue it's actually bad business to continue to hire people who are inadequate at their jobs and make the product you're selling inferior.

This exactly!!! The francophone argument should be a thing of the past, hire the best dam people to run/coach the team.

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