Larry-Launstein-Jr

State Of The Habs 2018-19

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7 hours ago, 26NCounting said:

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

:6280:

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22 hours ago, Noob616 said:

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. 

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.

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. 

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. 

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. 

I don't disagree that there is a lot of politics embedded in sports, but I strongly disagree with having a French coach.

First of all, I think Babcock is a better coach than Julien.  You may say that's marginal.  But you know what, if the whole organization fills up with marginally inferior products at key positions all the way to the minors, it adds up.

Secondly, as Ted said, you're limiting your pool.  In this case it isn't even a Babcock/Julien comparison.  It's a Babcock/Therrien comparison.  And Babcock is WAY better than Therrien so the difference wasn't even marginal.  We artificially limited our selection process to a small fraction of the pool that when Babcock wasn't even considered (when he's shown at least minor interest no less).  At the time, Julien wasn't available, so we went with crap.  We're really lucky Julien became available, what if he didn't?  Right now we're not even sure Brisbois is available.

So that's that then?  Every time we select an inferior product?

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4 hours ago, Disillusioned1 said:

I don't disagree that there is a lot of politics embedded in sports, but I strongly disagree with having a French coach.

First of all, I think Babcock is a better coach than Julien.  You may say that's marginal.  But you know what, if the whole organization fills up with marginally inferior products at key positions all the way to the minors, it adds up.

Secondly, as Ted said, you're limiting your pool.  In this case it isn't even a Babcock/Julien comparison.  It's a Babcock/Therrien comparison.  And Babcock is WAY better than Therrien so the difference wasn't even marginal.  We artificially limited our selection process to a small fraction of the pool that when Babcock wasn't even considered (when he's shown at least minor interest no less).  At the time, Julien wasn't available, so we went with crap.  We're really lucky Julien became available, what if he didn't?  Right now we're not even sure Brisbois is available.

So that's that then?  Every time we select an inferior product?

I suspect if Babcock was interested he must have seen some promise in the team at that time. Today, I doubt he would even answer the phone if the Habs called.

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just imagine how different this team could be if the french 1st policy was never implemented

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FWIW, the Sporting News has the Habs rated as #30 in the league for this coming year. Sens are last.

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33 minutes ago, kinot-2 said:

FWIW, the Sporting News has the Habs rated as #30 in the league for this coming year. Sens are last.

This is a bad team - but not that bad.   I am sure Weber's injury plays a lot into their ranking but really, this team's fate will be pretty much 100% tied to which Carey Price comes to camp in October. 

If we get last year's then yes, were probably fighting for worst overall.  If we get Carey from the previous few seasons I think we are still in a playoff position when Weber comes back - obviously - with the footnote that MB doesnt make the roster worse with upcoming trades. 

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One thing is ask is this.  Is the French media still solidly behind Bergevin or are they beginning to believe he should be fired?  

 

 

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10 minutes ago, CANADIENS27 said:

One thing is ask is this.  Is the French media still solidly behind Bergevin or are they beginning to believe he should be fired?  

From what i can see, they are slowly starting to turn but yes, he is definitely still getting a lot of support from the French media.  Much moreso than the english media to be sure. 

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7 hours ago, Disillusioned1 said:

First of all, I think Babcock is a better coach than Julien.  You may say that's marginal.  But you know what, if the whole organization fills up with marginally inferior products at key positions all the way to the minors, it adds up.

 

I think under Bergevin there's definitely been a lot of bad management/staff choices but I don't think that's a language thing so much as cronyism and a "foxhole"/old boys club thing. We're not privy to all the information but from what we know it sounds like Vaughn Karpan and Rick Dudley had a lot of sway within the Habs front office, and now the AGMs are Timmins and Mellanby, and Timmins has held the 3rd most impactful (and arguably now 2nd most) position with the Habs for 15 years. They have two Francophone scouts for the QMJHL, and the rest of their scouts are local to the leagues/regions/European countries they're assigned to. The only positions where there seems to be a strict insistence on Francophones is coach and GM and the Habs My position isn't that Bergevin and Therrien are good and the Habs made smart management hires overall, but that the bad management decisions aren't a language issue and most of their management outside of MB aren't Francophones to begin with. 

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So that's that then?  Every time we select an inferior product?

I dunno, do we? Just looking at the past 20 years, Julien and Vigneault are consensus high-end coaches. I could buy an argument they're both a bit behind the game now in 2018. Martin was a good coach IMO, Carbonneau was OK, and Therrien was bad. Let's stick with the Babcock comparison, let's say Babcock is better than Julien. Are Ron WIlson and Paul Maurice better than Vigneault and Carbonneau? Is Carlyle better than Therrien? Is Pat Quinn better than Julien or Vigneault? I don't think I'd take that list of Leafs coaches over the Habs last 20 years of coaches. Stephane Waite is considered one of the best in his role, Ducharme and Bouchard were two of the top junior coaches this year, Julien is widely considered a top 5 coach, and for what's it's worth I think Bergevin was actually pretty solid and definitely above average until June 2016. Other than Carbonneau every Habs coach has gone on to have success with other NHL teams as well, and it's not as if they just plucked Carbonneau out of retirement to coach the Habs either. 

I agree that there's a risk with having to hire a Therrien because there's no successor available, and to the Habs credit they've brought in Bouchard and Ducharme who both have established themselves as top end junior coaches and are both potential successors as head coach in 3-5 years when the Habs want to move on from Julien. I assume they intended Boucher to be Martin's successor, but unfortunately, he got a head coaching offer in Tampa and obviously accepted it. Ducharme and Bouchard are encouraging hires, and I hope the rumours of the Habs buying an ECHL team to move it to Trois Rivieres are true, because an ECHL-AHL-NHL pipeline should be used to develop multiple coaching and management talents to ensure there are multiple potential successors to take on key roles for the Habs. 

I guess overall I just find it frustrating that the French language stuff is such a sticking point when hockey is such an insular old boys' club to begin with, and the French coaching and GM hires at least ensures the Habs are staying out of that pool of "Hockey Men". I am just highly skeptical that the best 31 NHL GM's in the world just happens to include 31 men, 30 North Americans, 17 former NHL players, and a dozen guys with famous hockey dads. The only real outsiders are probably Dubas and Chayka, and I guess you could say Lamoriello was an outsider when he first started but he's now an institution. It just seems really disingenuous to me to focus on the Habs hiring a French-speaking coach and GM as a huge problem while Rob Blake, Don Sweeney, Ron Hextall, Doug Wilson, and Steve Yzerman (and that's just off the top of my head) all got their start as GMs or AGMs for the teams they played for. 

Edited by Noob616
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54 minutes ago, maas_art said:

This is a bad team - but not that bad.   I am sure Weber's injury plays a lot into their ranking but really, this team's fate will be pretty much 100% tied to which Carey Price comes to camp in October. 

If we get last year's then yes, were probably fighting for worst overall.  If we get Carey from the previous few seasons I think we are still in a playoff position when Weber comes back - obviously - with the footnote that MB doesnt make the roster worse with upcoming trades. 

I think it is that bad. Yes, if Carey plays lights out, then we can make the playoffs, but I think we're at best a 12-15 rank team in the league and more realistically (with the line-up we have now), we're in the 25-31 range. Why?

1. The defence is just as bad as last year. We have one guy who is a reliable NHL-caliber left-handed defenceman, and that's Mete, whom we're basing that assessment on less than one season of play. I think he'll be fine, but Reilly is a 3rd pairing guy at best and maybe a fringe #7. Alzner and Schlemko don't belong in the NHL and probably make us worse than the average replacement player just by being there. Weber is out for half the year, maybe more by the time all is said and done. And so the right side is going to feature one quality NHLer in Petry, one rookie that we're going to count on to play above his head in Juulsen, and another fringe NHLer in Benn. It's brutal. Two thirds of our D would probably be playing in the AHL on at least half the teams in the league.

2. Goaltending: yes, we know Carey's ceiling, but his floor was pretty bad too. Whether he was hurt or distracted I don't know, but he's got to prove he can find his game. So while this could be a huge asset, it's a big unknown right now.

3. Centers: what centers? Drouin didn't do well there last year, so he's a gamble still. Danault is a 3rd liner. Plekanec is a 3rd/4th liner. DLR is a 4th liner. McCarron is maybe not even an NHLer. Evans is a question mark. We're going to get schooled down the middle again, and there aren't very many options who can play 20 minutes and give our wingers chances to score.

4. And goalscoring. We dumped Galchenyuk. We might be dumping Pacioretty. We replaced them with Armia and Domi thus far. I think Hudon will do well. I think Scherbak has potential, but I don't think he's ready to be a 20-goal scorer yet. And I think Lehkonen will rebound, but again, he's maybe a 20-goal man if he has a good year. I don't think Gallagher will hit 30 again with the line-up we have. So I'm struggling to see where the goals are going to come from. We have some good young forwards on our team, but they're mainly 2nd/3rd line guys. We lack a top line without Pacioretty, we lack goals, we lack centers to distribute the puck, and we lack D men to start the counter.

So sure, our luck probably won't be as bad as last year, but on paper, I think we're also a worse team than last year. Will better coaches and better seasons from Carey +/- Max be enough to counter the expected drop off in play from Gallagher, the absence of Weber again, and the aging roster that really didn't get any better and lost Galchenyuk to boot? Buffalo will be better. Arizona will be better. Florida will be better. Edmonton will be better. I see us, Vancouver, Ottawa, the Isles, and Rangers duking it out for the bottom 5. There are always surprises but on paper, I think we're a bottom 5 team going into the year.

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20 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

I think it is that bad. Yes, if Carey plays lights out, then we can make the playoffs, but I think we're at best a 12-15 rank team in the league and more realistically (with the line-up we have now), we're in the 25-31 range. Why?

There are always surprises but on paper, I think we're a bottom 5 team going into the year.

 

Yeah I agree, without Weber for likely 2-3 months it's hard to imagine a realistic scenario where this team makes the playoffs. The Leafs, Lightning, and Bruins are locked in as the top 3 in the Atlantic and the Panthers are a tier above the rest of the division as well. The Metro division is deep enough that you have to expect at least one of the wild card slots is from that division. I just have a hard time seeing the Habs finishing above the Panthers/Devils/Avalanche/Blue Jackets/Flyers/Hurricanes/Panthers. They could easily finish 5th in the Atlantic ahead of Buffalo, Detroit, and Ottawa, but I'm skeptical that would be enough to get a wild card spot. 

Price would need to have a Hart trophy level season and basically be as good for the Habs as Taylor Hall was for the Devils. It's certainly possible but that's asking quite a lot of a goalie who's already on the back nine, struggled last season, and is playing behind a porous defense. Up front, the Habs will struggle to score goals without Galchenyuk and Pacioretty and I don't think they can replace those guys by committee. Shaw and Byron out to start the season hurts a lot too, there's an argument that Byron is the 3rd most effective winger on the team after Pacioretty and Gallagher and he's not a trivial player to replace with how versatile he is.

For the first two months of the year it's basically the same roster with Weber, Byron, Shaw, Galchenyuk, and Pacioretty out, and Domi, Armia, and a couple depth guys in. I think they'll just lose too much ground in those first two months unless Price single-handedly drags the team along until Weber/Shaw/Byron come back. If they manage to stay in the mix until those guys get back they have a shot at sneaking in but that's a really tall ask and I don't think it's realistic. 

Edited by Noob616
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1 hour ago, Noob616 said:

I guess overall I just find it frustrating that the French language stuff is such a sticking point when hockey is such an insular old boys' club to begin with, and the French coaching and GM hires at least ensures the Habs are staying out of that pool of "Hockey Men". I am just highly skeptical that the best 31 NHL GM's in the world just happens to include 31 men, 30 North Americans, 17 former NHL players, and a dozen guys with famous hockey dads. The only real outsiders are probably Dubas and Chayka, and I guess you could say Lamoriello was an outsider when he first started but he's now an institution. It just seems really disingenuous to me to focus on the Habs hiring a French-speaking coach and GM as a huge problem while Rob Blake, Don Sweeney, Ron Hextall, Doug Wilson, and Steve Yzerman (and that's just off the top of my head) all got their start as GMs or AGMs for the teams they played for. 

I think I'm mostly in agreement with you on the whole language thing, but unfortunately I'm not sure that the "old boys club" is much different whether that club speaks English or French.  It's as bad if not worse in Montreal, where former players are the norm and it feels like there's a risk of hiring someone off l'Antichambre with every change in personnel.  Some of Bergevin's worst mistakes outside of Subban revolved around hiring, and then refusing to fire, his friends, long after they'd proved that they couldn't do the job.  And yes that was probably more cronyism than anything francophone-specific, but I'm sure that having the French media stick up for all of those guys long after it made any sense to do so didn't hurt Bergevin's resolve to keep them around.

 

Regarding the language requirement more generally, I can see both sides.  On the one hand, it's a mathematical fact that if you limit your candidate pool based on language (or anything else) then strictly speaking you're making a poor logical choice.  In the best case scenario (if the best available coach also happens to be French) the restriction has no effect, but more often than not you're going to come out behind.  Strictly speaking, there's not really any way to argue otherwise.

But I'm going to do it anyway :P.  Because I'm not convinced that speaking French is not a positive attribute to have as the coach of North America's only francophone-centric sports team.  Professional sports is all about entertainment, and while winning games is certainly entertaining (and should absolutely be the #1 priority) it's not the only thing that matters.  There's something to be said for the feelings of pride/belonging/identity/etc. that come with having a Québecois team that feels like a Québecois team.  If I were a francophone who was big into the Canadiens I would absolutely get more out of hearing the coach speak French in his post-game comments. 

I kind of draw a parallel to how I feel about this year's roster after most of my favourite players have been traded away or let go.  If (by some miracle) this team were to play well and go far into the playoffs it would be fun to watch, but for me personally it wouldn't be as fun to watch as if the team did the same thing but still had Eller, Subban, Galchenyuk and Markov on it.  For whatever reason, those are the guys that I felt a connection to as a fan.  They were MY players, MY team.  It's not a stretch for me to see how a francophone supporter of the Canadiens might feel the same way about winning with francophone players, coaches, etc.

 

With all of that said, though, it still comes down to icing a good team as the first priority and I'd look at every hire on a case-by-case basis.  I'd rather watch this current team win the cup than watch the team from a few years ago miss the playoffs.  As Noob said the question shouldn't be whether or not we need to have a francophone coach, but rather whether we can find a great francophone coach when it comes time to make a hire.  Once you're at that top level there's realistically very little that's going to differentiate one coach from another anyway, so why not go with the one who's French?  To put it another way, is the difference in ability between the best English and the best French choice greater than the benefits of hiring the French one?  If the choice was someone like Therrien or a legitimately good anglophone candidate then the decision should be easy to go with the anglo.  But if you've got great coaching options both ways than why not go with the hometown guy?

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Counterpoint: a lot of Francophone fans and media really turned on French players like Brisebois, Richer, Desharnais, and so on as their careers progressed. Why? Because they made too many mistakes. I'd say that fans' views of local players/coaches is the following: when the going is good, they love you more than others, but when the going is bad, the hate is also amplified and exaggerated. At the end of the day, though, fans (be they French, English, or other) want players and coaches and GM's who are successful. It's a bonus if they happen to be French or local, but if they're not and they have success,  that'll do. I'm bilingual, I read the commentary in French, I have friends who are Francophone Habs fans... the sentiment is actually not that dissimilar from our own. Most want Bergevin fired. Most would put winning a Cup ahead of anything else.

The whole French first thing stems from a small faction of fans who have political and cultural motivation for their desires, not because they're true fans. Similarly, you have people like Serge Savard and Bertrand Raymond who have been extremely vocal about the need to have a Francophone GM and coach, and it's voices like those who get heard because they're loud and rude. I think if you poll real fans, you'd find that 90% would prefer to see a winning non-Francophone team over a losing French one. I think they'd love to have their cake and eat it too, and I'm all for that if you can make it happen, but if we had to choose, I think winning ranks way ahead of language to most people.

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1 hour ago, BigTed3 said:

Counterpoint: a lot of Francophone fans and media really turned on French players like Brisebois, Richer, Desharnais, and so on as their careers progressed. Why? Because they made too many mistakes. I'd say that fans' views of local players/coaches is the following: when the going is good, they love you more than others, but when the going is bad, the hate is also amplified and exaggerated. At the end of the day, though, fans (be they French, English, or other) want players and coaches and GM's who are successful. It's a bonus if they happen to be French or local, but if they're not and they have success,  that'll do. I'm bilingual, I read the commentary in French, I have friends who are Francophone Habs fans... the sentiment is actually not that dissimilar from our own. Most want Bergevin fired. Most would put winning a Cup ahead of anything else.

The whole French first thing stems from a small faction of fans who have political and cultural motivation for their desires, not because they're true fans. Similarly, you have people like Serge Savard and Bertrand Raymond who have been extremely vocal about the need to have a Francophone GM and coach, and it's voices like those who get heard because they're loud and rude. I think if you poll real fans, you'd find that 90% would prefer to see a winning non-Francophone team over a losing French one. I think they'd love to have their cake and eat it too, and I'm all for that if you can make it happen, but if we had to choose, I think winning ranks way ahead of language to most people.

Well said!

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2 minutes ago, Habs=stanleycup said:

Well said!

 

1 hour ago, BigTed3 said:

Counterpoint: a lot of Francophone fans and media really turned on French players like Brisebois, Richer, Desharnais, and so on as their careers progressed. Why? Because they made too many mistakes. I'd say that fans' views of local players/coaches is the following: when the going is good, they love you more than others, but when the going is bad, the hate is also amplified and exaggerated. At the end of the day, though, fans (be they French, English, or other) want players and coaches and GM's who are successful. It's a bonus if they happen to be French or local, but if they're not and they have success,  that'll do. I'm bilingual, I read the commentary in French, I have friends who are Francophone Habs fans... the sentiment is actually not that dissimilar from our own. Most want Bergevin fired. Most would put winning a Cup ahead of anything else.

The whole French first thing stems from a small faction of fans who have political and cultural motivation for their desires, not because they're true fans. Similarly, you have people like Serge Savard and Bertrand Raymond who have been extremely vocal about the need to have a Francophone GM and coach, and it's voices like those who get heard because they're loud and rude. I think if you poll real fans, you'd find that 90% would prefer to see a winning non-Francophone team over a losing French one. I think they'd love to have their cake and eat it too, and I'm all for that if you can make it happen, but if we had to choose, I think winning ranks way ahead of language to most people.

I was reading an article from when Cunneyworth was made interim coach, and the article suggested that the BQ and PQ were behind the protests. 

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6 hours ago, maas_art said:

This is a bad team - but not that bad.   I am sure Weber's injury plays a lot into their ranking but really, this team's fate will be pretty much 100% tied to which Carey Price comes to camp in October. 

If we get last year's then yes, were probably fighting for worst overall.  If we get Carey from the previous few seasons I think we are still in a playoff position when Weber comes back - obviously - with the footnote that MB doesnt make the roster worse with upcoming trades. 

This team is gonna stink the joint out even if Price plays spectacularly in goal. Can't score. Can't defend. Price will be burnt out by Christmas.

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6 hours ago, Noob616 said:

I think under Bergevin there's definitely ...

I guess overall I just find it frustrating that the French language stuff is such a sticking point when hockey is such an insular old boys' club to begin with, and the French coaching and GM hires at least ensures the Habs are staying out of that pool of "Hockey Men". I am just highly skeptical that the best 31 NHL GM's in the world just happens to include 31 men, 30 North Americans, 17 former NHL players, and a dozen guys with famous hockey dads. The only real outsiders are probably Dubas and Chayka, and I guess you could say Lamoriello was an outsider when he first started but he's now an institution. It just seems really disingenuous to me to focus on the Habs hiring a French-speaking coach and GM as a huge problem while Rob Blake, Don Sweeney, Ron Hextall, Doug Wilson, and Steve Yzerman (and that's just off the top of my head) all got their start as GMs or AGMs for the teams they played for. 

In the case of Babcock, I believe he's arguably one of the best in the game today and I'd rank him not so marginally ahead of Julien.  For one thing, I find Julien coaches the Julien system.  Sure, every coach has his preferred system, but I find Julien more so.  If he has plays who can play the Julien roles then he does better.  But that's the thing, even NHL 18 doesn't let you pick your whole team.  I think Babcock is better in that regards.  Also I think Babcock is better at adapting to plays from the other team.  Which is not to say Julien is not a top coach.  Just that I find Babcock better (my personal opinion, I could be wrong) and I wish we had him.  Yet we didn't consider him.

 

But the other thing I probably didn't make clear is this.  It's not that there aren't bad Angelophone coaches or all Francophone coaches are bad.  It's that we're limiting the pool.  Julien wasn't available at the time.  Neither was Boucher (whom I also like) or Vigneault.  Ducharme as you mentioned was in the minors.  I find it highly problematic that we didn't even consider Babcock.  It's one thing to say there are no good available coaching candidates available, let's train Ducharme and see how that works.  It's quite another when a coach of such pedigree was available and might be interest, that we didn't even consider him.  Not to mention, as I said, we had Therrien at the time.  You also mentioned us retreading on Carbonneau, but that's exactly what we did with Julien and Therrien.

 

Lastly but certainly not the least, I find it highly problematic when a team (politics aside) deciding and saying outright that it is okay to accept an inferior product.  I do understand your point, politically.  But I find it unacceptable.

Edited by Disillusioned1
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11 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

The whole French first thing stems from a small faction of fans who have political and cultural motivation for their desires, not because they're true fans. 

Maurice Richard is such a transcendent figure in Habs history largely because of the political connotations of his perseverance and dominance in a league and country that marginalised people like him. 

People who deeply identify with the Habs as representative of themselves and as a source of local pride are absolutely real fans even if they're not fans the same way as you. 

Edited by Noob616
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pretty much, but it's not going to happen this upcoming year

https://torontosun.com/sports/hockey/nhl/simmons-says-how-nhl-salary-cap-has-distorted-hockey

Ottawa, Montreal, Edmonton and Vancouver all missed the playoffs in the NHL last season and really, none have done anything this off-season to leave the impression that they’ll be back competing for a spot. The difference: Edmonton has McDavid, Montreal has Carey Price. Either at their best are capable of carrying teams a long way

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We now have our 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th line center locked up now. WTG MB,,, looking good.

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1 hour ago, H_T_L said:

We now have our 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th line center locked up now. WTG MB,,, looking good.

Preparing for a future when lineups are expanded! #lookingahead #planning #centerdepth

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2 hours ago, H_T_L said:

We now have our 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th line center locked up now. WTG MB,,, looking good.

Ordinarily this would be a joke, but not in Habsland.  :6351:

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I read this in the comment section of a habs site.  I dont believe the writer posts here but if he does, bravo. Its an interesting take & I think it definitely could be a large part of the problem we have here:

 

Quote

" Quote from Jim Arklay"

Before I retired, I was responsible for quite a large number of people. When someone asked me what I actually did, I answered that I was responsible for managing egos and that was important because the top performers in almost any field have high egos and these need to be nurtured and directed, and certainly never crushed. Therein may lie the biggest of Mr. Bergevin's problems in that he may be unable to tolerate players who exhibit high egos (and excellent performance to go with same).

This may explain his penchant for recruiting and living with run-of-the mill players, all of whom may be ver
y agreeable and easy to work with. If you want to have champions, you need players who would rather die than lose a game and whose self-actualization needs can carry a team. The Habs of the past had many of such players, including the Rocket, Beliveau, Roy, Lafleur, Moore, Geoffrion, Harvey and several others. These were people with super egos and ability who wanted to be not the best of their generation, but the best of all time. They were driven to succeed and no doubt were very difficult to manage.

At that, Toe Blake and Scotty Bowman were masters at their craft and they were supported by men like Frank Selke and Sam Pollock. Mr Bergevin may be highly intelligent, and a very agreeable and loyal person to his friends, but so far he has shown very little in the way of emotional intelligence needed to build a winner. Is that also true of the ownership? Hard to tell, because we do not see the dynamics at play there. Maybe there are too many nice people runing the show.

 

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Yeah I find that a really strange thing about sports/sports culture. I get that they travel a lot and spend more time with teammates than people with normal jobs would with coworkers but it just makes hockey players sound like such babies that can't handle working with someone they don't get along with. If someone is being abusive and screaming at teammates all the time that's one thing, but it seems like "character issues" goes well beyond genuine character issues and is more about enforcing arbitrary cultural norms and over the top performative anger at mistakes and losses. 
 

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