Now that I’ve paid homage to Bob, let me quickly tackle 2 issues that bothered me yesterday, while everyone was discussing the habs situation.
1. The way some fans are calling for Jacques Martin’s head:
(yeah, sorry EP, it’s not really just you actually, but well…) The guy has only been here for 4 months. He’s an experienced coach, and he’s not the only reason why this team is disappointing. I think it’s waaaaay to early to even consider firing him. I’m not always sold on his moves, and I’m not sure I love the way his teams play, but that’s the direction the habs went for. Now, at least give the guy some time to really implement his work.
2. Yet another installment of the language issue:
Gauthier has been here for half a day, and people are complaining everywhere about the way he was picked, and about Boivin. The reason? “Boivin said he hired a French-speaking guy because his language is important! Why can’t he pick the best guy overall? Why does he prefer a French loser to a wathever-his-language competent guy? Whaaa whaa whaaaa!” Give me a break. If you still don’t understand that the habs have to at least say stuff like that to appease the media, I can’t help you. Could anyone really prove that the habs chose their new GM over a more qualified candidate just because of his language? That’s bullshit. Who were the others supposedly better candidates to begin with? Ken Holland and Lou Lamoriello are great GMs. But you know what, they already have jobs. I hear Mike Milbury was available. Is that what you wanted? Name me just another available GM who has experience, already knows the habs organization well and could fit in smoothly in the midst of a season as Gauthier will, and I’ll shut up. The only possibly available experienced GM I can think of is Dale Tallon, who is now Senior Adviser of Hockey Operations for the Blackhawks. I don’t know if he does speak French, but he’s from Rouyn Noranda, Quebec, so I assume he could at least speak a little bit of Frenglish. If they really wanted Tallon, they could have played the “he’s from Quebec” card to appease the bigot faction of the French media. So I’d be surprised to learn the Habs picked Gauthier over someone like Tallon just because the former is francophone.
As long as the Habs play in Montreal, the language issue will at least be taken into account when hiring a GM. And rightly so. Should it be the first criterion? Hell no. But is it actually the first criterion used by the Habs? I really doubt it, no matter what Boivin says to please the media.
I’m not for an all-French Habs team or franchise. It’s a ridiculous notion. But I don’t think this is what we’re seeing. I’m not even arguing for more or for less francophones. I just think the habs can’t completely ignore the issue. And actually, I think the Habs are not doing too bad in that regard. They’re criticized by some people in the French media because they don’t have enough francophone players, and they’re criticized in parts of the English media and blogs for paying too much attention to language when hiring someone. When both sides are complaining, maybe you’re actually doing a good job! ;)
Alright, that was my little rant of the day.