APRIL 26, 2021 – It’s been a frustrating time for Habs fans. Yes, we will make the play offs. We might even win a round before getting crushed out because the team, while improved, still hasn’t addressed its core issues, but there are 31 teams this season and only one gets to win.
With the announcement that Patrick Roy has a new agent and wants back in the big game it’s time for owner Geoff Molson to mull a few factors.
One, Montreal is a franchise akin to the NY Yankees. The only real language fans speak is winning. If media are talking language then the team isn’t going to win.
Yes, Quebec is a French province and of freaking course, francophones should be respected and the game delivered to them in French. They are after all the team’s number one market..
But dear Sherlock’s here are two indisputable facts.
The job of the GM is to field the team with the best chance of winning Lord Stanley’s Cup within the parameters that their ownership gives them.
A job of a NHL coach is to Win Lord Stanley’s Cup, or at least get more perceived value out of his roster than the sum of their parts. Look at the NY Islanders under Barry Trotz. How they heck do they win as many games as they do? That’s good coaching. Look what Joel Quenneville has done in Florida. That’s good coaching.
Sub fact. The majority of the NHL players speak….English. Even them foreign fellers tend to learn English.
So if you’re Geoff Molson and you really want to pander to the Quebec market, develop and field the best that Quebec offers. Sadly the team has failed to do this. Montreal doesn’t even have the best Francophone GM or Coach and their salaries aren’t impacted by the cap!
A coach and his staff have to communicate with their roster. They have to motivate them. There has to be bonds and relationships. Having a coach who doesn’t connect because of language is not a good thing. Coaching isn’t easy, but for a coach to have to do their job in a language that isn’t their strong point with them usually doesn’t lead to greatness.
I agree that the Habs should have a coach and GM that can and should speak French, but I think winning is more important in this age of Google translate and budgets that can afford team mouthpieces if necessary.
And frankly it’s the same for GM’s as relationships with other GM’s and agents are really really important. Nobody wants to be the outsider, and unless Quebec City gets a franchise (which this writer hopes they eventually do as they deserve it) the ability to converse at a familial level is really important and a challenge again when one isn’t really comfy in their linguistic skin.
Which brings us back to Patrick Roy and Montreal.
The Habs have been a struggling team for far too long. The Bergevin years have been a hot mess with a strong team inching forward being blown up and nearly a decade of player development being a tyre fire. Whether it’s by Mr. Molson meddling with Bergy in his early years or simply Marc thinking he’s playing Rotisserie Hockey instead of being a NHL GM the team has not been…..Hab like.
Patrick Roy represents a time of winning to Hab fans. His time as coach of the Avalanche and in the Q are not horrid.
What everyone knows about Roy is that he’s a winner that has not only proven he can win, but bleeds it.
Montreal’s interim coach has not improved on Claude Julien. Frankly, the team has declined to the point where many think they won’t make the play offs. They will, and if they don’t that should be it for Mr. Bergevin and Mr. Ducharme.
Here’s why Roy should be the Hab’s next coach. He’s a francophone star that understands what being a Montreal Canadien means. He’s a coach. And could you imagine if he signs with another team and does better than the Habs do?
Winning shouldn’t be about language. It should be about…..winning, and hiring Patrick Roy for next season; short of les boys winning Lord Stanley’s Cup this season, should happen. And Geoff Molson should replace himself with Serge Savard too as Savard should be the potent force to help cool down the fiery Roy when needed.