The gist of the article for all of you is that Laraque is turning out, thus far, to be a pretty useless component of the Canadiens. The title roughly translated means "The Laraque swindle" and is a very nice play on words, if I do say so myself. The article mirrors my own thoughts so well, I don't need to rewrite it – I'll just highlight and comment:
The first point Fred makes is that Laraque was supposedly brought here to strike fear into the hearts of opponents. To make sure that our skilled players could get on with it without being intimidated. He quite rightly points out that this has not been the case at all. Kostitsyn was pounded into the boards despite Georges playing, Price was butt-ended and Lapierre was head-hunted.
So, the verdict on intimidation: None.
The second point he rightly makes is that after the fact someone as big and rough as Laraque is supposedly there to make people pay. Though I don't agree with the whole code thing, the fact is the current NHL is run this way – that's why we have Georges. But where has Georges been after these hits Fred asks? The answer: nowhere to be seen.
So the verdict on sending a message after the fact: Hopeless.
Fred in speaking to his Oiler fan buddies heard that Laraque's proclamation were that he would only fight heavyweights. Laraque doesn't fight just anyone. Not Ruutu, not Sauer, not Grabovski, not Mike Richards. He'll fight Boogaard maybe, Shelley.
Finalement, tout ce que Laraque veut, c'est donner son show de boxe. Il est pas là pour défendre personne, car ce ne sont habituellement pas les toughs des autres équipes qui écoeurent les joueurs de la Flanelle.
Finally, all Laraque wants is to be able to put on a boxing show. He's not there to defend anyone, because it's not usually the goons from opposing teams that get in the faces of the Habs players.
Ooh, that's close to the mark, Fred. As is his stinging conclusion:
On ne peut pas se fier sur lui pour défendre ses coéquipiers.
On ne peut pas penser qu'il donnera de percutantes mises-en-échec (il est trop lent).
Il ne peut pas nous aider grandement avec ses habiletés de hockeyeur.
À quoi sert-il donc?
I concur – A player that can't play, can't hit, won't stand up for teammates unless it's organised the day before, doesn't scare anyone – what is he here for?
Just last night, there was a comical endorsement of this whole affair. Milan Lucic was being his usual smirk-faced self. Brunet got all hot when Laraque brushed up against him – highlighting it on the broadcast (I can't say I was very impressed myself). Later in the game, Lucic has been taking liberties and a Hab wants to fight him. In goes Mike Komisarek.
Add it all up, and I calculate that Laraque is a useless piece of the Canadiens. Nevermind that there are no goons on 50% of NHL teams now. It's totally ridiculous. We've been swindled. Plain and simple.
Bring up Greg Stewart!