What will happen in 3 days, if it hasn't happened already is the full-on debate about what has happened to the Canadiens over the summer. There will be moments spent lamenting Kovalev, I expect, before the whole discourse comes to rest on the question that has been looming for a long time: Are 3 French-speaking, Quebec-born players enough?
The barrage began early for the Canadiens defence. First Geoff Molson was accused of forming an ownership team that may not be Quebecoois enough. An astute parry from M. Molson reminded the pea-brained reporter that his family's got a Quebec heritage as rich as anyone's.
As Pat Hickey put it:
He pointed out the fact he is a seventh-generation Quebecer, his family has been here for more than 200 years and they have always been deeply involved in the community.
Boivin cites some statistics
Next it was Boivin's turn, and if you understand French, you should really go check it out on RDS's website, because the man can rattle off a volley and some with good sense in it as well.
The offensive blows he stung the reporter with were the high points. He noted, for instance, that there were 43 Quebecers in the NHL last season to play more than a 41 games. The Canadiens accounted for 8 of those (or 20ish percent). Assuming no massive shift to Quebec players league-wide, the Canadiens three will still account for more than their share.
He also explains to the blindfolded that cycles have played a role in this change. Noting that the QMJHL is not exactly in its heyday right at the moment.
Boivin gets pretty irritated by the end of the interview and is adamant that considering francophone issues is something that is at the heart of every decision made in the Canadiens organization, be it in the front office, in coaching, scouting or among the players. And, in allusion to the Lecavalier/St. Louis approaches that were widely speculated, he asserted that his team made big efforts to acquire Quebec players this past summer – that it was just not to be.
110% by its new name
Perhaps if they promise to bar M. Rinfret, i can concede they've changed more than the window dressing. Anyway, you can be the judge yourself as to whether the TQS (sorry, Tele V) crew has altered their tack or not. So long as it's got Jean Perron and his tangential rants, this show will always be the same proposition for me.
That night "L'attaque a cinq" took up the debate.
The debate segment of their Thursday show asked the question:
"Croyez-vous que le Canadien fait suffisamment d'efforts pour attirer des joueurs francophones à Montréal?"
In what promises to be the first of 150 nights treating this topic, Jean Perron appeared to win the day – but only in the Pierre McGuire (I'm the loudest) kind of way. No one sensible really got a word in edgewise.
Predictably, Jean's answer to the question was a very firm no. He was very proud of himself for citing Yannick Riendeau to Boston about 20 times over the 10 minutes as the prime exhibit in his argument.
Now, I may be unfair, because I've never had to face a raving lunatic on TV, but couldn't someone more astute have deflated Jean's Riendeau argument by mentioning that actually the Habs signed his teammate, Dany Masse, days later and have since drafted another Voltigeur, hired their minor league coach and invited Philippe Lefebvre to no less than two try-outs (BREAKING: now to main camp as well). Bring it on Jean, I'll take you, mate.
Well you can't count tenaciousness among M. Tremblay's weaknesse, of which there are many. He offers yet another thesis on the Canadiens and their connection with Quebec here.
Not much of it is new. Nor is it very convincing when his facts are invented (I prefer to trust the EU number which say 50% of Germans speak English, not 12% – after that I discounted those ridiculous stats).
After insulting Pierre Boivin's Frenchness and lauding his own patriotism by tourism, the bombshell he reserved is a report from Robert Sirois that will tell us about the league-wide conspiracy against Quebecers. I'll await the report, but don't we already know this stuff? Still 1,000 hours – give the man his piece.
As for Rejean, nothing but hot air from the hairdryer – nothing unexpected. If I didn't want to get my back up, I should know better than to follow that link. I offer you all the same warning.
More to come?
My guess is yes. And this is a surer bet than taking Ovechkin in a hockey pool. The issue is not resolved and so it will not be laid to rest.
The interesting thing is that the Perron's and the Tremblays of the world are starting to come across as out of touch as more and more fans of the team offer the olive branch to wait and see how this team does, as they hope for more wins, not better demographics.
We'll keep an eye, because this one will be a story. Your opinions, as always are welcome.