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07-11-2011, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by HabsByTheBay View Post
I do sympathize with Tremblay's POV that it'd be nice if the Canadiens had more Quebecois. It's part of the identity of the team and part of my attraction to the team. I took French at school in the States basically because I was a Canadiens fan and I wanted to speak the same language the players, fans and media did.

I think most Canadiens fans, even on this board, want there to be more Quebec players on the team. I think where Tremblay, myself and most people on this board disagree is that he seems to think there is an institutional bias in the organization against French-Canadian/Quebec players and that there is a waiting reservoir of F-C/Q talent that the Habs simply choose not to exploit. The facts don't really support that.

About 60 Quebec-born players played in the NHL last year, whether they were stars like St. Louis or Lecavalier or scrubs like Marc-Andre Gragnani. In 1975, there were 92, despite the NHL only having 18 teams.

In 1993, when the Habs won the Cup with a roster with 40% of the team from Quebec, there were over 100 despite the NHL having six fewer teams than today.

There's two big reasons for this. Quebec kids are playing other sports and more importantly there has been a massive influx in the NHL of Americans and Europeans. That 1993 team was the last Cup winner without a European player and only John LeClair (who, ironically, is almost certainly of Quebecois descent) and Mathieu Schneider were Americans. A team today with only two non-Canadians would be quaint and probably not that good by comparison.

Even Tampa Bay, who Tremblay and guys like him have built statues for, only have four Quebecois players in their core. They just happen to be famous and in MAB's case, a former Canadien.

I'd support Tremblay actually trying to find out why Quebecois don't play for the Canadiens, in a mature way. Do a series of articles and talk to people: are Quebec players taught wrong? are Quebec kids choosing other sports? Plenty of Quebec kids in the scouting combine listed another team than the Canadiens as their favorite - is it right to complain when lots of kids are fine with rooting for a team from the US that has hardly any Quebecois at all on their squads? Why do Quebec players like Danny Briere not want to play in Montreal, etc? Are the fans unrealistic - it sure looks like the glory days of the 70s aren't coming back, both in performance and the number of Quebec players on the squad.

If he did a series of articles on those issues, it'd be good journalism. Instead from what I've read and from what others tell me, he generally takes potshots and complains.
Great post.

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