Thread: Confirmed with Link: Jacques Martin Fired V2.0
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12-20-2011, 05:47 PM
  #110
HCH
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: The Wild West
Country: Canada
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To tell you the truth, I am disheartened and saddened by all of this. I have been a Canadiens fan for over 45 years and I live in Western Canada. There are a lot of us, more than many would think. We have remained loyal fans and have followed and supported our team by any and every means at our disposal. Before the arrival of the internet it was not easy living on the prairires and keeping updated on our team. Nevertheless we have remained staunch and loyal supporters throughout.

We saw no difference between Laperriere and Harper, between Lapointe and Robinson, between Shutt and Lemaire. We loved Scotty Bowman and despised Irving Grundman. We were and still are unconditionally supportive of the team. When an individual can help the team he is in our good books, when he is a detriment he is in our bad books.

We look at Montreal, this icon of hockey and think, "Wow, the MONTREAL Canadiens." It is a part of what makes your city and your province great. We do not think about the components of the team and no one else outside of the the city and province do either. When people outside of Quebec talk about the team they talk about the avid and knowledgeable fans who hold the team dear to their hearts.

With this vicious backlash, the spotlight is cast upon the wonderful fans of this great team. The team has been thrust into the background while more people talk about the crazy environment that has been developed.

What has been accomplished.

The Canadiens will likely bow to pressure and hire a coach who can speak French. One job for a Francophone will be saved but at what cost. Has the perception of Montreal by outsiders been poisoned? There are unintended consequences of every action and no one knows what they will be. It could be subtle or it could be a backlash. Perhaps a highly skilled free agent may look at what has happened and strike the Canadiens off his list. Perhaps it would be a highly coveted executive or coach that declines.

We already know that some Francophone players want nothing to do with playing in Montreal. After experiencing the world outside of Quebec, players like Daniel Briere have chosen not to return. It could get worse. Could the list grow to include highly respected coaching or managerial candidates. It might not, but it could. Who needs the kinds of headaches that seem to accompany every move you make, especially when these headaches have nothing to do with whether you are good at your job.

Setting up barriers to success threatens the iconic status of the Montreal Canadiens. As fans, we are already living in the past and that could continue.

The team will always be the MONTREAL Canadiens. No one will say, they are the Montreal Canadiens with the English coach or the Montreal Canadiens with the French coach. If I lived in Montreal I would welcome with open arms, ANYONE who could make my team better and help them regain their former glory. I would let them do what they do best, whether it is playing or coaching or managing because they would be helping an institution in which I have a great deal of pride.

For those of us outside of Quebec, we support that pride you have in your team. It is truly a great institution and we hate to see it diminished for the wrong reasons. We also see the Canadiens as a bridge between our cultures, a piece of common ground that we both support and love. We do not want to see anything that threatens that bridge.

This is not about whether Randy Cunneyworth is a good coach or a bad coach. Only time will tell that. It is about the reaction to his hiring that is so wrong. No one said it was permanent and even if they did, everyone knows that no coaching job is permanent. Yet he is being crucified after only two games. That kind of intolerance tarnishes the image of your great city and great province and it does nothing to help the team you hold in such high esteem. While that intolerance may or may not be in the minority, those voices have branded an unfavourable image in the minds of many.

As I said, I am disheartened and saddened. The Canadiens will always be my team but this vitriolic reaction has subdued my passion for the sport. I had hoped we had grown past that.

And for those who think it is important, my ancestors on my mother's side of the family came to Canada from France in the 1670's to settle in the Montreal area.

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