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Sportsnet Magazine: Inside The Long Pathetic Fall Of The Once Great Canadiens Empire

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Old
01-13-2012, 03:26 PM
  #26
Lafleurs Guy
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The truth hurts. And it hurt to read that article.

The author doesn't know what he's talking about in terms of the draft though. The draft was insignificant before 1970 because most good players were already signed to C forms.

Ironically the only player of note that we got was Rejean Houle and even then he left us for the WHA before returning. I'd have expected the writer to know better.

Still, his overall point is... sadly, valid. We are a mess right now.
Quote:
Originally Posted by deandebean View Post
I had read such an article in 1982, when the Habs were falling from grace (it lasted 3 seasons). Written by a Torontonian? This Empire stuff is ridiculous. Montreal hasn't been a powerhouse since the early 90's. Should have written the piece during the late 90's. He's about 12 years late in writing this. And it wasn't about the forum. It was about real management. This Forum stuff gets to me. Probably didn't even attend 10 games at the Forum and he writes like this.

The Forum was a BUILDING. A small, intimate building, yes. But it was a freaking building. And not a particularly spectacular one. What made it special was the teams and the fans. The rest was bricks and mortar. Nothing more. It wasn't very pretty, nor was it a great design. It was a freaking commercial building.

This Forum ******** gets to me. It was a building. Nothing more.
It was a shrine.

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01-13-2012, 03:33 PM
  #27
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The Habs never had a territorial exemption that allowed them to buy all their great players, and ragging on a 104 point team was bullcrap. The '93 Habs had more points than the '10 Bruins, was that team a fluke champion too? Only difference is Roy is a Hall of Famer and Thomas isn't.

There's some nice gossip, and the point about how the Habs continually mismanage their franco resources, and nice quotes from franco players about how they don't care for playing in Montreal that should be distributed to the homes of Quebecois who think kids are dying to be the next Maurice Richard rather than looking for sun, low pressure and low taxes.

But I hate the lack of fact-checking and the twisting of truth to fit the argument.

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Old
01-13-2012, 03:35 PM
  #28
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Some good things, some ridiculous.
There is no empire in Mtl, this has been the case since Corey and Houle screwed everything up. Since then, mediocrity at best.
However, things are overblown because of the bad season.

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01-13-2012, 03:35 PM
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NotProkofievian View Post
Not as well written article as some as suggesting here. Verbose, but meandering.

At some point he takes a big ol' left turn and instead of addressing the real issues that plague the Canadiens, talks about the language issue. As if that's why we suck. As if that's even relevant to why we suck.

I'm finding it hard to muster the impetus to read the rest.
The language issue IS relevant. Not to why we suck, but to the way we are perceived by the rest of the NHL.

Look at Bourque's comments after he was traded here. First thing he said was "I don't speak french, so I hope the fans still like me". MULTIPLE Calgary based reporters asked him questions about speaking french.

Patrick Holland specifically mentioned on twitter that he took french in school and hopes the fans don't mind that he doesn't speak it very well.

This is how the rest of the NHL looks at this city and this fanbase. They actually think that language is all we care about. It kills me because if this is what they are saying publicly, imagine what they are saying behind our backs?

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Old
01-13-2012, 03:36 PM
  #30
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Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
Still, his overall point is... sadly, valid. We are a mess right now.
It took him way too long to say that, especially given that he gave no analysis as to why we suck.

I mean, he started, and he was almost there. But that article ended in a cataclysm of fail after he started in on the exclusivity point, followed then by the language point.

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01-13-2012, 03:38 PM
  #31
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Originally Posted by deandebean View Post
Management. It all comes down to management. Last time we had a real and respected GM, one that had clout and provided calm during big storms was Savard.
You don't think Bob Gainey was a real or respected GM? Really?

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01-13-2012, 03:39 PM
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deandebean View Post
Management. It all comes down to management. Last time we had a real and respected GM, one that had clout and provided calm during big storms was Savard.
yea who would respect that Gainey guy

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Old
01-13-2012, 03:41 PM
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NotProkofievian View Post
It took him way too long to say that, especially given that he gave no analysis as to why we suck.

I mean, he started, and he was almost there. But that article ended in a cataclysm of fail after he started in on the exclusivity point, followed then by the language point.
The exclusivity part really damages his credibility. He really has no idea what he's talking about there.

It doesn't diminish his overall point but it looks bad on him.

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01-13-2012, 03:43 PM
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waffledave View Post
The language issue IS relevant. Not to why we suck, but to the way we are perceived by the rest of the NHL.

Look at Bourque's comments after he was traded here. First thing he said was "I don't speak french, so I hope the fans still like me". MULTIPLE Calgary based reporters asked him questions about speaking french.

Patrick Holland specifically mentioned on twitter that he took french in school and hopes the fans don't mind that he doesn't speak it very well.

This is how the rest of the NHL looks at this city and this fanbase. They actually think that language is all we care about. It kills me because if this is what they are saying publicly, imagine what they are saying behind our backs?
Relevant to what? Why we suck? No.

This article is about why the once great franchise that was Les Glorieux is now a ******, irrelevant club.

Language has not one thing to do with that fact. Our history provides both positive, and negative proofs of the same thing. Competent management with a vision gets things done. Incompetent management with no stones leads to trading a whose who list of perennial all-stars and first ballot HOFers for spare parts.

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01-13-2012, 03:44 PM
  #35
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The fact that Gainey was less than a qualified success tells me the organization's problems run deeper than just having a good GM, because Gainey was a top GM in Dallas. We need a whole organization re-evaluation and cleanout.

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Old
01-13-2012, 03:44 PM
  #36
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Originally Posted by CrimsonSkorpion View Post
This hurts the heart so much to read and feels like a punch in the gut but sadly, this couldn't be any more right.
Not sure if serious. Not that I disagree that since around the time we started to go downhill and never really recovered but frankly if you think that's the underlying reason (seems you are) nothing could be more false.

I can't think of a good analogy really but it seems like blaming an inanimate object.

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01-13-2012, 03:45 PM
  #37
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Giroux fits the profile of a player who, back in their glory days, would have been a star with the Canadiens. So, too, teammate Daniel Brière -- Montreal's management tried hard to sign him a few seasons back but he opted for Philadelphia instead, feeling no magnetic pull to play close to home. They're also examples of a profound weakness in the organization stretching back for a generation: When it seems the only way of bringing Québécois talent into the fold is on draft day, the team misses skill in its own backyard. Giroux was still available when the Canadiens walked up to the stage in 2006 to make their pick at No. 20. They opted for David Fischer, a defenceman from the Minnesota high school ranks who has never donned the C-H or any other NHL sweater and was last spotted playing for the ECHL's Florida Everglades. The Quebec junior league might not produce stars every year, but its best inevitably land with other NHL teams, not the Canadiens. The same can be said of Québécois free agents -- it seems they think free agency allows them to sign with any team but the Habs.
Someone should tell Mr Joyce that Claude Giroux is from Ontario.

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01-13-2012, 03:48 PM
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NotProkofievian View Post
Relevant to what? Why we suck? No.

This article is about why the once great franchise that was Les Glorieux is now a ******, irrelevant club.

Language has not one thing to do with that fact. Our history provides both positive, and negative proofs of the same thing. Competent management with a vision gets things done. Incompetent management with no stones leads to trading a whose who list of perennial all-stars and first ballot HOFers for spare parts.
Speaking as a fan from outside the province, I can say that there is a prevailing opinion that language is a serious detractor to the city, particularly the language police. French Canadian players don't want to be annointed to roles they can't fill and anglophones fear being turned on for not speaking french. Just an outsiders POV, not that I believe its true.

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Someone should tell Mr Joyce that Claude Giroux is from Ontario.
I think he was saying that Giroux played in the Q. Still a selective bias for an analysis.

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Old
01-13-2012, 03:50 PM
  #39
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That article is pretty dramatic and kinda flawed on some points, but the one thing that remains is that this organization has been underachieving as a whole for far too long.

I think a lot of fans, the ownership and management of the organization are just too stubborn to admit that they've failed. Until then, we wont be able to get out of this vicious circle of mediocrity and cinderella runs.

Love this team like all of you guys, but sometimes it's better to take a step back to get right back on the horse.

Fail for Nail/Mikhail

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01-13-2012, 03:54 PM
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waffledave View Post
The language issue IS relevant. Not to why we suck, but to the way we are perceived by the rest of the NHL.

Look at Bourque's comments after he was traded here. First thing he said was "I don't speak french, so I hope the fans still like me". MULTIPLE Calgary based reporters asked him questions about speaking french.

Patrick Holland specifically mentioned on twitter that he took french in school and hopes the fans don't mind that he doesn't speak it very well.

This is how the rest of the NHL looks at this city and this fanbase. They actually think that language is all we care about. It kills me because if this is what they are saying publicly, imagine what they are saying behind our backs?
This province and subsequently the team have been a running joke to the rest of Canada and US for years now dude. It isn't going to change. You see how easily the sheep around here just go with whatever opinion is popular in the media and at the local pub, what makes you think the rest of the world is any different when it comes to looking at the Quebec language problem? I say problem not because it is one to me, but to them it really is. There's a serious stigma regarding this province and this team in the NHL and quite frankly as long as people keep making language an issue there always will be that stigma.

You can't have your cake and eat it too basically. So long as people try to there will always be a language issue and players won't want to play here. Maybe if we're very lucky and the Nordiques come back the media issue could die down a bit which might help. To the rest of Canada/US it isn't that Quebec wants to be French, it's that they have a problem with English. At least that's the way a lot of people do interpret it. When you tie all that stuff together why would UFA want to sign here? You have a superstar francophone player like Giroux, etc and they do not want to play here.

Don't you find it a little bit odd that a guy like Subban raised in a Toronto suburb wants to play here but plenty of francophone players who grew up Habs fans don't? Is it common for people to not want to play for their home city/province/state/etc? As a Montrealer and big habs fan, I must say it seems common from where I'm looking.

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Old
01-13-2012, 04:00 PM
  #41
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I think he was saying that Giroux played in the Q. Still a selective bias for an analysis.
"Québecois" does not equal "played in the Q". David Krejci played in the Q. Joyce failed by alluding to Giroux as someone who should be like past traditional "Québecois" kids like someone from Roch Carrier's "Sweater" who dreams of playing for Habs.

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01-13-2012, 04:07 PM
  #42
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Good read. Some of the stuff in there I took with a grain of salt, though.

Not because Gary Joyce is one of those (I loved his book on the draft), but because it seems the comparative point to what the Habs should be is probably the greatest dynasty in the history of hockey.

It seems he's channelling a bit too much what the complaints are and the feedback to the situation is.

There's no arguing though, that the Habs have been a shell of what they should've been for the past 20-some years (the criticism of the post-70's Habs seems a bit much to be honest).

Not to mention the last player to ever seem worthy of the 'Hab' tag was Koivu (no matter what wrinkles people could find), and we're not exactly talking Guy Lafleur or The Rocket caliber player. And he was sent packing with little to no remorse once his contract ended.

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01-13-2012, 04:10 PM
  #43
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So uh, can rebuild now? Please? And do it properly this time?

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01-13-2012, 04:22 PM
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waffledave View Post
The language issue IS relevant. Not to why we suck, but to the way we are perceived by the rest of the NHL.

Look at Bourque's comments after he was traded here. First thing he said was "I don't speak french, so I hope the fans still like me". MULTIPLE Calgary based reporters asked him questions about speaking french.

Patrick Holland specifically mentioned on twitter that he took french in school and hopes the fans don't mind that he doesn't speak it very well.

This is how the rest of the NHL looks at this city and this fanbase. They actually think that language is all we care about. It kills me because if this is what they are saying publicly, imagine what they are saying behind our backs?
If the language issue was anywhere near relevent, the Canadiens wouldn't be the ones with 24 cups and the Leafs, supposedly the most "canadian" of all teams would have won something in the last four decades with their ability to select from the best anglo canadian coaches and attract the best english-speaking players. It hasn't happened and most francophone Canadiens coaches have gone on to very respectable careers.

It's soooo easy the dismiss that argument with the most basic facts, but the anglo canadian media keeps beating that dead horse because it's what canadians like to hear. Look at the comment sections for articles discussing the subject. They are filled with the most moronic, bigoted responses you can imagine.

Examples here, here and here.

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01-13-2012, 04:22 PM
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NotProkofievian View Post
Relevant to what? Why we suck? No.

This article is about why the once great franchise that was Les Glorieux is now a ******, irrelevant club.

Language has not one thing to do with that fact. Our history provides both positive, and negative proofs of the same thing. Competent management with a vision gets things done. Incompetent management with no stones leads to trading a whose who list of perennial all-stars and first ballot HOFers for spare parts.
I did say that it is not relevant to why we suck. I said it is relevant to how the NHL preceives us.

Again, look at the quotes from the 2 new players we just acquired. They made comments saying that they hope the fans like them despite not being able to speak french.

The fact that this is even being mentioned, even as a joke, shows why this matters. The NHL thinks we care about this stuff over winning.

We were once a great franchise... We had a culture that was based on winning above all else.

Now we are made fun of. The days of dynasties are forgotten. People look at us as language nazis they can joke about rather than a fanbase that demands victory.

I don't even blame them. When the media started flapping their vaginas about Cunneyworth not being able to speak french, how did the franchise react? By saying "we are not concerned with the language he speaks, but rather what he brings to the team"?

No...They apologized for not hiring a french guy.

The once great Canadiens franchise now has to apologize for not taking the feelings of the poor media into consideration.

They could have killed the language BS in 5 seconds and shown to the rest of the league what really matters to management. Instead, they apologized...And now the entire NHL thinks that this is what is important to the fanbase. You can't tell me that isn't true, because it constantly comes up. We just got 2 new players that addressed it, along with multiple reporters who obviously thought it was a question worth asking.

This is how they look at us now.

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01-13-2012, 04:25 PM
  #46
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While the language issue may not be as bad as its made out to be outside Quebec, what you can't deny is that its a potential headache that a player doesn't have to deal with anywhere else.

Also it may seem strange to hear this but what happens with a hockey team is almost never a political issue elsewhere even in the rest of Canada.

If there is a toxic element in the Canadiens organization it has to be the excessive focus on image, which has to be related to the rabid media/political environment that surrounds this team. The only players that seem to surivive here long term are the quiet reliable ones that don't interact much with the media like Plekanec and Markov.

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01-13-2012, 04:26 PM
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Not The One View Post
If the language issue was anywhere near relevent, the Canadiens wouldn't be the ones with 24 cups and the Leafs, supposedly the most "canadian" of all teams would have wone something in the last four decades with their ability to select from the best white anglo canadian coaches and attract the best english-speaking players. It hasn't happened and most fancophone Canadiens coaches have gone on to very respectable careers.

It's soooo easy the dismiss that argument with the most basic facts, but the anglo canadian media keeps beating that dead horse because it's what canadians like to hear. Look at the comment sections articles discussing the subject. They are filled with be most moronic, bigoted responses you can imagine.

Examples here, here and here.
It keeps coming up because the organization keeps feeding it.

Not once has this organization said that they value winning over language issues. Not once.

They can kill it. Tell us what they feel is the real goal of this organization. Is it to win the cup, or is it to support the french language and culture?

If it is anything other than to win the cup, then the perception that the rest of the league has about us is true. And if that's the case, it's really sad because once upon a time the organization was about something else, and they didn't have to worry about language issues because people were happy we were winning.

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01-13-2012, 04:29 PM
  #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waffledave View Post
I did say that it is not relevant to why we suck. I said it is relevant to how the NHL preceives us.

Again, look at the quotes from the 2 new players we just acquired. They made comments saying that they hope the fans like them despite not being able to speak french.

The fact that this is even being mentioned, even as a joke, shows why this matters. The NHL thinks we care about this stuff over winning.

We were once a great franchise... We had a culture that was based on winning above all else.

Now we are made fun of. The days of dynasties are forgotten. People look at us as language nazis they can joke about rather than a fanbase that demands victory.

I don't even blame them. When the media started flapping their vaginas about Cunneyworth not being able to speak french, how did the franchise react? By saying "we are not concerned with the language he speaks, but rather what he brings to the team"?

No...They apologized for not hiring a french guy.

The once great Canadiens franchise now has to apologize for not taking the feelings of the poor media into consideration.

They could have killed the language BS in 5 seconds and shown to the rest of the league what really matters to management. Instead, they apologized...And now the entire NHL thinks that this is what is important to the fanbase. You can't tell me that isn't true, because it constantly comes up. We just got 2 new players that addressed it, along with multiple reporters who obviously thought it was a question worth asking.

This is how they look at us now.
The Habs feel the pinch of the Nords coming back. They felt they needed to apologise not to lose half the fan base next year if the Nords comeback. Its strickly business. But i agree with you. Bad management as failed us starting with Gainey and then Gauthier. This franchise must comprehend that we must tank for 3 to 5 years to build ourselve a champion. The ole saying goes ''no pain, no gain''

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01-13-2012, 04:40 PM
  #49
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It there were no salary cap and minimal revenue sharing like in MLB, we'd still be a powerhouse. The league is designed for parity. A tiny percentage of teams who through good fortune and willingness to tank have formed miniature empires that last short periods of time, with the exception of Detroit. If we try to extrapolate a rule from Detroit that results in Empire, I'd be surprised. A lot of good fortune involved and not really a "model" all franchises could potentially follow.

Give us the same basic economic framework as MLB, and we'd be the Yanks year in, year out.

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01-13-2012, 04:43 PM
  #50
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It there were no salary cap and minimal revenue sharing like in MLB, we'd still be a powerhouse. The league is designed for parity. A tiny percentage of teams who through good fortune and willingness to tank have formed miniature empires that last short periods of time, with the exception of Detroit. If we try to extrapolate a rule from Detroit that results in Empire, I'd be surprised. A lot of good fortune involved and not really a "model" all franchises could potentially follow.

Give us the same basic economic framework as MLB, and we'd be the Yanks year in, year out.
I agree. The same 5-10 teams would contend for the cup every year, and we would be one of them.

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