Guy Lafleur’s state funeral last Tuesday made it possible not only to pay tribute to the image of the man he was, but also to show the solidarity that still unites former Canadians today. I hope players of the current edition took notes.
Yvan Cournoyer, Patrick Roy, Guy Carbonneau, and Larry Robinson marched one by one, each carrying a poignant account of their memories of No. 10. Nothing was amiss. We saw the sincerity in the eyes of these greats in the history of CH.
Sitting in the audience, Nick Suzuki, Cole Caufield, Alexander Romanov and his company watched a touched Larry Robinson deliver a moving speech, in French, too.
I honestly couldn’t help but see the great gulf between today’s generation and Guy’s time.
They were all there, the old one, upright and proud to talk about their former teammate. Even though they have been retired for years, it felt like they were still part of the same team.
Meanwhile, I looked at the current players. Immediately after the ceremony, they all rushed to leave the Cathedral of Marie-Reine-du-Monde in their limousine. Their bags were probably already packed. Goodbye, Montreal, see you at training camp.
On the one hand, there were all those greats who forged the great history of the Habs and on the other, this formation that just finished 32nd and last in the entire NHL, behind an expansion squad.
Again, I hope they took notes. I hope deep down they felt a little embarrassed to wear the same sweater as these big boys who together have, I don’t know how many cups.
Now everyone has left Montreal. We will see members of the organization again at the NHL draw in Montreal on July 7-8. Then it will be a party! Everyone will smile, we will come to present the team’s first pick.
However, this is not normal. The Canadian cannot be a team like the others who occasionally end up at the bottom of the rankings. He means too much to people to have such low standards.
The Montreal Canadiens aren’t just banners hoisted from the ceiling of the Bell Center or pictures of the greatest in the team’s locker room. The tradition must be continued.
BREAK THE CLICKS
For that, Kent Hughes and Jeff Gorton will have to make big decisions. Let’s stop giving preferential treatment to certain veterans and bring back the team concept.
For the rest, let the players concentrate on their summer training.
Anyway, don’t worry guys, alumni will be there to represent you at the various charity events. Prepare
remember one thing: you were the worst team in the entire National Hockey League this season. Don’t come up with fancy speeches of apologies, but rather with concrete gestures so that a season like the one just ended never happens again.
Remember that each of the players your team has drafted over the years with their many choices has only one goal in mind: to steal your job.
I especially hope you took notes on Tuesday. You’ve seen in a few hours what the Canadian means to the entire province of Quebec.
Now it’s up to you to carry the torch.
†Interview by Kevin Dubé
Echoes of Bergie
Over the past two weeks, the tribute to Guy Lafleur and Mike Bossy has multiplied. Personally, since the announcement of the two men’s deaths, I have had no choice but to think of their wives, Lucie Bossy and Lise Lafleur. These amazing ladies have been side by side with their husbands through the ups and downs of their careers. In the shadows, they saw that their husbands were idols for many Quebecers. Fortunately, I know that Mike and Guy have been good family men. Despite the glory and success, they returned to their family with enormous simplicity. They were good husbands and good fathers.
Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki will not represent their respective countries at the World Hockey Championship. Frankly, I am very disappointed with the two young Habs players. In Suzuki’s case, we are told he would be injured. It’s funny, but until the end he played 22-23 minutes per game. Both forwards have an incredible opportunity to gain experience on the international stage. After finishing 32nd in the NHL, I don’t think it would have been wrong to get some experience. Perhaps Suzuki and Caufield should take an example from Alex Ovechkin who, year after year, rushes to get on the first plane to join his national team when the Washington Capitals are out.
A concept to review
The NHL playoffs have been a great show so far. However, I have to say that I didn’t like that the first game between the Penguins and the
Rangers ends in the third overtime period. It’s inhumane. In my opinion, the NHL should introduce a three-on-three playoff extension until there is a winner. It would significantly reduce the time of the matches and it would be safer for the players. After all, all the people who told me they loved it couldn’t even watch it to the end! The NHL gains nothing from presenting this kind of game. In the end the show suffers, the players are there for 20 seconds and withdraw without common sense as no one wants to be guilty of the mistake that caused your team to lose.