Jean Perron, magnanimous and open-minded renaissance man that he is, decided to speak up today so that the man close to his heart, Guy Carbonneau, would not suffer the same fate he did 21 years ago.
Jean, no doubt wracked with guilt about whether to stir the seeds of a controversy, let us know today that 3 young Canadiens were letting the team down by partying too hard.
He named names: Latendresse, Chipchura and Kirk Muller.
No just kidding, We all know defensive forwards, those over thirty and people brought up in and around Montreal have no interest in partying. I myself gave it up the minute I became a defensive forward, the day I turned 25. It was actually: Higgins, Price and Sergei Kostitsyn.
Seriously though everyone. Is this news? Hockey players partying?
The Canadiens should be thankful their players don't party like Man U did, and of course realise that no 60-year old former hockey coach has a pulse on what goes on in Montreal's night life.
I used to enjoy a bit of 110% in my foolish youth (before learning to backcheck, probably), but I have to tell you I always turned it off if either Jean Perron or Marc Bureau was on. The reason is that whereas some others had a right go at players for their play, their laziness on the ice and lots of other things; there was often an air of poison in what those two said.
I feel this is no different really. Nothing good can come of running this for the gossip columns. Nothing except more publicity for the camera-shy M. Perron. It feels like a vendetta almost - though one is left lacking for a motive. The generous one cited, seems like a bit of an afterthought on his part. Besides, wasn't he fired because the team he coached to the final - the one that got back there three years after the win - underperformed? As Jacques Demers on his high horse pointed out in his own interview, citing names was not required.
Sometimes the people that can't accept there is no cancer in the dressing room are the ones that want it most.
As I finish up the piece, I see that young Sergei (party animal #3) Kostitsyn has been granted his wish - to return to his party homeland of southern Ontario. I suppose this might be claimed as vindication; but I tend to believe it is a hockey decision since Sergei hasn't made an NHL-calibre stride in some time.
I should also like to say, that one Greg Stewart should be thrilled with his chance. The man who has never played a bad NHL shift has the full support of one of his biggest fans here.
Finally, if partying has got Higgins to the form he has been showing lately, I say let the good times roll. Higgins was a shadow of most peoples' former selves in his first stint this season. Since coming back, he has worked hard, skated the right lines faster than opponents and played pretty well by comparison.
Put him on a line with Plekanec and I think something will happen...
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