Georges – nobody cares this time.
A week on from a rift between star player, coach and GM; a media storm; a police investigation; and a goaltending controversy; we're supposed to care about our 29th best player being unhappy with minutes?
Not me. Not likely.
I can see where Georges frustration/disappointment is coming from – his gravy train is at an end. A team that made it to the Stanley Cup with him decided he was expendable. A new team that thought it needed toughness to progress further has now decided he is expendable too.
Being the very intelligent guy that he is, he can see the writing on the wall. If he can't make it happen in Montreal – a city that has been crying on and off for a fighter for near a decade – how on earth will he find employ elsewhere?
Guy Carbonneau doesn't value Georges brand of tough – quite simply because there is no one to line his goon up against. In fact, Georges should treasure his games, because from what I've heard, most people think he's played too much – not too little.
Kovy needs to lend his big teammate the mirror he used to look at his game and his life early last week. If Kovalev's 2 days off proved anything, it was that the player was capable of taking criticism (from Gainey at least) and using it to probe for solutions within himself.
Laraque should take a good look at himself too. As we all know, because he said as much earlier this season, Georges only fights fighters. Usually he only fights in the first 30 seconds of the game. He is the best fighter on the team, but the worst hockey player by a country mile.
What does Georges think he brings to those games after the 6th minute when he is released from the box? Where does he think the evidence for more minutes comes from?
The mirror would tell all. It would tell him, he's done nothing to try and improve himself and is resting on his laurels as a league evolves to exclude players like him. It might also tell him that willingness to fight is a lot more valuable than weeks ahead planning with a buddy on an opposing team when it comes down to it.
It would certainly tell him to eat his pride as he reaps the rewards of a silly decision from Bob Gainey. $4.5 million dollars for doing nothing, and to hang around an NHL team when you're not much a of a hockey player anymore ain't all bad.
On that note I offer you with this stinging criticism from the usually positive JT. If she's this harsh, it must be bad:
If Laraque isn't smart enough to realize he's got it bloody made in Montreal, with his big salary and the legions who love him despite his failure to become an effective part of the team, he's got a serious problem. If he thinks he's more than a fourth-line player who will be shuffled in and out of the lineup like every other fourth-liner, and that he has a right to moan about it in public at the expense of team unity, then I hope he is traded.
Even if Bob Gainey shops him this week, though, I doubt there'll be a lineup for his services. So, shut up and take your money, Georges. We've seen what you can do, and we're not impressed.
Brisebois deserves credit
On a similar tack, Patrice Brisebois is also benched more than he'd probably like. But, you know what, Patrice doesn't complain, because he's too busy thanking his lucky stars that someone took another (and another) chance on him as a professional calibre hockey player.
For his quiet willingness to take $1.5 million dollars, Patrice should be commended. He has perspective in his life. Laraque could learn a lot from his teammate...