Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Holiday Reading

The editor must be on holiday. How else does one explain the error-ridden and misinformed piece of tripe that the paper published today about the Habs?

I am going to link it, because it's that ridiculous.

According to Vincent Lubrano, correspondent and fan from the Garden State, Francis Bouillon is not French enough, Francis is not a name used by Quebec French name, Louis Leblanc does not exist and the Canadiens would be better off with 20 average players from the home province.

His nostalgic tale calls into question whether Vincent Lubrano has even watched a game since his hero (Rejean Houle) was released from GM duty, or even hired in that capacity. He clearly never saw what a certain Finn's passion for a city and sweater could muster. His mis-spent rant even manages to discount an emerging French Canadian star (top 5 scorer from Quebec):
We do have David Desharnais — a good player, but hardly a star. If we are going to only have one, can’t he at least be a star player?

While there probably is some merit to be found somewhere in his argument, it's not worth looking for. The guy is so tied in knots for nostalgia that you wouldn't have expected him to have ever stopped to consider the way the league has changed since he enjoyed a Stanley Cup win 41 years ago, maybe he hasn't even noticed the changes.

I suspect that the fact of the matter is that the Canadiens management feel exactly the same way about having St. Louis and Lecavalier (or once did), but luckily aren't so ridiculously blinded as to totally dismiss a world class talent like Markov and a recent pinnacle performance from a forward like Erik Cole because they don't have names that seem exotic enough to Vince.

Those that truly want the team to end a 19-year drought can look beyond approaches long past the best-by date and appreciate that winning in a 30-team, salary cap league with players coming from all corners of the world takes something more than home bodies.

I think all those same people I refer to would be thrilled to have Martin St. Louis play a swan song, or for the Canadiens to go to great lengths to ensure they mine talent from the home front better. But then, these problems are beginning to get sorted.

After all, what Mr. Lubrano probably missed (along with Louis Leblanc, Markov's career, and some anglo players that didn't suck) was that Bergevin went on an unprecedented spree of French Canadien personnel hires. The head coach and a few of his assistants are dyed-in-the-wool Quebecois, as are the men in charge of prospect development. Donald Audette, was most recently brought on to specifically help sort out the Quebec scouting situation. The Canadiens in a fell swoop grew their home presence by several orders of magnitude in the front and back offices.

And what is sorted? Does anyone really want a "National" team that can't compete? Would the Lubrano's of the world have gawked and gasped at amazing comebacks if Selke and Pollock had stocked by territorial boundary come what may?

Sorted to the mainstream fan means winning. Win with Desharnais, win with Markov. These aren't at odds for the proud Montreal hockey follower. Let's not let those so wrapped up in a past they can't see a future tell us otherwise.

Shame on the Gazette for publishing the article. It's summer holidays. We all deserved a holiday from Lubrano's piece of writing.

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