Dear Mr. Molson,
Hey there Geoff, if I can call you that. I'm sure you don't remember me because you do it all the time, but back when you first bought the Canadiens, I used to live by the Bell Centre, and I'd go through it every day on the walk to school. One morning after crossing St. Antoine, you were there walking in the building and you held the door for me. I thought it was pretty cool that an NHL owner who's likely busy as hell would wait and hold the door for some kid. I made a point to shake your hand and thank you.
The reason I bring this up isn't to guilt trip you in any way, Geoff, but to illustrate that I think you 'get it'. You know more than most owners what this lockout is like for fans of the NHL, because you are a fan. I remember very clearly at the first Canadiens preseason golf tournament you attended as an owner that you stated you were a fan who had a rooting interest in the Canadiens' success, that you weren't buying them as purely a business.
I believe you.
In fact, even if I didn't, and you did buy them purely as a business, I still don't believe you would be in favour of this lockout. The Canadiens are a cash cow. You're going to make a ton of money off of this business no matter what, even with the worst taxes any franchise has to deal with, and having an arena with zero public funding like so many teams enjoy. So a couple extra million per season in your pocket in reduced player costs isn't going to matter very much. Especially when compared to the lost revenues of having lost so many preseason and regular season games already.
In addition to that, there's a new revenue sharing system being bandied about that would see more money go from your team's wealth as the second richest team in the league, to struggling franchises like Phoenix. All in all, not much in this CBA negotiations seems to benefit you. It's pretty plain from the interviews that you've done that you'd much rather see the Canadiens on the ice than struggle with the lockout.
But speaking out right now would net you a $1 million fine. I don't want you to that. Not only would it hurt your wallet, but it doesn't help the process. In fact, as a new owner, you may not have as much clout in the upcoming board of governors meetings this week as you probably should. I'm not sure there's anything you can really do to make this lockout shorter.
However, you do own the Montreal Canadiens, Geoff... The Montreal Canadiens! The most important franchise in hockey. The oldest and most successful franchise in the sport. With that comes some intrinsic power, even if you're new to the old boy's club, and very soon is going to be the time where you can use some of that power. We know you tried when Max Pacioretty was hurt and you got shouted down. But that was then and this is now.
Here's what we, all NHL fans I believe, want you to use that clout for: Get Jeremy Jacobs out of the head chair on the NHL's board of governors. Get him out of there never to return again.
Jeremy Jacobs is not a hockey man trying to grow the sport like Harley Hotchkiss was, he's a money grubbing scrooge with deep pockets. This is the man who lowballed Raymond Bourque his entire career, continually telling him that he would spend the money saved on his contract to make the Bruins better, then he just pocketed it. In fact, the highest paid years in Bourque's career were paid out by the Colorado Avalanche when he was finally given a chance to win the cup without being handcuffed.
Not to mention, he owns the Bruins! The Bruins already have Colin Campbell in the NHL's head office pretending to be unbiased while yelling at referees for calling penalties on his Bruins jersey wearing son. Do the Bruins really deserve more power with the NHL? Obviously the answer is no. As we all know, the Bruins are an insidious and dishonourable franchise that no one likes. The NHL is too good to have it's entire entity tainted by the contemptible, malevolent force that is the Boston Bruins.
Do it for Habs fans, Geoff. Do it for all NHL fans, and do it for yourself. Ally with Toronto and New York if you have to. The three of you control most of the wealth in the league, surely that counts for something.
Flex those muscles, be the owner that we deserve.
P.S. Also please sign P.K. Subban soon after the CBA is done please. That would be nifty.