A shoutout to Ted Bird of TSN990, who brought this "special to the Montreal Gazette," to my attention via his Facebook page this morning.
The retirement of Red Fisher and the semi-retirement of Mike Boone was already a major setback to the Gazette's hockey coverage. Dave Stubbs remains as consistent as ever, Stu Cowan is an excellent contributor and like him or not (you know how Andrew and I feel), Pat Hickey still does the bulk of the road work.
In the meantime, as we wait to see if there is or isn't a season, we get the words of Montreal hockey wisdom from Vincent Lubranois, a hospitality professional from Albany, NY who was raised in that hockey hotbed of the day, New Jersey.
Lubranois' argument is the fact that there is only one French-Canadian player (David Desharnais) on the current roster. My guess is that he is giving up already on Louis Leblanc.
Given the current election campaigns in Quebec, and maybe I am wrong, but it seems odd that this hasn't been an issue. It was just a few years ago (remember the whole Koivu/French issue?), but I think maybe even the politicians are accepting the modern era Bleu, Blanc, et Rouge.
So let's start. Right off the bat under the graphic, "An 18-year-old Patrick Roy." He was 20 when that picture was taken, and as of 7pm EST tonight that error is still there.
The author then goes to question Francis Bouillon's heritage. Born in New York? Yes, and he has his US citizenship, but moved to Quebec with his French Canadian mother at age three, played his Junior hockey in the QMJHL. I'd say he is more French Canadian that you or I, Mr. Lubranois. Lay off the Bull.
He then reminisces back the the '71 Cup Final and how it started and finished with French Canadian players. I guess he didn't realize that the leading scorer on the team was Frank Mahovlich, the fact there would have been no Cup Final if not for Ontario goalie Ken Dryden, and that there were seven other non-francophone players on that playoff roster.
"I know things have changed and it is not the 1950s, so it is not as easy to get the good French players, but in their time St. Louis, Lecavalier and Luongo were all available to the team."
Oh really? Well Lecavalier was drafted first overall by the Lightning, Luongo went fourth in '97 to the Islanders. St. Louis was missed by every team, so he gets a point for that one.
Yes it is different now with the NHL Entry Draft., but before voicing his thoughts, he really should have reviewed this great post by Robert Lefebvre that breaks down the French territorial rights debate.
Lubranois then notes, "we have had our share of great Anglos, like Larry Robinson." He lists one, a good one mind you, but do names such as Morenz, Lach, Blake, Hainsworth and Durnan ring any bells?
Later he makes reference to how Maurice Richard, the man who made him and among countless others a fan of Les Canadiens, scored the winning goal in overtime with blood dripping down his face. Well I hate to tell you my friend, but that goal you are referring to came in the third period of the '52 Semi Final. He questions why Richard could do that and Andrei Markov couldn't play with a torn ACL?
The article concludes, again noting Roy's incorrect age in 1986.
I hope this does not come across as a condescending criticism, as a personal opinion of the evolved diversity of the Canadiens is one thing. The Canadiens may have responded to Mr. Lubramois' concerns with the recent hiring of Donald Audette as their Quebec scout, showing the franchise is willing to look deeper within their homegrown areas.
Doing a little research on a topic though is a completely different story as is editing at the professional level. We make our share of errors here, but after all we are basement dwelling bloggers.
What makes it a bad article is why the Montreal Gazette let this piece slip through the five hole, allowing for so many errors. It is totally beyond my comprehension. After multiple layoffs at the Gazettte and its parent company, it appears the editing department may have suffered the worst.
Maybe the guy who wrote this also tried to sell Markov insurance.