Dear Mr. Molson:
I'm not naive enough to think that the opinion of one fan is enough to bring about change, but things have gotten far worse since the last time I wrote a member of the organization, and I'm grasping at straws here.
At the beginning of the season, I thought we had a contender on our hands. I watched the team set a franchise record for consecutive wins to start a season. I've now had to go through the pain of watching them become one of the worst teams in the NHL. It is brutally disheartening.
I'll reiterate this; I am a lifelong Habs fan, and even if the team loses every single remaining game on their schedule, I will remain as such. I pray that this won't be the case, but I see little to make me believe that it isn't possible. Simply put, this team is embarrassing right now.
I never thought I'd be able to say that. I never thought I could be embarrassed by the Canadiens, but this is the worst stretch of hockey the team has played in over 100 years of existence. My father got to live through the 70's teams, and I understand that I can't expect that myself, but I do expect a whole lot better than I'm seeing right now.
What right do I have to demand greatness? None, but if you don't demand it, then I would have to question why you wanted to buy a storied franchise like the Canadiens in the first place. I believe that you do demand it, and if I am indeed right about that, I have a few burning questions.
Why is the coaching staff seemingly immune from being held accountable for the worst streak in the history of the club? There have been many baffling decisions at that level, and it seems that everyone but the people in a position to make a change have taken notice. Did you by any chance notice this the other night in Philadelphia?
Three players below the goal line, trying to set up a breakout, on the power play of all situations. I may not be an NHL coach, but is there anyone who can honestly look at an image like that and not think that there are some serious issues in the way the team is being instructed? This is far from the only example of incompetence, I might add.
Mark Barberio was scratched last night, his replacement in Alexei Emelin looked pretty bad, and that is being generous. Again, this is but one recent example chosen from a plethora of decisions that are leaving your fan base bewildered. When does it end? When is the coaching staff going to be looked at as a problem? I simply cannot believe that the only people noticing these deficiencies are the fans.
Why can't we have a real update on the status of Carey Price? Most fans saw the video of him skating yesterday, and based on that, it seems clear that he's a fair amount of time away from returning. I believe that the fans deserve significantly more than the constant ambiguity that has formed the club's response to questions about his status.
I understand that some injuries are difficult to pinpoint in terms of determining a timetable for a return, but the degree to which fans have been kept in the dark about the team's most important player is completely unfair in my opinion. If he is done for the year, which many suspect to be the case, the fans deserve to know. If not, that's great and we'd love to hear some non-cryptic talk about how long it will actually be.
There were a lot of empty seats last night, and it was noticeable. Fans have been booing a lot lately, and with good reason. When the game ended the boos weren't even that loud, because the fans are exasperated. They can't even bring themselves to be angry, because they're just tired of this.
Do you expect fans to keep shelling out hundreds of dollars for single-game tickets to watch the team lose? Do you expect them to cheer the team while they lose after blowing leads, or get blown out? Do you expect them to keep caring about the games when these losses seem to be a foregone conclusion?
If something isn't done soon, I'd not be surprised if the team finishes the season with less fans. It is very difficult for fans right now to spend every day talking about how bad things are, yet nothing seems to be getting done about it. The Habs are one of the most expensive teams to be a fan of, and the product being delivered in return is abysmal right now.
Again, I'll never personally abandon the Canadiens, but I can't speak for every fan. It's a shame that we've gotten to this point, because at the beginning of the season there was a lot of hope surrounding this team. It looked like they could do something special. That feeling is long gone now, and I'm not sure if it can come back.
I am asking you. No, begging you; please do something. Please step in and make some kind of real change to let myself, and fans like me know that you're not alright with the way things are going. Right now, it feels like the only people who aren't alright with it are the fans, and we're beyond restless.
Please, show us that you care as much as we do, because we need to know that. We need to know that the owner of the team is not alright with constantly losing.
We need to know that the ultimate goal is still the Stanley Cup, because right now, it certainly doesn't feel that way.