You can call it character. You can call it attitude. It doesn’t matter. If Marc Bergevin is actually interested in signing Slava Voynov, every word he has ever said would ring hollow.
I’m not going to go into Voynov’s statistics nor his fit on the ice because quite frankly there is no point. This isn’t about the team’s needs or his style of play. And nor will this be a debate about “rehabilitation” or about how someone can change. This is about a general manager preaching character and attitude and making a decision that goes against those buzzwords in the worst possible way.
You could argue, like our colleague Cara at Arctic Ice Hockey did, that the NHL should step in and refuse any team from employing Voynov. After all, Voynov is still technically suspended by the league and they did not allow him to play in the NHL-sanctioned World Cup of Hockey.
The Canadian Football League has a very progressive domestic violence policy and has refused contracts of coaches and players with domestic violence issues in their past when teams have agreed to sign them.
But for a man who preaches intangibles as much as Bergevin, he shouldn’t even put the league in that position.
Bergevin, if this report is true, may point to Andrew Shaw and Alexander Radulov when talking about acquiring players with questionable pasts. But there is a difference between someone committing a slur, someone missing curfew, and someone who actually spent time in jail for an action like Voynov did.
If Bergevin ever wants to look at those cameras and say that attitude or character is the reason for a future failure, the Canadiens should not even be in the picture for a guy like Voynov.
“Indefensible” has been used by fans to describe moves that they do not agree with from a hockey standpoint. Interest in Voynov would transcend hockey. A move like this would truly be indefensible and put shame on the entire Canadiens organization.