We’re all very happy that Trevor Timmins’ wife is French-speaking, but that doesn’t help her understand the “Montreal Canadian” phenomenon.
Serge Savard may have explained it many times after having demonstrated it twice rather than once, but it does not fit.
Timmins and Marc Bergevin each year defend their draft picks one by one, but they don’t realize that’s really not the way to build a club in Montreal where the Stanley Cup has been won 24 times.
It is not a coincidence.
Little guys here in the club, it takes more than three or four.
The 1993 team
You need a core, a heart like the one in 1993 built around Roy, Damphousse, Carbonneau, Desjardins, Denis Savard, Lebeau, Brisebois, Daigneault and others.
There were more than a dozen of them who took leadership of the chamber and they coached guys like Muller, Keane, Bellows and LeClair.
The coach was Jacques Demers.
This club was identified as Quebec.
In the 1970s, guys like Gainey, Robinson, Dryden quickly understood that they were going to live in Quebec, in French, with the Savards, Lafleurs, Lemaires, Cournoyer, Lambert and Tremblay.
They learned the language.
Players from elsewhere did not agree to switch to the Canadian. No, they wanted to become Montrealers and they cried bitterly when they were exchanged. Talk to Mike Keane, Chris Chelios, Lyle Odelein.
When the Canadiens’ backdrop respects their origins and true identity, they become an exceptional team and they win.
This is what we have not understood for 25 years. We go looking for a little guy from here, from time to time, left and right, but we don’t build in Quebec. It’s a long-term job that is divided into 3 levels: the draft, the exchanges and the invitations to forgotten players.
I’m convinced that this sweater, this patch, still has some magic, pages of history to write and even ghosts to awaken, but it takes the right actors. Not one from time to time. A core, Trevor, a core.
From the enclave
- 36 years ago today, Mario lemieux was entering the NHL. It was at the old Boston Garden. On his first appearance, he stole a puck from Raymond Bourque, he escaped and he beat Pete Peters. It was his first shot in the circuit and there was not yet 30 seconds of play on the clock. You can see this on YouTube.
- While he was still a junior at Laval and had not yet been drafted, Mario lemieux told me, in an interview with TVA, that his dream was to play for New York Rangers.
- I do not understand that the captain of the Drummondville Voltigeurs, Xavier Simoneau, was not drafted. He’ll make you all lie.
- I repeat myself. Go get the book Henri Richard, the legend of the 11 Stanley Cups. Little gem.
- It was also on October 11 that the first game in the history of the Canadiens was broadcast on TV. René Lecavalier described the third period of this meeting against Detroit. We did not want to broadcast the entire meeting fearing that people would no longer go to the Forum.
- Territories change, don’t they? Wild turkeys have been seen at Montreal, corner Fleury and Saint-Denis. Not a joke, it’s true.
- It is now possible for hunters to log slaughtered game online. Moose, bear, deer or wild turkey must be registered within 48 hours of slaughter. A much appreciated government opening.
- Andrew Magee is the only player in PGA history to hit a hole-in-one on a par 4. A 332-yard tee shot in 2001 on the TPC Scottsdale Course.
- 50 years ago, the Canadian welcomed 4 green recruits: Rejean Houle, Marc Tardif, Guy Lapointe and Peter Mahovlich.
- 25 years ago, the Canadian welcomed a green recruit: Saku Koivu, But Serge Savard and Jacques Demers were fired.
- 10 years ago, the Canadian appointed a new captain: Brian Gionta.