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December 22, 2011 12:37 PM   Subscribe

Last week, the NHL's Montreal Canadiens, struggling with numerous injuries, underperforming stars, and a 13-11-7 record, fired head coach Jacques Martin. They replaced him with Randy Cunneyworth, the head coach of their farm team in Hamilton, Ontario. Cunneyworth is a former NHL defenseman and a blue-chip coaching prospect, but there's one problem: he doesn't speak French.

In hockey-mad Montreal, the Habs (as the Canadiens are colloquially called) are, as FC Barcelona is in Spain, "more than a club". The team is an institution, serving as the champions of a Québécois minority that has had sometimes-strained relations with Anglophone Canada. The club was specifically formed to appeal to the French Canadian market and, until the 1960's, had exclusive rights to nearly every Francophone hockey prospect.

Given this place in Quebec's culture, it's not surprising that an uproar among some Francophones began after Cunneyworth's hiring. Francophone media are up in arms. Quebec's culture minister, Christine St-Pierre, is calling on the Habs to fix the problem. Montreal's city council devoted time to the question yesterday. And two separatist groups are planning a protest, claiming that Cunneyworth's hiring is one more offense in a long line of Anglicization that includes Anglophone pop music and bilingual announcements in the Habs' arena and the increasing lack of French Canadian players on the team.

The controversy raises an interesting question: to what extent should sports teams - generally understood to be corporations operating on profit motive alone - reflect the culture of the place they play?
posted by downing street memo (66 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
to what extent should sports teams - generally understood to be corporations operating on profit motive alone - reflect the culture of the place they play?

To the extent that the market demands, I suppose.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:41 PM on December 22, 2011 [5 favorites]


Zut, alors! Il faut qu'il l'apprenne, et vite.
posted by No Robots at 12:42 PM on December 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


Zut, alors! Il faut qu'il l'apprenne, et vite.

Didn't want to editorialize in the post, but I agree entirely.
posted by downing street memo at 12:45 PM on December 22, 2011


To repeat a much cleverer friend's joke, "Cunneyworth has no gift for the French tongue?"
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:45 PM on December 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


Al MacNeil was chucked in the early 70's after having coached Montreal to a Stanley Cup for the same reason, so I guess Cunneyworth can't even coach his way to approval, based on precedence.
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 12:46 PM on December 22, 2011


"Cunneyworth has no gift for the French tongue?"

Not a cunning linguist, hein?
posted by No Robots at 12:47 PM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Another aspect of controversy is that the only head coaching experience he has is about two months this year with Montreal's AHL team.

Let's also not forget all the trouble the Montreal media gave Saku Koivu, a Finnish player, after he was named captain of the team because he didn't speak French. So much grief that current captain, American Brian Gionta, gave his speech in both English and French when he was named captain.

Also keep in mind there are currently only three Quebecois players on Montreal's 23-man roster (including recent call-up Louis Leblanc) so it's not like he can't communicate to the team.
posted by crashlanding at 12:47 PM on December 22, 2011


What's particularly French (or Quebecois) about hockey?
posted by tommasz at 12:48 PM on December 22, 2011


The most ridiculous part is firing the coach wasn't even the right move. Their GM should be lynched after the Gomez trade and Markov contract. IMO this is a team that has overachieved the last couple years, usually the sign of good coaching.
posted by mannequito at 12:48 PM on December 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


How often does this come up in soccer, sorry Association Football? I mean, most every national team is coached by someone of a different nationality.
posted by Jimbob at 12:48 PM on December 22, 2011


Time to bring in Blacque Jacques Shellacque to straighten out dat dere club, I t'ink. Quick: What does the "CH" stand for on the Canadiens' team jerseys? Centre hice! BWAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA...!! My name is l'Office de la Langue Française du Québec and I approved this joke.
posted by Mike D at 12:49 PM on December 22, 2011 [8 favorites]


As an interim coach, perhaps this shouldn't be such a big deal. However, Cunneyworth didn't help matters any when he said that he wouldn't take French lessons, but somehow pick it up on the job. Totally the wrong answer. And a doubtful prediction, too, given how many years he already spent in Ottawa without picking it up.
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:49 PM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


The controversy raises an interesting question: to what extent should sports teams - generally understood to be corporations operating on profit motive alone - reflect the culture of the place they play?

It's interesting to frame the question this way, because I don't think sports teams are generally understood that way at least by fans. Look at the hurt and anger when a team leaves a town, people pour a lot of emotion (rightly or wrongly) into their sports teams, and I don't think they see them as corporations, even if that's how they're organized and run. People feel an investment in sports team that goes beyond brand loyalty.

I tend to see this as, on balance, a good thing, even if it leads to people ranting like lunatics on talk radio when their favorite player leaves for another town. Pride in where you're from, shared history and culture, connections with the people around you, local sports teams build all of that in ways that are positive and make communities better places to be. Part of the way the Canadiens build those local connections has been through language (for reasons that make perfect sense historically) so I can understand being worried that you're going to lose that if they're an Anglophone team.

As an aside, as American with absolutely no historical connection to the place I live, I love and am slightly jealous of teams that have a deep connection to the place they're in like that. The one sport team I support from my home state is clearly my strongest, and it has an importance to me that I'll never be able to duplicate, because I can't be ten again. Sadly, there's no way for me to express my love for these "local" teams without ruining what causes me to love them, so I'll just drop a quick note of appreciation for Athletic Bilbao here.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:51 PM on December 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


Zut, alors!

I think you mis-typed "Ostie!" (See also, aussi.)
posted by maudlin at 12:52 PM on December 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


What's particularly French (or Quebecois) about hockey?

Well, the game appears (at least according to Putting a Roof on Winter, an amazing book about the history of professional hockey) to have been more or less invented in Montreal. Primitive versions of the sport were played elsewhere, of course; hockey resembles hurling, lacrosse, and bandy, which pre-date it significantly. But the game was modernized not by Francophones but by Anglophones of English and Scottish descent, who were Montreal's elite at the time. French-speakers and Irish were considered to be too low-class for sport.

I don't think Francophones make a unique claim on hockey, but they do have one, I think, on the Canadiens.
posted by downing street memo at 12:52 PM on December 22, 2011


Zut, alors! Il faut qu'il l'apprenne, et vite.

Eh, why bother? He's only going to be there for two seasons, anyway.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:52 PM on December 22, 2011


mannequito, don't forget the recent Kaberle trade where the Hurricanes GM said something on the order of "that was a bad bad contract and I'm happy to be rid of it." Surely the GM should take a lot of the blame, but Gauthier is a hometime boy!
posted by crashlanding at 12:54 PM on December 22, 2011


This has been all over the news and the talk shows here. My francophone partner is up-in-arms. The timing is brutal. They announced this right before the holidays when families need something to discuss around the dinner table. Tabernac! I know what the topic of conversation at my in-laws is going to be. Hockey has replaced religion as the tie that binds in this province.

@ tommasz: here - this should tell you all you need to know http://www.nfb.ca/film/sweater/ (mobile device, sorry).
posted by Cuke at 12:54 PM on December 22, 2011




La Liga's San Sebastian-based Real Sociedad used to go as far as only signing Basque players and the occasional international, but no Spanish players per se until the business requirements of maintaining a team in the first division dictated otherwise.

I'm all for business assisting in cultural progress as long as it doesn't eradicate the uniqueness of a people, but shame on the Quebecois for depending on the makeup of a sports team to uphold their national identity. Then again, hockey's pretty much all they've got.
posted by jsavimbi at 12:55 PM on December 22, 2011


Owe you a Coke, Cuke.
posted by Meatbomb at 12:55 PM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


*record scratch*

-Kaberle got traded to the Canadiens!? How the hell did that pass me by?
posted by mannequito at 12:56 PM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Not a cunning linguist, hein?

He doesn't have a rule against it, per se, he's just never found a cunney worth it.
posted by nathancaswell at 12:59 PM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


French? He's coaching in the NHL, doesn't he need to speak Russian?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 1:00 PM on December 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


...bilingual announcements in the Habs' arena...

I don't know who that announcer guy is, but he should be on the short list of candidates for Governor General Gouverneur général.
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:00 PM on December 22, 2011


Baseball is seen in the United States as a uniquely American game. The teams are sources of local pride. And yet it's not unheard of for baseball players in the major leagues, even big names like Boston's Daisuke Matsuzaka, to speak no English at all (and it's not like Boston has a famously rich Japanese culture that he's representing instead). Nobody gives a crap.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:01 PM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


French? He's coaching in the NHL, doesn't he need to speak Russian?

Just in case anyone thinks this isn't a joke, there were only 23 Russian players in the NHL last year.
posted by downing street memo at 1:02 PM on December 22, 2011


until the 1960's, had exclusive rights to nearly every Francophone hockey prospect.

This is an oft-repeated statement, but not actually true. The 'French Canadian' rule allowed Montreal to reserve the rights to 2 players who hadn't already signed a C form. From 1936 to 1967, only a handful of players so selected actually suited up for the Habs, and none of them were star players.
posted by bumpkin at 1:04 PM on December 22, 2011


downing street memo, there are only 22 this year, I just checked. 6 of them have played 15 or less games this season too. Of course the talent level of those other 16 makes up for it, Malkin, Datsyuk, Ovechkin, Kovalchuk, Anisimov, Burmistrom, Kulikov, and for old times sake Semin and Gonchar. (No Markov yet this year though)
posted by crashlanding at 1:07 PM on December 22, 2011


Let's put it this way, for a young boy, growing up in Québec, two things are mandatory: the Sunday Mass, and the Saturday night hockey game. (from Meatbomb and Cuke's link, which I was independently looking up at the same time - this is how ingrained it is)

Hockey, and the Montréal Canadiens, are sufficiently important that they are (in effect) on the Canadian 5 dollar bill.

I don't know that sports teams in general need to reflect anything specific, but the Canadiens are not a sports team in general. It's extremely ham-fisted that Cunneyworth, as the de facto spokesperson for the team, didn't show up in his first press conference, delivering a couple of apologetic sentences en Français promising to take French lessons tout de suite.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 1:07 PM on December 22, 2011


To their credit this year, the Habs have signed Evelyne Audet as host for HabsTV. Come for the hockey reportage, stay for the charming Quebecoise accent stressing the wrong syl-LAB-les, talking about 'le pen-AL-ty box', par exemple.
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:16 PM on December 22, 2011


Okay, here's an awesome detail:

After the Canadiens lost their second game under Cunneysworth, Le Journal de Montréal (the highest-circulation French paper in Québec) printed a bilingual front page, with the headline "Another Loss for Cunneyworth" just to make sure he could read it.

They also had a survey showing 72% of francophones were opposed to a monolingual head coach.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 1:18 PM on December 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


Holy Zarquon, there are tonnes and tonnes of NHL players and prospects who don't speak English. That's not what this is about. It's about the coach's ability to handle the media.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 1:18 PM on December 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


Funny thing was, two weeks ago, read any newspaper column on the Canadiens, or listen to any radio or cable sports show, and all you heard about was how Jacques Martin had to be fired. So they did, and named the then-assistant coach (and former coach of the Habs' farm team) as interim head coach with an explicit statement from the owner of the team, Geoff Molson, that the eventual coach would, naturally, be bilingual. This shouldn't be that big a deal, except.... except.... the team is still losing.

Obviously, this is counterfactual, but I'd bet that if Cunneyworth's team had not just lost three games in a row, and pretty much putting a fork in an already disastrous season, you wouldn't be hearing nearly as much of the holy and sacred dictate that requires Habs head coaches to be French (and historically, some of their most winning coaches -- Toe Blake, for one -- were anglos). Historically, the Canadiens were a powerhouse and widely loved or reviled for it (think the Man U. of hockey), Since the mid-80s they've been in decline, with only two Stanley Cups, the last in 1993. Since then, its been almost 20 years of being almost as bad -- and often worse -- than the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The gravest insult to the club is not that its become less French. Its that they've stopped dominating the sport.
posted by bumpkin at 1:19 PM on December 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


holy and sacred dictate that requires Habs head coaches to be French

To be fair, I don't think this is the contention from Francophone Habs fans; I think they want the coach to be able to speak some French. One of the greatest coaches in their history, Scotty Bowman, was an anglo Montrealer, but made the effort to speak the language anyway.
posted by downing street memo at 1:21 PM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


The gravest insult to the club is not that its become less French. Its that they've stopped dominating the sport.

The thing is, they have to pick one or the other now (and, really, should have done so 20 years ago at least). It worked out OK in the 70s to be distinctively French and still win a ton of games, because there were a lot of (or at least enough) great French players/coaches which the Canadiens had easy access to, but the landscape of the NHL has changed tons and tons since then, so now the Canadiens are a half-assed hockey team that's half-assedly French instead of a mediocre team that's very French or a good team that doesn't have much ethnic identity at all.
posted by Copronymus at 1:27 PM on December 22, 2011


It's about the coach's ability to handle the media.

Goes even further. Québec's got this fun little office known as L'Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF). Depending on how you want to interpret their charter...
CHAPTER I
THE OFFICIAL LANGUAGE OF QUÉBEC

1. French is the official language of Québec.

CHAPTER II
FUNDAMENTAL LANGUAGE RIGHTS

2. Every person has a right to have the civil administration, the health services and social services, the public utility enterprises, the professional orders, the associations of employees and all enterprises doing business in Québec communicate with him in French.
Emphasis mine.

The OQLF has been super active recently lashing out at (mostly) American retailers coming into Québec about making sure they're compliant with the charter. While they used to be more concerned about operations and marketing, they're now going so far as to demand that companies with English names change those names on store signs.

I may be incorrect, but my understanding is that the OQLF has no legal power, but are very persuasive among many folks in office. If they're striking hard against foreigners for not following their guidelines, I can only imagine the wrath they'd bring against a local business.
posted by SpiffyRob at 1:30 PM on December 22, 2011


The most ridiculous part is firing the coach wasn't even the right move

I'm one of the few who would say the same for when he was fired from Ottawa. In his career he's apparently only coached 3 losing seasons, and these have included some pretty terrible teams.

It is true he hasn't had a lot of playoff success though. A lot of 1st round losses on his teams.

OK, mostly courtesy of my Senators.

And a doubtful prediction, too, given how many years he already spent in Ottawa without picking it up


If you're not a federal public servant, it's easy to go through life in Ottawa speaking only English. I grew up there and I know plenty of people whose French is atrocious or who can't speak French at all.
posted by Hoopo at 1:31 PM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yup, I believe Bowman was the last anglo coach and left in 1979. Him and Blake were the two most successful coaches in the Habs' history.

I'd still argue that if Cunneyworth managed to put together a Bowman or Blake like record, his linguistic chops would start to matter a lot, lot less. I remember when Kovalev was the darling of the city, but as he started to loaf around and the team's fortunes sank, I would here shopkeepers in Montreal complain about 'too many Russians'.
posted by bumpkin at 1:35 PM on December 22, 2011


I would here shopkeepers in Montreal complain about 'too many Russians'

To be fair, Kovalev on your team is too many Russians
posted by Hoopo at 1:38 PM on December 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


To be sure, though, if all other things are equal, I'd prefer the coach be French as well. I'd love the team to have a Quebecois identity, perhaps to try to recapture the old glory of the "Flying Frenchmen", but the way players are drafted, developed and traded, its not going to happen. Having the coach be Quebecois does stamp a bit of the identity on to the team, though only to a certain extent. Martin's style and system, for instance, was the antithesis of the 70s Habs teams.
posted by bumpkin at 1:41 PM on December 22, 2011


People are complaining because language issues are in the air, because there is little else going on, because the GM should have been long gone, because he isn't a very good interim coach and because he keeps making idiotic statements to the media. whether or not you intend to learn French in this kind of high profile job you say you plan to learn and have someone translate your speeches for you.
On the ground in Montreal, bilingualism is pretty much assumed - there have been some bilingual movies, a new bilingual standup show, and so on. So choosing someone as the face of a city institution who is proudly unilingual (and with the wrong uni) is a bad choice.
posted by jeather at 1:50 PM on December 22, 2011


...it's easy to go through life in Ottawa speaking only English.

It's easy (although not as) to do it in Montreal as well. The problem as I see it is that he made no attempts to speak to his audience in French, and said that he wouldn't even try learning it in any serious way, either. He couldn't even make a token effort at sputtering out a few phrases, or go through the motions that he has a tutor to help him learn, blah blah blah.

To be unilingual is one thing. To not even try is the real insult. As poor as a non-speaker's French is, as long as they see you making the effort, everything's just fine (although there may be some teasing about it).

To suggest that you'll pick it up somehow at work is not nearly good enough, because it's entirely possible to get along without it. He had that opportunity in Ottawa, to somehow absorb it, and didn't take it then because it's easy not to, is what I'm saying.

He could have handled this situation so much better, if he had made any kind of token effort. But he didn't, showing that he has no idea who he's talking to. It was terrible PR, and for what is one of the toughest jobs in sports, it just speaks of someone who is completely incapable of handling that job, and would prefer to go the easy way he already knows.
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:51 PM on December 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


People are complaining because language issues are in the air, because there is little else going on...

It's the old story of Mordecai Richler chastizing Nick Auf Der Maur for wasting their time having to buy a paper at the airport. Richler explained that Montreal papers only ever said two things: "Expos Lose, Language Debate Continues".

I miss my Expos.
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:56 PM on December 22, 2011 [6 favorites]


I'm not super-familiar with Canadian education, but I was under the impression that everyone had to take a certain amount of French regardless of where you grow up, right?

As in, Cunneyworth should at least be able to spit out "Désolé, mais je vais l'apprendre tout de suite." That's the only thing I don't understand. That would have bought him a tremendous amount of goodwill, I feel.
posted by downing street memo at 1:57 PM on December 22, 2011


Cunneyworth is a former NHL defenseman

Nope, he played on the wing. He was one of Mario Lemieux's regular linemates back before Pittsburgh turned the corner and started winning Stanley Cups.
posted by Sauce Trough at 2:04 PM on December 22, 2011


To suggest that you'll pick it up somehow at work is not nearly good enough, because it's entirely possible to get along without it.

This is pretty true. If there's enough bilingual people around it becomes quite easy to be a unilingual freeloader.
posted by Hoopo at 2:05 PM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, the game appears... to have been more or less invented in Montreal.

Oh, I can't let this go unopposed. Montreal's claim to hockey's origins stems from an 1875 indoor hockey game. But that game was played by "Halifax Rules" using Mi'kmaq sticks imported from Nova Scotia and skates made by Starr in Dartmouth, and organized by a Halifax native. More or less invented in Montreal? I'd put the accent on "less".
posted by GhostintheMachine at 2:08 PM on December 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


Ah, dammit. Thanks Sauce Trough.
posted by downing street memo at 2:10 PM on December 22, 2011


Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish: "Baseball is seen in the United States as a uniquely American game. The teams are sources of local pride. And yet it's not unheard of for baseball players in the major leagues, even big names like Boston's Daisuke Matsuzaka, to speak no English at all (and it's not like Boston has a famously rich Japanese culture that he's representing instead). Nobody gives a crap."

That's the first thing I thought of too. In fact, when people comment about how baseball coaches here don't speak English well (like Ozzie Guillen*), I usually think of them as racist dirt bags. Totally different country, culture, and about a hundred other things. But still, from an outsider's perspective, some fascinating differences.


(* Of all the things to mock Ozzie Guillen about, if your go-to thing is how he can't speak English even though "we" pay him so much money, then you're probably a racist.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:12 PM on December 22, 2011


I'm not super-familiar with Canadian education, but I was under the impression that everyone had to take a certain amount of French regardless of where you grow up, right?

"Take" and "learn" are two very different things. I took six years of French, but I'd be quite hard-pressed to do use it to order a pizza.

Besides,
1. We're taught French French, not Québécois (let alone joual d'hockey)
2. I don't think we have to take French at all--just a second language (there are some German immersion schools in Alberta, for example)
posted by Sys Rq at 2:38 PM on December 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


to do use it
posted by Sys Rq at 2:40 PM on December 22, 2011


I was under the impression that everyone had to take a certain amount of French regardless of where you grow up, right?

Not everywhere; in Alberta you can graduate without any French, although I think you need it to graduate in Ontario (at least today; standards were different 35 years ago when Cunneyworth would have been in high school). In my experience, the majority of Canadians who are planning to go on to university take French (but there are an increasing number of Spanish/Mandarin/etc. courses and programs today), although per Sys Rq, retention is something else entirely. And a skilled junior hockey player wouldn't necessarily have time to take more academic courses than the minimum.

Re: the baseball comparisons, it's not that Cunneyworth doesn't speak French well; it's that he apparently doesn't speak it at all. I just watched a random Ozzie Guillen video, and I'm sure if Cunneyworth's French was that good, only the amped-up nationalists would give a shit. And coaches are held to a higher standard of discourse than the players; they need to give press conferences and explain stategy, more than 'just playing one game at a time' and 'giving 100% out there'.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 2:48 PM on December 22, 2011


In my experience, the majority of Canadians who are planning to go on to university take French.

This has not been my experience at all.
posted by asnider at 3:06 PM on December 22, 2011


More or less invented in Montreal? I'd put the accent on "less".

Ok, ok, fine. Some sweaty Haligonian invented hockey. We'll keep our 24 Stanley Cups. How many do you guys have?
posted by docgonzo at 3:13 PM on December 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


(And the blessed quote upthread compels me to add: I'd happily trade the last twenty years of Montreal hockey for one more day of Richler and Nick.)
posted by docgonzo at 3:15 PM on December 22, 2011


(And at least we didn't just sign Bieber.)
posted by docgonzo at 3:19 PM on December 22, 2011


Ok, ok, fine. Some sweaty Haligonian invented hockey. We'll keep our 24 Stanley Cups.

Exactly. Isn't that enough without having to steal history as well?
posted by Sys Rq at 3:31 PM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Isn't that enough without having to steal history as well?"

Too right. We have far too much history for our own good already.
posted by docgonzo at 3:46 PM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


We'll keep our 24 Stanley Cups. How many do you guys have?

Not fair. We Haligonians don't even have an NHL team. So we're basically a smaller, poorer Toronto.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 3:50 PM on December 22, 2011 [8 favorites]


An interesting article about the choice and some of the comments people have by Henry Aubin.

I have a lot of objections to the language laws here and some of the issues with language politics in general, but it's tacky as anything and a very bad (and clearly, obviously going to be bad with bad publicity) idea.
posted by jeather at 5:22 PM on December 22, 2011


We'll keep our 24 Stanley Cups Coupes Stanley. How many do you guys have?

FTFY.

Signed,

Proud Haligonian
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 5:27 PM on December 22, 2011


there are some German immersion schools in Alberta, for example

Not that I've heard of. We do have at least one Spanish immersion in Calgary, but it's the French immersion programmes that are in greatest demand.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 6:24 PM on December 22, 2011


(And at least we didn't just sign Bieber.)

That's rough. I'm still pissed at the Canucks for letting Michael Bublé practice with them.
posted by mannequito at 6:53 PM on December 22, 2011


Guy Lafleur, Steve Shutt, Ken Dryden, Serge Savard, Yvan Cournoyer, Larry Robinson, Bob Gainy, Scotty Bowman, Guy Lapointe, and on and on.

The Habs were fucking wondrous in the seventies. Winning Stanley Cups and just leaving them on the side of the road...

I miss those days when hockey was as aesthetic as it was athletic and the play by play had a fluid bilingual beauty.
posted by srboisvert at 3:50 AM on December 23, 2011


For those needing an education on what the Habs mean to francophones, The Sweater.

The Habs aren't a sports team, they are a splinter sect of a religion.
posted by QIbHom at 8:53 AM on December 23, 2011


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