As the team sinks lower and lower in productivity and success, the focus remains on language, with most of the Press and the public buying into the fantasy that limiting the team to French speaking executives is no handicap at all.
The question remains;
What would be, if more talented English executives were available?
What if a Sam Pollack figure was available to return as General Manager and a Scotty Bowman or Toe Blake figure available as coach?
The public has bought into the moronic fantasy, first enunciated by Serge Savard and parroted ad nauseam by sportswriter anglophobes like Rejean Tremblay, that "à talent égal, des Québécois" (when presented with equal talent choose the Quebecer)
But what if one of the most elite general managers in the NHL suddenly became available to the Canadiens, an experienced and talented manager like Ken Holland, Lou Lamoriello, Peter Chiarelli or Paul Holmgren?
What if one of the most elite coaches in the NHL also became available to the Canadiens, a proven winner like Dan Bylsma, Mike Babcock, Ken Hitchcock or John Tortorella?
With the Savard Doctrine clearly not in play (none of the current potential French candidates for coach or general manager hold a candle to any of the above names,) would the team hire one of these unilingual Anglophones instead of a clearly inferior Francophone candidate?
Alas reader, you know the answer.
It would be French over quality, hands down.
That is where we have arrived in Quebec, not only in the Montreal Canadiens organization, but throughout Quebec society in general.
Recently, SNC-Lavalin one of Quebec's most successful global enterprises was racked by a massive corporate scandal which caused the board of directors to quickly remove the chief executive, Pierre Duhaime.
"SNC Lavalin is in the news again. Just a few days ago the engineering consulting firm dumped its CEO in a controversy over millions of dollars of dodgy payments. Now, the firm is being blasted for replacing him with an interim CEO who is a unilingual anglo. SNC-Lavalin says Ian Bourne has a basic understanding of French but is not able to give interviews in that language." LinkSound familiar?
It's as Yogi Berra once said, "it's deja vu, all over again!"
Yup, the story is eerily familiar to that of the hiring of Randy Cunneyworth and the public's overiding negative obsession over the fact that he is a unilingual Anglophone.
Whether these two men were the best available talent to handle these two powerhouse organizations, deep in crisis, is sadly beside the point.
It seems that even the silly Savard doctrine no longer satisfies the language bloodlust of Quebecers and so the new hiring doctrine has become;
"À talent égal ou inférieure, des Québécois!" or the "Savard doctrine plus"
Now back to the Canadiens, where after a ferocious media campaign of language intimidation, a frightened and panicked Geoff Molson, caved in faster than Chinese coal mine.
Daddy's little rich boy was so terrified of screwing up an investment that supposedly couldn't be screwed up, that he threw his anglo coach under the bus, just two days after approving his hiring!
Realizing that the message of the language zealots was starting to resound in the mainstream media, thus threatening his invincible money machine, he hired the very author of the Savard doctrine himself, Mr. Serge Savard, to take over his responsibility to run the hockey team.
And so Mr. Savard, no dummy when it comes to PR, will interview lots of candidates, including Anglophones, for the job of GM and coach. Ultimately, to nobody's surprise, he will settle on two Francophones, eliminating 80% of the candidates in his mind before the interviews even start, thus insuring that the team has a four out of five chance of hiring an inferior candidate.
I was watching the post game festivities of the first Montreal Impact MSL soccer victory and came across this interview which saddened me greatly.
Yes the language militants are rolling to victory in one battle after another in their quest to rid the corporate offices of Quebec of any vestige of unilingual Anglophones.
"Qu'on leur coupe la tête!" is the rallying cry as they march on the Caisse de dépôt, the National Bank, SNC-Lavelan and the Montreal Canadiens in their holy crusade.
|Albert Einstein -NSFQ*|
After all, if Mr. Einstein couldn't explain his theories and equations in French to his colleagues and subordinates, what the heck would he be good for?
I'm sure Mario Beaulieu would lead the march to have Einstein removed, advising him to learn French immediately or move on to a more suitable environment, perhaps to some hick town in New Jersey.
"À talent égal ou inférieure, des Québécois!"
Now French language militants who peruse this blog will likely say that the above analogy is exaggerated and burlesque, but let me respond beforehand.
When Mario Beaulieu and his evil minion of language idiots demanded that the Caisse de dépôt, the National Bank and SNC-Lavalin remove their respective unilingual anglophone managers, did they even once stop to consider that perhaps these employees had such outstanding and valuable qualities that the language question should be set aside?
Friend or foe of this blog, you will all have to agree that this was never a consideration, because in Quebec, language trumps everything!
Accordingly, a reborn Jesus Christ, wouldn't qualify for any position of power in the Quebec Catholic Church because he had no French.
"À talent égal ou inférieure, des Québécois!"
Readers, I understand Mr. Molson's decision to cave in to language extremists, he is in the entertainment business and must deliver a product that his customers want.
If they'd rather have an inferior product in French, so be it, it costs him or society nothing.
But when the "Savard doctrine plus" is forced upon industry and tremendously talented Anglos are chased out of their jobs, it is sadly destructive.
*NSFQ =Not suitable for Quebec