There are Stanley Cup Rings Blocking my Ears …


Blah , blah , blah … blah , blah , blah …

These are the words that escape the pages of Montreal Canadien websites , blogs and articles about the team . The same things – over and over and over and …

Yes we know . Gauthier has made such a mess with this team it is a wonder he has not been assassinated by the FLQ . Gomez , on the other hand was assassinated some time last year. His cadaver – skating the perimeter of the Bell Center , haunting every shift and in turn – paling the performances of ‘ the real Hab ghosts ‘ in contrast.

How about Bob Gainey ? Once again – we are quite aware … The current hall of famer and former hockey player is placing red , white and blue post – it notes in Gauthier’s pocket on a daily basis. Gainey is the real villain – Gauthier the figurehead …

Through the past darkly , there have been worse atrocities that have destroyed millions of children , their parents and grandparents before. Everyone is aware of a man named Hitler . While not forgetting these events is a good thing – it is also not a good thing to be pounding on doors every hour to pass this message on. By no means am I comparing the destruction of Jewish people to the destruction of the Canadiens – the latter a far worse obliteration than the former in many skewed French – Canadian eyes.

There skates the problem …

This team is subject of so much scrutiny , the whole atmosphere in Montreal is creating a monster not seen since Steinbrenner and Billy Martin booted the Yankees’ legacy into foul territory on every second pitch in the 1970’s. Like the current Habitants – Mr. Steinbrenner , the Bronx Zoo media , the Bronx Zoo themselves , the Yankee players and their coaches – pressed their pens a little too tight in an attempt to sign a winning agreement.The sole difference between the pair of dynasties ? In the empire known as Canadiensland , once a coach is dismissed – he is dismissed. No Billy Martin – a – Rama in Montreal unless your name is Gainey – then you can play G.M / coach whenever you want .

Really . It is the same thing.

When Gainey was not ‘the ghost G.M ‘ and previous to ‘ the ghost ‘ G.M Gauthier driving the Hab’s Zamboni into the bowels of the NHL basement – Gainey’s game of revolving coaches was the first indication of panic in a hockey dynasty.

Five years without a Stanley Cup ? Bearable … A little painful yet bearable … Five years was but a hiccup in a long drunken party in Montreal. Five years – a rest stop between conquered NHL cities in a seventy – five year trip. Suddenly – the number five doubled to ten . ‘ Mon Dieu !’ Screamed the partisans of the famed club de hockey from Gatineau to Gaston Gingras’ home ! Les Canadiens had never gone seven years without a sip from Stanley. Now it is the number that proudly rode on Lafleur’s sweater that is on the back of Canadien’s fans like a four hundred pound Guy – rilla !

There was still hope …

Reality grabbed the Canadiens’ glove and the two became allies. It was a new age .The dawning of the age of ‘money puck ‘.The excuse to define all excuses . Les Canadiens – victims of a new world , a new sporting world and an opportunity to cash in. Salary caps and selfish players quashed the bird previously known by the name dynasty. Like the DoDo previous , all the dynasties of years gone by became inked history lessons. Generations now poised to read the hockey year books of glorious years skated by.

A two year drink by the Red Wings and Penguins soured by the salary cap juices of the modern era. A championship now judged by a season. The exclamation point between fire sales and free agency. A successful season now defined by merchandising , a playoff birth and consistency. As far as the Habs … ? One and a half of three not bad … Hey , if you can’t beat ‘em – may as well out sell ‘em !

Everyone associated with Le Club ‘storied’ de Canadien grew fat. Huge in every aspect of life. Bigger cars , fancier suits and even fancier opportunities. A Montreal Canadien employee was held above others . The past and present prancing around like Will and Kate – all expenses paid by the team’s championship royalty. The future ? An after dinner mint never delivered in person or thought …

Now …

As the team nears twenty years of championship drought …

Like a bunch of guys waking up in Vegas after a bachelor party in the year 2012 , reality is setting in. The fog is starting to lift. What have we done has replaced what are we going to do ? The media and fans are now the angry spouses and curious girlfriends. The scrutiny justified by the antics that have taken place.

If Les Canadiens stay in Vegas – a rocky marriage lay on the horizon as a deceased elephant would replace a beautiful landscape. By removing the strippers and the Tyson – esque groupies ,the slate would be removed of all stains that have clouded the team ‘ s guilded plaques. A clearer caption would encrypt the caricatures drawn by the cities’ media muses.

Blah , blah , blah … Blah , blah , blah …

© Rick Keene Le Forum de Montreal 2012

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