Georges Laraque Hasn’t Helped At All

Georges Laraque says things haven’t worked out the way he expected they would in Montreal, and maybe it’s time to move on. After all, what good is he on a team where he’s either a healthy scratch or a player of very few minutes in a game? “I could shut up, sit down, and take the money,” he says, “but that’s not the kind of guy I am.”

Big Georges is unhappy. But he made his bed. He hasn’t been at all the player he was brought to Montreal to be. And never mind the lengthy groin injury. Aside from that, this is a guy who hasn’t done the job. Not even close.

I was excited when the team signed possibly the toughest hombre this side of the Rio Grande. No longer would Saku Koivu and the other smaller and skilled players get bounced around. Because teams would quickly realize that if you mess with a skilled guy, you’re going to have to face someone you’d prefer not to face. Just like the Wayne Gretzky/Dave Semenko combo in Edmonton way back when.

But with Georges, it never materialized. From time to time, some pathetic staged fight between him and the other team’s tough guy would occur, but no one ever knew why. They just fought to fight. There was no reason, other than maybe trying to show they were earning their paycheques. And then, as quickly as these silly fights started, they ended, and the game resumed as normal. It’s no wonder people are calling for an end to fighting.

Georges Laraque was there to instill an attitude, to create havoc when necessary, to protect, to be mean, to punish. But all we’ve got are a few staged fights, a couple of times when he’s gone to the net, a lot of smiles, and almost nothing else.

Everyone goes on about the disappointing seasons of Alex Kovalev and Carey Price and others, and rarely is the disappointment of Laraque mentioned. It should be. Picture the Montreal Canadiens if he was a miserable son of a bitch on a nightly basis. Teams would dread playing the Canadiens.

But Georges somehow didn’t understand his role.

The CBC interview can be seen at http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/story/2009/02/26/sp-canadiens-laraque.html?ref=rss

5 thoughts on “Georges Laraque Hasn’t Helped At All”

  1. Unfortunately, there’s really no room for a guy like Georges in the NHL anymore. Tough guys are only valuable when they’re talented enough to play on the same line as the guys they’re supposed to protect (see Lucic, Milan). The problem with a guy like Laraque is that he’s never on the ice with Koivu to protect him when the time comes. The big problem now is that other teams see this and aren’t really interested in giving up anything for him. One thing I feel should be mentioned is that I have noticed that he consistently puts in an effort offensively when he is on the ice. He’s driving to the net and going after the puck in the corners. Kudos to him for that. Although I have to say I agree with him that this situation is not his fault, he has to realize that this is something that’s happening leaguewide, and getting traded to another team will in all likelyhood see similar results.

  2. He was put on a pedestal when he arrived here, which must have been difficult, because he was also about 15-20 lbs overweight, at 260. This led to back problems. He didn’t try to lose the weight, but heck he sure did want to travel with the team when they went to Florida. Carbo made sure he stayed home.
    I had high hopes for him, and couldn’t understand why McGuire was sounding a flag. I just thought it was McGuire being McGuire. Turns out Pierre was right. BGL can’t skate. No team is going to take him. He doesn’t want to fight, he has this weird code of ethics, which, while laudable, still means our players still get elbows to the head.

  3. I think what little respect I had for him just went out the door when he decided to air his grievances to the media….

  4. DK, I agree totally what we really needed was a guy like John Fergeson Sr. He had very good offensive skills but when it came time to dance I for one would not have liked being his dancing partner ! He also played on the skilled lines Big Jean etc. I’m sure there’s someone out there that fits that mold & can help our team.
    Les Canadiens Sont La !!!!!

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