I sit at my computer in Monterey, California, a lovely place and home of the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, where America saw the Who explode, Janis Joplin take female rock to another stratosphere, and where Jimi Hendrix set the world on fire, and I read that a Quebec politician named Pierre Curzi feels it’s some kind of conspiracy that the Montreal Canadiens haven’t had a lot of French-Canadian players playing for them lately.
Why do I even bother to respond? A million Habs fans shoot back – do you want more French players, Monsieur Curzi, or do you want a winning team? Does the team choose the best available, or does it choose more French-Canadian players?
I’m not coming up with anything new here. We know the answer. Give us a winner, plain and simple. I’m so sick of these hard-core Quebecers who feel the province and culture is at risk because the Montreal Canadiens aren’t icing talented members of the French tongue. Winning a Stanley Cup means winning a Stanley Cup, regardless of the makeup of the team. As long as they shoot and score and kick the bejeesus out of the enemy, who cares?
Yes there’s a shortage of great French-Canadien players wearing the uniform. But it’s not on purpose. Gives us some, we’ll take them. C’mon, Curzi, give us some.
Maybe in another decade in another country, Pierre Curzi would be paranoid about Jackie Robinson breaking the colour barrier and destroying an all-white baseball league and white culture. Or if he lived in Russia, North American hockey players hurting Russian way of life. Or would he be opposed to women getting the opportunity to vote or make a decent buck in a male-dominated society so many years ago?
I know people who are paranoid like this guy, but it’s because they did way too many drugs when they were younger. Is this the case, Pierre?
Professional sports general managers everywhere must be chuckling heartily while reading this politician’s blabberings. His ignorance of how teams try to build contenders is staggering.
If I was a French-Canadian Quebecois, I’d be mighty embarrassed about Pierre Curzi. This guy is not representing a wonderful and unique culture, not by a long shot.
And he should stay out of the hockey management business.