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Montreal owner Molson on GM search: “It is our preference to have someone that can speak French”

Mar 29, 2012, 1:05 PM EDT

Molson Presser

Shortly after the announcement that GM Pierre Gauthier had been relieved of his duties, Montreal Canadiens owner Geoff Molson conducted a press conference to reveal plans for the future.

Some highlights:

— Molson was praised for his delivery, poise…and for starting the presser speaking French (gotta love Montreal.) John Bartlett of TSN Radio 990 said Molson “was prepared, confident and looked like someone in full control today,” while Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette said the Canadiens owner “sparkled in this news conference.”

— As the posts title suggests, the general manager search will (at least partially) involve finding a dual-language speaker. Molson did stress, though, that the top criteria is finding the best possible GM.

— On the subject of hiring Patrick Roy, Molson said he hasn’t spoken with Roy since his jersey retirement celebration. Which is weird, because Roy’s jersey was retired in 2008.

— Former Habs GM Serge Savard has been retained as advisor in the search for a new general manager. Also, Larry Carriere returns to his duties as assistant general manager and will take on hockey operations responsibilities until the appointment of a new GM.

— Molson added that special advisor Bob Gainey has left the organization.

— On the subject of interim head coach Randy Cunneyworth, Molson said he would leave it up to the next GM to determine if he’s retained.

Finally, here’s the entire press conference for your viewing pleasure. (Note: his en francais introduction isn’t included but, as many have noted, Molson opened speaking French.)

  1. 8man - Mar 29, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    And the question is, does the habsman speak Francais as well?

    • habsman - Mar 29, 2012 at 1:48 PM

      A little, but I’m not a Francophone, and I don’t live in Quebec either.

      If not a fan of the Habs, you may have difficulty in understanding the dynamics of Les Canadiens. I’ve mentioned it in past posts, but Montreal is unique in that it’s the only franchise with a bi-lingual fan base. And although it can sometimes handcuff the team when selecting a coach or GM, there has been a long precedent for bi-linguals. It is important for the Habs to be able to communicate to both their French and English fans. I doubt you’d appreciate it if Julien stood at the podium and spoke exclusivle French during press conferences.

      Fans want to know what is being said about their team. And the Habs are Very important to their French speaking fans. I don’t expect fans of other teams to totally understand, but thats the way it is.

      • homelanddefense - Mar 30, 2012 at 9:59 AM

        Id prefer the best candidate, regardless of language spoken. Press conferences can be translated. Winning doesn’t require a language.

      • habsman - Mar 30, 2012 at 10:23 AM

        You don’t get it, but like I said, its not easy to understand the dynamics of the Montreal franchise. Translating just doesn’t cut it. French Canadians have supported this team for 100 years and many of the teams (and the leagues) greatest players were home grown. As an anglophone Hab fan, I understand perfectly how they feel. They aren’t that much concerned about having a francophone coach as they are about having a bilingual coach. I think they deserve that. And there is no arguing that it has worked in the past.

      • 8man - Mar 30, 2012 at 10:49 AM

        Fair enough. It’s unique.

  2. madtolive5 - Mar 29, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    Is it their preference to stay at the bottom of the eastern conference???

  3. bcjim - Mar 29, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    I think the Lightning/Ducks/Panthers/Coyotes/Stars should all have a bilingual Spanish speaking coach.

  4. brian32556 - Mar 29, 2012 at 5:34 PM

    As long as Les Habs continue to insist on everything francophone, instead of quality, they will continue to dwell in or near the cellar. Wake up and smell the anti-biased attitudes Montreal!

    • habsman - Mar 29, 2012 at 6:39 PM

      You obviously don’t know the difference between Francophone and Bi-Lingual.

      • brian32556 - Apr 1, 2012 at 2:51 AM

        And Les Habs obviously do not know hockey talent.

  5. barbarian9 - Mar 29, 2012 at 7:16 PM

    I’d be curious to see the fan’s reaction to a Florida or California baseball team hiring a unilingual Spanish speaking coach. Frustration, simply because the coach can’t communicate with fans.

  6. barbarian9 - Mar 29, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    I’m with habsman: there’s quite a difference between a francophone and a bilingual. Some of Habs great and most beloved were not francophone, but learned French: Scotty Bowman, Larry Robinson, Ken Dryden, Bob Gainey to name a few.

  7. arbruins - Mar 29, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    Well, I hope they get their crap together soon…I miss the rivalry.

    • habsman - Mar 30, 2012 at 10:36 AM

      Check out the scores of the past 20 games, you might be surprised. The rivalry is still there and always will be. And its the best in sports IMO.

  8. boiler72 - Mar 30, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    Montreal can forget about Patrick Roy. He’s going to wait for the Nordiques, as he should.

  9. id4joey - Mar 31, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    A GM than can speak French is mandatory as is for the rest of the top brass, behind the bench, and the guy who’s going to wear the big C. Mr. Molson, the time is now;

    We need talent at the top of the executive management chain and passion behind the bench.

    Special Hockey Consultant – Serge Savard
    Head of Player Development – Pierre Mcguire
    General Manager – Julien Brisebois
    Asst. GM – Vincent Damphousse
    Coach – Patrick Roy

    As indicated by this season, if it’s bad in the office it’s worse on the ice.

    And a French Canadian wearing the ‘C’ is also mandatory. How about Vinny?

  10. id4joey - Apr 1, 2012 at 9:29 AM

    Currently, they don’t. However, McGuire and Roy certainly do. Time to restore credibility.

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