Tag: Denis Savard

Randy Cunneyworth

Yup, they’re going to protest Randy Cunneyworth in Montreal


We’ve reached critical mass in Montreal when it comes to the French-English debate.

Randy Cunneyworth’s troubles aren’t just limited to what’s going on with the Canadiens on the ice, some of the people of Quebec are going to protest about him coaching the team while speaking only English.

No, seriously they are.

Mario Beaulieu, president of The French Quebec Movement, and Denis Trudel of French Movement Montreal  will be holding a rally outside of Bell Centre on January 7 (link in French, naturally) to protest what they call “the Anglicization of the Montreal hockey club.” Beaulieu says that not having a coach that speaks French is the last straw for a team that calls Quebec home, a home where French is the primary language.

Making matters worse, in their opinion, is that there are just two or three players capable of speaking French on the team as well. For a franchise that grew up having all of the best players and coaches from Quebec at their beck and call, the NHL becoming a global game has been difficult for many Habs fans to swallow.

For now, they might not have to worry long about Cunneyworth if he can’t get the team to win games. Then those fans railing about language can push the Habs to hire Bob Hartley or Michel Therrien or Claude Jodoin or Denis Savard to their hearts’ content and leave the rest of the league knowing why most coaches won’t even bother considering Montreal when looking for a job.

Savard passes Spin-o-Rama torch to Patrick Kane

Patrick Kane

Nearly 48 hours later, the Windy City is still abuzz over Patrick Kane’s spin-o-rama pass to Marian Hossa in Tuesday’s 3-2 win over Anaheim. Fans, teammates and pundits have been talking non-stop about one of the prettier setups from this young NHL season — and now a Blackhawks legend is getting in on the love.

Chicago Tribune reporter Chris Kuc caught up with Hockey Hall of Famer Denis Savard, who during his 13 years in Chicago treated fans to his patented move: The Savardian Spin-o-Rama.

During his playing career from 1980-97, Savard scored 473 goals, 377 while wearing a Hawks sweater. He added 719 assists and ranks third in Hawks history with 1,096 points. The move he perfected while with the Hawks and Canadiens, in particular, has worked its way into the lexicon of hockey as the spin-o-rama.

“I just kind of ad-libbed it when I played,” Savard said. “At one point for me it was when the opposite defenseman was going to come across the ice and kill me so I had no choice but to spin out the other way. I spun out and there was nobody around me.”

If you’ve never seen a Savardian Spin-o-Rama before, here ya go.

Spinning isn’t the only thing linking Kane and Savard. Savard served as Kane’s first head coach in the NHL and briefly toyed with the idea of moving him from wing to center — something current Chicago coach Joel Quenneville has done, putting Kane between Hossa and Daniel Carcillo. To great effect, we might add.

“I did it for a game or two,” Savard said. “I was called upstairs (by upper management) and they said that was probably not a good idea and I kind of said, ‘Yeah, you’re probably right because he’s a young kid and has played right wing most of his life. I don’t want to screw him up.’

“Now, I think the timing is good. Joel has made a great decision.”

Yeah, that’s a pretty fair assessment.

Best and worst sweaters of all-time: Chicago Blackhawks


You can’t really mess with the best, and the Chicago Blackhawks have arguably the best looking sweaters in the NHL. While the early part of their history saw them figuring things out, once they adopted the color red and committed to the Indian, they’ve been rocking an iconic look they haven’t given up on in over 50 years. Everyone from Bobby Hull to Stan Mikita to Denis Savard to Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane have all rocked essentially the same look and they’ve made it look legendary all along.

Best: The Blackhawks have been around for a long time and it wasn’t until the mid-1950s when they got their look to be fully memorable. The red road sweater (their current home look) is the thing of legends. With the Native American head on the front, the bold red color with black and white stripes and the letter “C” with the tomahawks crisscrossing over it it’s a look that’s impossible to beat. No wonder they haven’t really changed their look since 1955. Once you achieve greatness, you don’t mess with it.

Worst: In recent years, some felt they could do something to give the fans a little bit extra and give the classic Blackhawks look in a new color. Rather than red, they took their look and put it on a black jersey. This wasn’t the greatest idea. Going with the black jersey muted out any of the other colors offered up from the logo and eliminated red from the picture. While that could’ve come in handy in games against Detroit, it just looked bad. Don’t mess with greatness.

Old-Timey Goodness: Before the Blackhawks broke out their styling duds that they wear now, they went through phases where they went from a straight black and white look with stripes all over to one that added the color red. The main feature of all these was a circular logo that incorporated the Indian’s head. The best of the bunch is the one from 1935-1937 that provided the inspiration for the Blackhawks’ Winter Classic sweater in 2009 that cut down on the number of stripes, made the circular logo bigger and set it on an off-white center stripe/background. It’s an old school classic.

Assessment: What the Blackhawks do sweater-wise these days is generally perfect. They’ve had the same style since the mid-50s and the only addition they’ve made recently is adopting the Winter Classic sweater as their alternate sweater. Adding another classic look to a stable of beautiful looking sweaters is just making a great thing even better. It’s hard to argue with calling Chicago’s sweaters the best in the league, although there’s a couple other original six teams with equally solid arguments.