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.