Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Je parle Franglais

I hate commenting on this, but it's a story that won't go away. I will comment here in a short post, and this is all I will say on the matter.

Should the Coach of the Montreal Canadiens be able to speak French? Yes. Should the Canadiens limit themselves to only hiring a French Quebecois Coach? No. When searching for a Head Coach, The Montreal Canadiens should hire the best available candidate. If the best candidate happens to be a French Quebecois - great! If not - it should be understood that the new hire will make an effort to learn French.

In the case of Randy Cunneyworth this is made very difficult by the fact that he is being thrown to the wolves mid-season. The organization has made it clear that Randy Cunneyworth is an "Interim Coach". That tag alone basically says he needs to focus on winning. So please, settle down and let him do that.

Randy Cunneyworth is not my number one choice to Coach this team. However, he comes with excellent credentials. He has won a Calder Cup. He has won an American Hockey League Coach of the year award. He's been a Head Coach in the AHL for 9 seasons (8 with Buffalo, 1 with Montreal). He's been an assistant Coach in the NHL for parts of 3 seasons. That is an excellent resume. If I was running an organization - like the Canadiens - a resume like that of Randy Cunneyworth is one I would seriously look at.

When it comes to the X's and O's of hockey, Randy Cunneyworth is a disciple of Jacques Martin. He will Coach the same system - or one very close to it. Where Randy and Jacques differ however is in their communication to players during games and their utilization of players during the game.

Randy Cunneyworth does not have the same experience coaching at the NHL level as Jacques Martin, but he deserves his shot. He has earned a chance to be an NHL Coach. He is NOT another Mario Tremblay coming in totally green.

Give him a chance to coach - he can - and should start taking French lessons in the off-season.

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