Monday, June 16, 2014

Therrien gets his due

It was mere coincidence that only 54 percent of Canadiens fans surveyed approved of Michel Therrien's contract extension on the same weekend that the painfully clownish Mario Beaulieu was elected Bloc Quebecois leader by an almost identically lukewarm 53 percent majority vote.  Therrien and Beaulieu have both been classified by their detractors as bumblers who got where they are in spite of themselves, but that's where the similarities end.  Like him or not, Therrien has taken the Canadiens from rock bottom to the Stanley Cup semifinals in only two seasons, and that warrants substantial reward in a results-driven business.  Whether he can take them to the next level remains to be seen, but I'm comfortable predicting this much: the Canadiens will have more success under Michel Therrien than the Bloc will ever have under Mario Beaulieu.

Louis Leblanc we hardly knew ye, but we knew ye well enough to trade ye to Anaheim for a fifth round conditional draft choice, because ye had no future in Montreal.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman got his marketing dream Stanley Cup final matchup between New York and Los Angeles, and the Rangers and Kings delivered some captivating playoff hockey, but to what avail? Hardcore hockey fans are still buzzing about the 35 minutes of heartstopping overtime before the Kings clinched the Cup in Game 5, but the overwhelming majority of casual and uninitiated fans that Bettman was hoping to bring into the tent were long gone after the Kings had taken a 3-0 series lead and oblivious the relative drama of Games 4 and 5.

Hockey Night in Canada's glitch-ridden CBC finale was a sadly appropriate sign-off for a program with few remaining redeeming features.  Rogers Sportsnet, which takes over editorial control of HNIC next season, doesn't have a tough act to follow but is already showing suspect judgement in retaining the fossilized remains of Bob Cole while failing to lock up Elliotte Friedman, who's far and away the show's best reporter/host, and Tim Thompson, the creative genius behind Hockey Night's brilliant musical montages.  That's like throwing out the baby and keeping the bathwater.

It's not surprising that members of the Canadian Football League Players Association ratified a new collective bargaining agreement on terms that were much more agreeable to the league than they were to the union.  The CFL is a relatively low budget operation, and most of the players barely make enough to pay the bills.  They don't have anything close to the collective or personal wealth that NFL, NBA,  NHL or Major League Baseball players can fall back on in the event of a work stoppage.  For the overwhelming majority of CFL players, striking literally means starving.

Speaking of starving, it's been a struggle since I got the bum's rush from TSN 690 last fall, but the upside of being fired by the all sports radio station is that I don't have to spend the next month pretending I'm a soccer expert.  Go Sierra Leone!

Quick power rankings:
5. Nestle
4. 'n Easy
3. Time multimedia
2. Draw McGraw
1. Jonathan


  1. Therrien has taken the Habs further than they have been since 1993,and although they didn't go all the way...they played like the team we as Canadiens fans have come to expect.20 years plus and we have a team again....AWESOME!!!

  2. Therrien has the highest coaching winning percentage since 1981 - Claude Ruel with 8 hall of famers still playing.

    Elliotte Friedman said yesterday on Melmick's show that he has a new gig to be announced this week sometime. Likely with Sportsnet as he already is the number one fill in guy for Bob McCown on Prime Time Sports.

    Charlie & Kokola Esq