Saturday morning, Jacques  Martin, who speaks French was  fired as coach of the Canadiens.  He was replaced by Randy Cunneyworth who is unilingual English.

The decision has ignited a firestorm of criticism. Former players and team executives, nationalist groups and the francophone fraternity of sports writers were quick with condemnation, saying bilingualism is a necessary qualification for the post. Sportswriter  Philippe Cantin led the charge. “It’s not simply a hockey team.  It’s an institution. Like all institutions, it has responsibilites that go beyond being a hockey team in the market”. One of  those responsibilities is that the coach should speak French.

Let’s put this in perspective.  Can you imagine the Toronto Maple Leafs hiring a coach who can’t speak English?

Should the coach of the Canadiens be able to speak French?

What do you think?


  1. 1

    yes of course he should be bilingual. A good part of his job is p.r. The manager,on the other hand,sould be first class,whether or not he speaks French. The poor roster choices are why the Habs are supporting the rest of the division in the standings.

    Having said all that, I would really like to see one particular coach brought out of retirement,given a paperback of common French terms,and given the job.

    Don Matthews.

  2. 2
    Neil McKenty Says:

    Sorry, can you tell me who is Don Matthews?

  3. 3

    Yes! He should be fluently bi-lingual or French. What were they thinking? There must be someone who can fill that role temporarily.
    If this guy is such a hot shot, make him an assistant with special powers in management.

  4. 4
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    The Canadiens used to have a special dispensation allowing them to have their pick of French-speaking players. No more. Hockey has become more international.

    If you want to limit the Canadiens’ ability to compete– and win — require the head coach to speak a dying and unnecessary language. No better way to limit the team’s ability to attract talent.

    The requirement to use French in Quebec outside of hockey (ie, Bill 101), already puts Quebec at a disadvantage economically. Why saddle thr hockey team with the same burden?

  5. 5
    Heidi Gulatee Says:

    If the coach of the Canadians is good at the job. why not ask him to learn French.I agree that it is the perception that counts. I see no problem if the coach is willing to learn French.

  6. 6

    Don Matthews coached the Allouettes (our fotball club ) a few years ago. he led them to first place,then a Grey Cup,then first runner up. He had to have been one of the most colourful coaches of any sport, and he had players who would walk through fire for him.

    He also recorded a song -I can`t bring myself to type the name-based on a rallying cry he had.

    okay, it was called ` What time is it ?!

  7. 7

    Tony, Tony, Tony- Please keep your smart, logical, comments to yourself.
    This is Q U E B E C !!! It doesn’t apply here. 🙂

  8. 8
    Neil McKenty Says:

    Well, of course I remember Don Matthews whocoached the Montreal football team. But what in the world IS Matthews in a discussion abouty coaching a Montreal hockey team. Lemons and oranges surely.

  9. 9

    Neil , if I didn`t draw odd comparisons, my life would not be worth the effort.

  10. 10
    Jim Says:

    In my time Dick Irvin and Toe Blake were Head Coaches. Who is doing the complaining? People who don’t know anything about hockey? The new coach could learn french this summer with a crash course. I thought we got around to playing hockey after the demise of Toe. Toe once played for the Montreal Maroons. At that time a friend of mine was playing for them. His name was Claude Burke. The powers that were, changed his name to Claude Bourque. The more things change, the more things stay the same. Merde

  11. 11
    Andrew Says:

    First off I want to say awesome blog! I had a quick question which Id like to ask if you dont mind. I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your mind before writing. Ive had a difficult time clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out there. I truly do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are lost just trying to figure out how to begin. Any recommendations or tips? Appreciate it!

  12. 12
    Neil McKenty Says:

    Sorry, I have never had that problem. Suggest you just stick to the writing and I expect the time of confusion will shorten itself. Merry Christmas.

  13. 13
    Jim Says:

    Andrew – What I do is put it all down in any order. I then delete those items or words that seem out of place or lost in the shuffle. After all is done, I add in the $20.00 adjectives
    Remember this is a blog, a good one at that. You are not writing a formal paper. Just keep plugging away. Welcome

  14. 14

    I think that Andrew is Spam. Too syrupy, asking for advice…I’d bet!

  15. 15
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    Spam it is, littlepatti.

    I did a copy of selected text from his post and then pasted into the google seach engine. Turns out “Andrew” has been posting the exact same question to many other sites:

  16. 16
    Jim Says:

    Andrew – Sorry I didn’t know that you are mentally challenged. So what you can do regarding your writing is to follow what I suggested in my previous comment, except forget about using the $20.00 adjectives. Drool along.

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