“Every human being on this earth is born with a tragedy, and it isn’t original sin. He’s born with the tragedy that he has to grow up. That he has to leave the nest, the security, and go out to do battle. He has to lose everything that is lovely and fight for a new loveliness of his own making, and it’s a tragedy. A lot of people don’t have the courage to do it.” ~ Helen Hayes
And that, folks, is what happened to Alex Galchenyuk, which allowed him to finally live up to the expectations which were placed on him from being the third overall pick in the 2012 NHL Draft. The talent was always there, and so was the fitness level as he topped that crop at the combine that year. But maturity is acquired with age, with life experience.
Yet, pundits of the current Habs’ management are adamant at pointing fingers and claiming that the organization has been “holding him back”. This is not based on any facts other than their own perception of the reality of what they think is happening in the dressing room, behind closed doors or outside the rink. They look at talent only and think that success is a given if you let the youngsters do whatever they want. Unfortunately for those naysayers, it’s not the case, particularly not in a market like Montreal.
Reporter Dave Stubbs recently interviewed captain Max Pacioretty and the question was asked about Galchenyuk and his development. After all, who is in a better position to know what’s happening in the dressing room than the captain? He had this to say:
Even after that, those same pundits point the finger at David Desharnais holding Galchenyuk’s development back and pointing out that it’s after Desharnais’ injury, coinciding with the young forward moving to centre, that his season took off. If only it were the case, but it’s not. As a matter of fact, people should remember that Galchenyuk caught fire well before, while still playing on the wing.
If anyone wants to point to any turning point in Galchenyuk’s season, they need to look off-ice. As we had explored earlier this season, his off-ice antics were questionable at best, to the point that it was reported that he and Brendan Gallagher, two good friends, started growing apart a bit. The turning point of Galchenyuk’s season, and perhaps his career, may have been when his former girlfriend knocked some sense into him with a punch on the nose. He then ended the relationship and he became a different individual, a different teammate, as Pacioretty is referring to.
It is my hope that people would stop with the conspiracy theory of management “holding players back”, but I’m not foolish enough to think that they will. Those people have an agenda against Habs’ management, Marc Bergevin and Michel Therrien, and it won’t stop until they are fired, even if they were to win a Stanley Cup. They will then find someone else to blame in order to feed their need for negativity. They will find their own stories to make up. They will continue to read things between the lines that aren’t there. It is up to you, readers, to detect who those people are and question yourself about their motive, and take their opinions for what they are: biased. There is Dreamland and there is reality. It’s up to you to decide which world you want to live in.