There are many reasons why it is difficult to recruit and convince NHL players to come and play for the Montreal Canadiens. Of course, taxes are always an issue that we hear often. This, however, has been fixed by slightly overpaying the free agents to accommodate for a higher tax bracket. The weather, depending on where the player played before, could be a factor. Going to the rink in Florida or California or in a snow storm in Montreal is quite different. Language, culture, kids, spouse and/or pressure are all other deciding factors. But don’t forget one of the biggest factors of all: the constant attention by some media members and the negativity that follows!
When it’s pointed out, the most guilty media are the first ones to claim innocence. Yet, those are the same people who will be down a General Manager or a head coach’s throat if they can’t trade, sign or develop impact players and if the team is struggling on the ice. I can’t be the only one noticing the irony in this situation, right?
We all know the usual culprits, and I’m not referring to the journalists-wannabe, or the multitude of bloggers (like yours truly). We’re talking about so-called “traditional media”, on the radio, on television, in the newspaper, on the internet, on social media. Why is it that even “common mortal” fans notice that more and more members of the media seem to have an agenda against the Montreal Canadiens’ organisation and/or it’s management team? Where in the definition of “reporter” or “journalist” does it say that you now have to replace reporting the news with pushing your views on certain issues, against certain people while using the media platform being made available to you? Perhaps a better question would be why do those media outlets allow such behaviour from their so-called reporters?
Well one radio station in Montreal didn’t stand for the propaganda spread by one of their on-air personalities, as Mario Cecchini, CEO of RNC Media who owns 91.9 Sports radio, came on air to explain why he fired Michel Villeneuve, the guy who came out and started this whole story about Michel Therrien qualifying Canadiens’ captain Max Pacioretty as “the worst captain in team history” while sitting at a table after a golf game.
When I heard him say that, I remember thinking to myself: finally, someone who will stand against the non-sense spread by media personalities in Quebec who are openly going after the Canadiens’ organisation from Geoff Molson to Michel Therrien, nipping at Marc Bergevin at the same time. This is their bread and butter and he knows it. Well done Mr. Cecchini and here’s hoping that more media executives follow your lead and make their employees accountable for their “work”.
Not to be outdone, another guy who has had a beef against the Canadiens for many years now, Réjean Tremblay decided to poor it on by supporting Villeneuve in his claims. I have not heard this myself but I’m told that Tremblay claimed to have different sources than Villeneuves telling him the same story. If true, just how many people did Therrien say this to for so many people to hear it? You’d think that he stood up at a microphone somewhere to make the announcement if there are so many people who have apparently heard it!
Remember that Tremblay is the same guy who was terribly upset at the Montreal Canadiens for refusing him the rights to use the team colours for his TV series “Lance et compte” (He shoots he scores). The same Réjean Tremblay who decided to teach Mario Tremblay a lesson after he declined him an interview without going through Donald Beauchamps. If you understand French, Mario confronted Réjean on air and it’s gold!
Regardless, this article is not as much to decide if Therrien said it or not (which I don’t believe he did), but to determine why the need to pull stuff like that. What do reporters, journalists, have to gain from pulling out stories like that one? No, it’s not to inform, as they’re not willing to name their anonymous sources. If it was legitimate, they would or those sources would come out to say who they are. The only reason is either personal vendetta against a person or the organisation, or it’s to try to make themselves look important, drawing themselves in the limelight for their two minutes of fame.
Little do they know though, is that unless the listeners, readers, viewers or fans also share the same agenda, it’s those reporters who end up looking terrible in those stories. It’s them who immediately loose their credibility and if their employers don’t act on their actions, it can also fall on them as well.
Have you ever wondered why TSN’s Bob McKenzie, or TSN and ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun are so respected in the industry? One of my all-time favourites, Dave Stubbs who is now a columnist for NHL.com, is also very respected. Why? They report and give analysis. What they talk about is based on facts and all refuse to go with “anonymous” sources or stories. There are many more than those three by the way.
Personally, I wish to seem some organisations and/or players sue those attention-seekers for defamation of character and teach the rest of them a very, very valuable lesson. As for myself as a blogger, and for the vast majority of traditional media, we’ll keep on writing and talking about what’s happening on the ice, and try to stay as neutral as possible in our delivery and in our content. There are many great media members in Montreal in both English and French. Don’t waste time with the TMZ reporters around the team, as their next chapter might just be “The Days of our Habs”.