The Subban Saga: Enough is Enough!

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Habs’ fans are a unique breed but ever since ‘the trade’, Montreal Canadiens fans have been divided more than ever. In one corner, you have the fans who cheer for the number in the back of the jersey and in the other, the fans who cheer for the Habs no matter who wears the jersey, no matter what number is on those jerseys. And being catalogued doesn’t sit well with either types of fans. Being called a “P.K. Subban fan” is seen as an insult to them, while others are perceived as Habs’ “apologists”. 

The gap between the two types of fans seems to have widened after the Predators’ weekend visit in Montreal this past weekend. On Saturday, after going one on one against Subban and scoring a goal for the Canadiens, Brendan Gallagher gave his former ‘teammate’ the lip-service… but why would that be?

In the post-game scrum in the dressing room, reporters asked Gallagher three consecutive questions about Subban. Trying to evade the question the first two times and move on with the Canadiens’ game, he finally had enough and snapped the third time around. He basically stated the obvious, what everybody in the hockey world knows, saying that Subban has a need for attention. Boy did that not sit well with the people who see the former Habs’ player as the flawless Golden Boy! Twitter was inflamed by even those who, not so long ago, wanted Gallagher to wear the captain ‘C’ if Max Pacioretty was traded. After all, they couldn’t vote for Weber, the guy who came back in that trade, right?

History

Not so long ago, back on November 22nd in Nashville, Gallagher and Subban got into a scuffle after Nicolas Deslauriers (not Gallagher surprisingly) ran into Pekka Rinne. Notice who Subban goes after on the left of your screen. Not Deslauriers, who was the one going hard to the net. Nope. The smaller enemy was a much better target.

After the game, Subban showed his true colours once again, taking a shot at Gallagher. But hey, that’s Subban. Looking at him leave the interview afterwards is quite telling, truthfully. People can like him or not, but trying too deny that he loves the attention would be rather laughable.

But that’s the the first altercation between the two players as it all started back in 2015, during a team practice. At the time, it was downplayed but look at Alexei Emelin, Alex Galchenyuk and Carey Price going to support and encourage Gallagher.

So cut the narrative by defending the Golden Boy as fault-free. He was given a bridge deal for a reason and eventually got traded for the same reason, whether some fans of the number in the back of the jerseys are saying. Gallagher wears the CH on his heart and plays for the logo in front of the jersey. The other, as seen in more than a few occasions, likes to hear himself talk… and Gallagher was right with his post-game comments on February 10th.

Racism accusations

In what I would qualify as a huge stretch and reaching a new low in the battle to defend Subban, those “fans” took exception to a tweet by former first round pick Colten Teubert after he came to Gallagher’s defense, posting the following on his Twitter account:

Did you know that Monday was a racist word? Not saying that it’s not ever the case but I’m well in my 50’s and I have never heard the first work day of the week, a day that everybody hates, used in a racial way. So does it mean that all the Monday Memes on the internet have a racist connotation? Does it mean that people of colour cannot hate Mondays? Talk about a stretch! Get over yourselves people. It’s two people who don’t like each other. Reaching to racism is not only a stretch, it’s desperation in trying to find any excuses to defend the Golden Boy. Guess what? I hate Mondays too! Yet, I respect people of colours and different ethnic than myself, for the most part.

Many will disagree but it doesn’t change the fact: I never disliked Subban the individual… until the post-game comments against Gallagher. The guy is arrogant and does like to have the spotlight on him and will do anything to get it too. He, in my humble opinion, cost his team the Stanley Cup last year by waking him the giant Crosby with his Listerine comments and even the Predators recognized it, putting the muzzle on the controversial defenseman.

So fans, you are completely entitled to supporting whomever you want. You want to love Subban, it’s your right. But putting your head in the sand doesn’t make the issue disappear. He is what he is. The reason why he was selected in the second round is because of it. The reason why he was signed to a bridge contract is not because of his talent, but because of the doubts management had about his relationship with teammates and being a team player. Ultimately, he was traded for the same reason prior to his No-Movement Clause kicked in, which would have tied the Canadiens’ hands for eight long years. Like it or not, he wasn’t liked in the dressing room by a vast majority and it’s because of antics like the ones we’ve seen this season.

In the meantime, Habs’ fans will keep on cheering the Canadiens. Go Habs Go!

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Canucks and Habs 2016: False Report

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For the sake of sensation, readership, listenership or worse, filling an agenda against a General Manager whom some can’t stand and want fired, there are individuals both in the media and amongst a fan base who will take a rumour and make it sound like a fact. Why? Because it fits their agenda when they have an axe to grind, and/or it makes for good publicity for them.

A typical example of that came out this past week when Elliott Friedman, in his 31 Thoughts: The Podcast, made the following statement:

“There was a chance that the Canucks would get P.K. Subban but the problem was that Pierre-Luc Dubois was not going to fall to Vancouver’s pick, because Montreal knew that Columbus was going to take him. If Montreal believed that Dubois was going to be available at five, P.K. Subban could have been a Vancouver Canucks.”

That’s all Friedman said on the podcast. Well someone, somewhere – including danslescoulisses.com – brought back a Friedman article from June 24, 2016 and presented it as current. In the translation, they insinuate that Marc Bergevin declined an offer from Canucks’ GM Jim Benning which would have included Bo Horvat, Chris Tanev and the fifth overall pick for Subban. It didn’t take more for the vultures to take this false news and run with it and unfortunately, because they presented it as facts, people believed it.

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However, as few reporters do in today’s day and age, someone by the name of Jeff Veillemette went straight to the source and pulled out Friedman’s 2016 30 Thoughts.

You see the difference? There is no way that Benning would be crazy enough to offer that package for Subban and Bergevin being stupid enough to decline it. If anything, it might be what the Canadiens were asking the Canucks for Subban, had Dubois fallen to number five overall… but I’m convinced that Vancouver wouldn’t have done it.

The morale of the story is that before jumping to conclusions, get to the source folks and beware of those who have a #FireBergevin hashtag in their tweets. Chances are that they will believe anything and everything, even twisting things to make them fit their agenda, and they will present them as facts. Now if someone brings this up again, you can point them to this article. Go Habs Go!