Off with his Head!
(But not actually, keep reading.)
I was less than thrilled when new GM Marc Bergevin announced Michel Therrien’s second stint with the Canadiens, having a miserable record the first time around when he coached the team for three years, missing the playoffs once in that span and being fired in his third year. Bergevin took a gamble signing this fiery coach. Remember his memorable meltdown with the Pittsburgh Penguins? Who wouldn’t. Good thing this happened in Pittsburgh and not Montreal… need I explain why? I think not. (RIOT!)
I’m all for second chances. I thought to myself: “Well, maybe he has changed; maybe this time will be better”. Looking back on the last year, I’m still not entirely sure about my feelings towards this man. On the one hand, he led the team to a 2nd place finish in the Eastern conference, and if it weren’t for injuries to Lars Eller and other key players during the playoff run, Ottawa would have been playing golf much earlier. On the other hand, he has made some questionable decisions that could cost the Canadiens dearly in the future. If you haven’t already figured it out, I’m talking about PK Subban. We all know that the lukewarm relationship between Therrien and the All-Star defenseman is a factor that will certainly play in the latter’s decision to stay a Montreal Canadien. Of course, money is also another major factor at play, and Bergevin will certainly have to beat everyone on the market for the defenseman in order to keep him.
Now let me get personal here. I have met PK Subban, and frankly speaking, I was not impressed. His ego is off the charts, and I know that I’m not the only one who was disappointed once having met him. That being said, if the Montreal Canadiens are going to win the Stanley Cup within the next decade (because I can’t wait any longer and a decade is already all too generous and places a strain on my patience), it won’t be done without PK.
It seems pretty obvious to most people that PK comes before the coach in this so-called “feud”. Benching Subban a couple of games ago is not something you do to a Norris Trophy Winner. You can’t always treat him like everyone else on the team, even though that is what’s fair.
Up until here, you probably think I’m a Therrien hater. Well…it’s a bit more complicated than that. As previously mentioned, I wasn’t expecting the team to even make the playoffs last year, let alone finish 2nd in the Eastern Conference. Moreover, if the Montreal Canadiens are going to become legitimate Stanley Cup contenders, consistency on and off the ice is essential. The team we had five or even ten years ago is not a mirror image of the 2013-2014 edition. To put a fun spin to it, Andrei Markov is like Waldo: you can find him on a string of team photos because he’s the only player on the current roster that has proudly dawned the CH for over a decade (although Pleky would make a handsome Waldo as well). Same thing goes for coaches and GMs. I’m happy with Bergevin, and although Therrien is not my cup of tea, maybe, just maybe, keeping him is what the team needs in order to establish a solid image. Most people don’t even expect a coach in Montreal to last for more than two years! That being said, should we bother keeping someone who might cause more harm to the team? Probably not. But…
By Safia Ahmad @Saff2013