Dear Mr. Gauthier… A letter from a concerned Habs fan

Dear Monsieur Pierre Gauthier; GM of my beloved Montreal Canadiens.

I am writing you today as a concerned fan of your hockey organization, because I wish to relay to you the disappointment and heartache your loyal fans have had to endure all season long.

First and foremost, I hope you and my fellow Les Glorieux fans can forgive me for penning my letter in English and not the native Français. I feel English is the better choice because I will later be referencing your head coach, Randy Cunneyworth, and I want to make sure he can understand.

Mr. Gauthier, I must also apologize for the length of my letter, and if you feel the urge to brush me off at some point during your read, I ask that you please extend to me a courtesy you did not extend to Michael Cammalleri. While I’m on the subject of your former left winger, I would be remiss not to ask…what up with that? I know you feel his comments about losing were detrimental to the team, but to give him the distinction of the being traded mid-game is going a little overboard, no? Mr. Gauthier, I feel I speak for your entire fan base when I say we expected much more class from an organization who has always held itself and its players to the highest standard. Your ultimate decision was one of haste, bad taste and left us all a little red-faced. At least the player Flames GM Jay Feaster sent you back from Calgary has a good French name…oh wait a minute…René Bourque doesn’t speak French either? Never mind. Tabarnac!

I must also ask you, Mr. Gauthier, about your record-setting slow start to this season. Now, I do realize you have very little control over the way your team was playing on the ice, but your decision to make assistant coach Perry Pearn a scapegoat was a curious one. Not often does the dismissal of an assistant coach fire up an underachieving team but I must admit it seemed to spark the team in the short term as they limped their way back to a .500 record. Before long though, the losing continued and it was time for your head coach, Jacques Martin to also walk the proverbial plank.

This brings me back to my personal choice for the interim Jack Adams award winner, Randy Cunneyworth. After all, what can we really expect from a guy who gets thrown under the bus by the GM, owner, Quebec politicians, his Holiness the Pope, Saint Jean Baptiste and just about every other French speaking person on the planet before he coaches his first game?

The fact that Cunneyworth is unilingual is being blown way out of proportion, Mr. Gauthier. Your organization has employed many hockey legends who spoke very little if any French at all. Guys with names such as Selke, Irving, Pollack and Bowman spoke the universal language of winning, and I submit to you Mr. Gauthier, when a member of the bleu, blanc et rouge is standing at centre ice holding the Stanley Cup, it matters not if he uses tongue when he kisses it.

Thus far, Mr. Gauthier, I have focused on the negative points of this season, and granted, there are many lowlights to choose from. I must admit however, us Habs fans can see a light at the end of the tunnel. Unloading the contracts of Hal Gill and Andrei Kostitsyn before the trade deadline was unquestionably the right thing to do. Now, if you can only find a taker for Scott Gomez…

Believe it or not Mr. Gauthier, we believe that your team has a very strong core group of young players, but there is much work to be done.

This summer must be spent re-signing restricted free agents such as Lars Eller, Alexi Emelin, P.K. Subban and Carey Price. While you’re at it, offering extensions to “Miracle” Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais wouldn’t be a bad idea either. This mixed with a healthy dose of Andrei Markov and the newly locked up Josh Gorges will go a long way to ensure next season isn’t as frightful as this one.

And so I leave you, Mr. Gauthier, with talk of this coming NHL Draft.

It has come to our attention that our beloved Canadiens now sit dead-last in the Eastern Conference standings and have an excellent chance of choosing in the top-five. As I am sure you are well aware, the top two projected junior players, Nail Yakupov and Mikhail Grigorenko, are both of Russian descent, and we fans have not yet forgotten the name Alexei Kovalev. I beg you Mr. Gauthier, please use caution and may luck be on your side.

Your concern Habs Fan

— Angelo Mazziotti, Contributing Writer


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