Michael Cammalleri has finally got his Canadiens sweater back! Friday, on his Twitter account, Cammie tweeted: ‘Just received a hand written letter from Geoff Molson and my jersey from last game as a hab. Much appreciated thank you. Merci.’
So credit to Habs president Molson for showing some real class and paying Cammalleri a little respect after he had his face rubbed in the sand by the previous management.
You may recall that Cammalleri, after he was unceremoniously traded to the Calgary Flames in January, asked Canadiens GM Pierre ‘Major Major’ Gauthier if he could keep his No. 13 sweater as a momento of his time with the Habs. The Ghost said ‘sure thing’ but with one caveat – Cammie would have to pay for the sweater!!!! Reports suggest the talented sniper would’ve had to shell-out between $600 and $1250 for the jersey.
It’s a great story – one that should be pulled out every time we’re trying to sum up the neurotic pettiness of the Gauthier era as Habs main-man. But why should we be surprised to learn that the Ghost was so intent in giving Cammie one last face-wash. This was a GM who specialized in mean-spirited Scroogedness.
Just think of the way he traded the veteran winger – between the second and third periods of a game in Boston. In a scene taken from the pages of one of Rejean Tremblay’s more far-fetched Lance et Compte scripts, the Ghost told Cammalleri mid-way through the game to get undressed and head back to the hotel and wait for his call to find out where he was headed. This, by the way, would be a hotel the team had already checked out of because they were flying straight back from Boston to Montreal after the game. So Cammalleri had to sit in the lobby and steam, waiting for Gauthier to deign to give him a buzz. It was one of the ugliest moments in recent Habs history.
Then of course there was the Halak Molson Cup incident. When Jaroslav Halak made his much-anticipated return to the Bell Centre this winter, Gauthier delayed the Molson Cup ceremony by a week so the team could present the trophy to Carey Price – in a childish effort to humiliate Halak and take his mind off his game. As was the case with most of Gauthier’s petty moves, it backfired. Halak shut-out the Habs and the fans voted him first star of the game.
You can say this is all small stuff – but it set the tone for the entire organization. Gauthier was the ultimate micro-manager – remember the story about allowing reporters only one cookie per meal when he was running the lean, mean (eds. note: Vegan?) Ottawa Senators?
The Canadiens have always been one of the classiest teams in professional sports and there’s just no place for this sort of behaviour. With this one small gesture from Molson, maybe just maybe the team is back off the Road to Ruin – as the Ramones so eloquently put it – and back on the Rocket to Russia. Okay so I’m stretching it with my reference two of the greatest albums in the history of recorded music, but you get the idea.
So Molson got this one right. Now there’s the small matter of hiring the right GM…..