The Habs picked the wrong captain_

Posted: September 18, 2015 in Uncategorized


Well Canadiens’ management got the captain they wanted. It’s Not-So-Mad Max Pacioretty. The Habs announced Friday morning that Patch has been named the 29th captain of the Canadiens, following a team vote.

So okay he’s the players’ choice. So let me keep it simple. They made the wrong choice. As Patrick Lagacé said in a brilliant column this week, we already have our captain and his name is P.K. Subban.

But that was never going to happen. The players chose the captain management wanted and both the skaters and the bosses have shown themselves to be completely out of touch with the Quebec public.

P.K. is our captain. People love this guy. He might well be the most exciting personality in the entire NHL, both on and off the ice. Unlike 99.9 percent of pro hockey players, he actually has something intelligent to say when a mic is put in front of him, he has a great sense of the community surrounding the team, he’s funny, he has style. All the things you want in a captain.

Patch? Wake me up when his tenure as captain is over. Don’t get me wrong. Guy’s an amazing player. He’s our sniper. This is good on any team and is even better on a team like the Habs where scoring goals is about as rare as finding witty literate types in the Prime Minister’s office. So yeah a chap who can score 40 goals, that we like.

But a leader? Ummm no. He has never had anything resembling a good playoff run, for one thing. As a pal said, Patch is a good goal-scorer but he’s not the clutch goal-scorer. He’s not your Jonathan Toews who’s gonna get the OT goal when you need it most.

P.K. is that guy. Remember that Bruins series two years ago? We won that series because Subban decided we were gonna win it. He virtually delivered a Mark Messier-like promise before game seven in Beantown. That’s Our Man.

One last thing. Subban opened his press conference at the hospital this week speaking the language of Tremblay and he’s made an effort since day one to at least try to speak French. He does that because he respects his fans – and the captain of the Canadiens MUST speak at least a little French. To spend a decade as captain – you know who I’m talking about – and not even once say ‘bonjour’ is simply unacceptable.

Is Max gonna be that leader in the community? Of course not.

And this morning, Habs management sits on Ivory Row above the Bell Centre ice pleased as punch. They’ve been fighting Subban for years. They got into bitter brawls with the Norris-Trophy-winning D-man over his two last contracts and the coach spent an entire year trash-talking the superstar. They don’t like anyone being bigger than the team, whether they’re named Guy Lafleur, Patrick Roy or P.K. Subban.

So there it is. A missed opportunity. Sigh.

  • Brendan Kelly
  • Twitter: @brendanshowbiz
  1. Meir Weiss says:

    I really dont think the captain is a one man operation. the captain has his assistants his right hand left hand men included. it will be a great year I hope for to bring lord Stanley cup back to Mtl ticker tape parade

  2. Jay says:

    First let me start off by saying that PK was also my choice for captain. But me give you a different perspective as to why MP was the RIGHT choice for captain. As amazing (arguably best “D” in the league) a player PK might be and as articulate, enthusiastic, personable and adored (by the fans/media) he may be, in order to be the captain you MUST have that respect by the players and by the “league community.” PK for reasons I understand, (And many I don’t) just isn’t there yet. Justified or not his “swagger” and demeanour during his first 3-4 seasons were NOT something of captain material. A leader in the room, has to have the respect of his teammates and as much as PK has matured and grown into his role, I believe that there are many in the room, that do not like the attention he gets. Maybe that’s unjustified and THEIR problem, but that remains the reality. As for the French you mentioned, I believe that Max also learned how to speak French, and had delivered the first 2-3 minutes of his acceptance presser in French, so I don’t see how that’s even a point when comparing the two? Lastly, imagine if you will, what type of numbers Pacioretty could be putting up, if he was surrounded with a little more talent, or at least bigger bodies… Think about the final stretch 2 years ago, when Vanek was added with 20 or so games to go.

    Go Habs Go!

  3. Anon says:

    I agree that PK was deserving of the captaincy. He has the ability to shoulder the criticism of the fans and deflect the negativity of the press all while making you chuckle and remaining relevant on the ice. Throw into the mix the sense of community, the random acts of ‘ let me jump out of the car and get some street hockey on with these kids’ (just because). And most importantly….I believe mrs. Beliveau is a very good judge of character. He has her respect….why not the respect of team brass?

    Oh yeah…..apparently you can’t outshine the franchise.

    Granted not everyone can like Subban and Pacioretty was chosen but that doesn’t mean that just because PK doesn’t wear the ‘C’ that he isn’t a leader.

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