Monday, 4 June 2012

No room for reason in debate over Canadiens' next head coach

Lots of passion regarding the coaching hire, which can be good, but a lot of it seems overboard. People are expression anger and frustration already, before a decision is made, at the mere thought of a candidate other than their favourite possibly being chosen.
I’ve posted consistently about wanting Patrick Roy as the head coach of the Canadiens, and tried to present the positives he would bring to the team, and how to contend with some of the weaknesses in his resume.
Unfortunately, a lot of the comments regarding the coaching choice tend to be very negative, like political attack ads. Marc Crawford is a borderline criminal, Michel Thérrien is a goon who can’t coach, Bob Hartley was going to blow a fuse and cause a riot every time his team lost.
Rumours are taken as gospel, and we flip our lid when they’re shown to be unfounded. The Hockey Writers, a website-blog tries to scoop everyone with a hasty post that Bob Hartley was about to be named the next head coach of the Canadiens. One by one, like dominoes, reputable news outlets give in and trumpet this, being careful to credit the source so as to be able to absolve themselves of blame if this is eventually discredited. Even Sports Illustrated falls for it.
We’re outraged that The Hockey Writers pulled this stunt, yet when RDS commenter Gaston Thérrien explains his opinion that Patrick Roy must be out of the running due to his various interpretations of the absolute lack of news emanating from the Canadiens on this, it’s again treated as if inscribed on stone tablets handed down at a burning bush.
Yet when a solid article explains how Patrick Roy is a good coach, well-liked by his players, a coach who was demanding but supportive of his players and who could adjust in game to various systems and situations, a true and passionate ‘winner’, citing three of his current players on the Remparts, with names and quotes, this is skipped over and no discussion ensues.
It’s a little tough to have this discussion when we talk at cross purposes with each other like this, where we point to every other candidate’s warts and act as if the hiring of anyone else but our favourite in this horse race should be the subject of a public inquiry, or at least a good flogging.
Can we agree that whoever is hired by the Canadiens will have been thoroughly vetted by the brain trust now in place, references will have been checked, backroom channels will have been tapped to find the dirt on every one of these gentlemen, and that the last man standing will be the best possible choice in these circumstances? And can we give this poor sap a moment of grace and the benefit of a couple doubts in his first year or so?

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