Saturday, 25 May 2013

Mario Tremblay and Patrick Roy, Michel Therrien and P.K. Subban

Interesting report in the Gazette that Mario Tremblay and Patrick Roy haven't spoken since the infamous trade to Colorado in 1995.  Not once.  Even though they worked on the same TV show on RDS.  Apparently, they've never been scheduled to appear as panelists on the same night.  Tense.

The Canadiens' hiring of Mario Tremblay as a head coach was a bad idea for many reasons.  We've all discussed how he had no coaching experience of any kind.  He had a fiery, some would say abrasive personality that is not always well-received.  He didn't have the capacity to detach himself emotionally when necessary, I guess that was the flipside of his passion and love for the Montréal Canadiens.

The feud between him and Patrick Roy lies in the fact that Mario before his coronation was the host of a call-in show on CKAC.  He was opinionated and plain-spoken, and one of his hobby-horses was how Patrick was too coddled by the team, how he played by his own rules.  He kept pointing to how when he played, no one was above the team, everyone was equal, which is paradoxical, because as a matter of fact, Mario always felt that he was treated unfairly by Scotty Bowman, that he was singled out for punishment more than was deserved.  In any case, the undertone was that Mario didn't really care for Patrick and if he was calling the shots, well golly, things would be different.  According to legend, Patrick would listen to these shows and seethe (for you young ones, call-in shows were big, really big, back before the internet, that's how you took the pulse of the nation, and everyone listened to them, even the players who said they "didn't read the newspapers.")

Sure enough, when Mario was parachuted behind the bench, he tried to rein in Patrick, right or wrong, and he was never able to have a productive relationship with him.  Eventually, it blew up during that game against the Red Wings, but it wasn't because of that game.  It had been building for quite a while.

It's interesting that some Montréal fans had expressed the same fear regarding Michel Therrien and his remarks concerning P.K. on l'Antichambre.  Now, I've heard Michel Therrien comment on P.K. last season, and when young Mr. Subban would screw up Mr. Therrien wouldn't skirt the issue, but he was always respectful, and he always explained it as a coaching problem, not a player problem.  Now, Mr. Therrien had to be circumspect, so as not to appear to be campaigning for a job, but the message was clear.  This was an important distinction.  Patrick Roy was the problem in Mario Tremblay's mind, P.K. Subban's coaching was the problem in Michel Therrien's mind.

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