Friday, 6 June 2014

Guy Lafleur on Max Pacioretty and Thomas Vanek, part deux.

To everyone who's pointing to Guy Lafleur's Stanley Cups and Hall of Fame status as his licence to weigh in on any subject, you're missing a big part of the equation.  Guy is a paid staff member of the Canadiens, as an Ambassador of the team.  That paycheque comes with certain responsibilities, one of which is not to snipe at members of your own team.

The Cleveland Browns have had some of the same issues with one of their own Megastar Hall of Famer.  Jim Brown, who many think is the best football player ever, is an outspoken man who's a straight-shooter and doesn't hold back when he's given a pulpit.  Which is fine, he has a lot of credibility in general, and with the African-American community, but his opinions sometimes went counter to the party line with the administration in Cleveland.  So Mr. Brown would be exiled, brought back into the fold, say something controversial and counter-productive, and be ousted again.  It's always been an uneasy relationship.  But it's understandable that the Browns don't want to pay Jim Brown to burn down their house.

And that's the crux of the issue.  If Guy wants to be the gentleman pundit, the cranky old-timey guy who spouts off on any and all subjects, he's got every right to do so, but not when he's cashing paycheques from Geoff Molson.  It's organizational behaviour 101.  You're part of the team, you act like it.

It's not about whether he's right or wrong about Thomas Vanek and Max Pacioretty.  It's not about whether Max is a little fragile emotionally, and needs to toughen up.  It's about keeping these issues in-house.  Marc Bergevin runs a tight ship, there are never any leaks, any rumours coming from his team.

So Guy can make up his mind.  Stay on the Canadiens payroll, or opine on anything he damn well pleases.  But based on his recent body of work in various commercials, I'm thinking he probably doesn't want to give up the Ambassador relationship.

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