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December 28, 2011


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Mario Toupin

Well I wasn't sure what to expect when I saw the tittle, many anglophone media make fun of the.. unique situation that represents being coach of the Montreal Canadiens.

Its unique in the nhl, as to where elsewhere English is exclusive use, here it is not specially when dealing with OFF the ice things like interviews and fans. On the ice its all English as it should be. Off the ice however communication with fans is done most of the time in French, and the 30 or so reporters the coach and players see daily are mainly, but not exclusively French. Some people in Canada, and in the US reply of "Just learn English you @$@#$#@ frogs" just anger the folks more. I cannot see for example, the Yankees in baseball hiring a head coach who speaks exclusively Spanish, or Japanese the fans would call for the GM head on the spot I would think.

You are very right in expressing that someone who TRIES is very much better perceive than something who scuffs at you and say they don't speak French. Someone who tries shows respect for his audience and willingness to try.

This whole thing blew way up and over proportion with politicians getting mixed in and its a big thing for little. The fans wants a winning team, and as you say will overlook a passable French if the wins starts getting in.

To his defence, coach seems to have picked up on that and during the last interview mumble some lines in French. Coaching this team is the hardest in the NHL and im not sure he quite fully understood what it meant.


I'm glad you brought up the baseball analogy. You would expect a manager to know English, but a manager has a huge advantage if he knows Spanish. Then again, that is about the players.

As for Montreal, I understand the need to have a coach who is passable with French. If they had hired Mike Babcock or another successful Anglophone coach, fans wouldn't be as upset. It comes down to winning, and Cunneyworth is off to a rough start.

Mario T

Thats something more, they were successful french coach available, Bob hartley who won a stanley cup, Micheal Therien was also free, and some lesser known ones.

To have overlooked them is more of a slap even. Rumor mill is strong as to it being Patrick Roy, arguably the greatess goalie of the sport being looked at strongly for the job next year.


I hear Therien is a strong contender for the permanent position. Unless Cunneyworth pulls off a strong miracle, he won't be back, even if he speaks French as well as Geneviève Bujold.

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