This past Saturday (April 5, 2008), the National Post Newspaper did an interesting story on Montreal’s NHL hockey team, les Canadiens. But it was an incomplete story.
The Post wrote that Montreal is doing exceptionally well in the league, given that most of their players are not French.
In the land of French Quebec, not having enough French Quebecers on the team was always “politically” problematic. But in this day and age, one must choose between satisfying a cultural demand, or winning a championship.
It seems that Montreal has made the decision that winning is more important than culture.
There are many Quebecers who fondly remember the days when the “Flying Frenchmen” ruled the ice. When the Montreal Canadians were amongst the most successful and storied franchises, right up there with the NY Yankees.
But I doubt if they can remember why.
Younger hockey fans won’t have a clue, especially if they were born anytime after 1967 when the league went from 6 teams to 12 teams.
Prior to expansion, the Canadians had a special deal with the NHL. Montreal had first pick over ALL French players, giving them a DISTINCT and unfair advantage over all the other teams in the league.
But, since 1967, all of that changed with expansion. Montreal lost their exclusive right to French players.
With expansion, every team tried as hard as they could to sign the very best players regardless of the language they spoke, with the exception of Montreal.
Because of les Canadiens’ French-First philosophy, which included players, coaches and managers, Montreal became a very ordinary hockey team. Not to say that French players aren’t as good as English or European players.
But there are just not enough of them. And unlike the era of pre expansion when Montreal owned the rights to all French players, today, French players can play for any team in the NHL.
From being la crème de la crème, Montreal’s fabled hockey team went to sour milk. So much so, that when the franchise was up for sale just a few years ago, they could hardly give it away.
Fast-forward to last Saturday’s Post article, and today, the Montreal Canadians are doing very well on the ice, well enough to perhaps make it all the way to the Stanley Cup, but not with a majority of French players.
On the team of 26 players, only 6 have French names.
The Montreal Canadians had two options.
1 – Win with the very best talent available regardless of language.
2 – Be proud ethnocentric nationalist losers.
After far too many years with option 2, the Montreal Canadians finally opted for option 1, and are now amongst the top of their hockey world.
Here’s the lesson the National Post didn’t tell:
What happened to the city of Montreal because of French language supremacy, is nothing more, and nothing less, than what happened to the Montreal Canadians.
Just as ethnocentric Quebecois nationalism severely damaged the Montreal Canadians, it has similarly damaged the city of Montreal. But unlike how the hockey team rallied by turning its back on culturally racist policies, Montreal CAN NOT do the same.
In the context of the damage done to Montreal because of ethnocentric Quebecois nationalism, it is irreparable. But that doesn’t mean the cultural sickness has to continue.
Montreal can never win back the hundreds of thousands of people who have already left, even if Quebec totally drops its anti-English language policies and anti-Canadian mindset.
What Quebec can do, is hope to stem the tide of further erosion by rolling back its draconian and racist language laws, including the restrictions placed on the growth of the English speaking community at the school level.
What happened to the Montreal Canadian hockey team is a perfect example of what happened to what was once the greatest city in the world to live.
Unfortunately though, it’s one thing to win back fans. But it’s another thing entirely to win back a couple of lost generations.
At the very least, for their own survival, Quebec should look at the Montreal Canadians as an inspiration to do what has to be done to stem the tide of people leaving, and attempt to heal the near fatal wounds of their own making.
I have a brand new book that is just coming off the presses called CANADA IS NOT A BILINGUAL COUNTRY. It is both a campaign book, and a history of the propaganda that has done so much damage to this country.
CANADA IS NOT A BILINGUAL COUNTRY sells for $25 everything included. 100% of the profits will go to WINNING BACK CANADA.
Books can be ordered online via PayPal or by sending a check to Galganov.com. To read how to order any of my books, just click on the Click Here To Order Link under the publication.
As always, I thank you for reading Galganov.com and for your support.
Together: LET’S WIN BACK CANADA.
Best Regards . . . Howard Galganov