The Saku Koivu Controversy with the Montreal Canadiens; Here We Go Again!September 4, 2008
Those are things I will forever find my dear Montreal really special for: the media and their controversies.
The Canadiens held their annual golf tournament, as usual, on the first Tuesday after Labor Day.
Last year already, Saku Koivu has made himself a headline, having said that he found the team better, but still without a chance to make it to the cup. Well, to make it short, the team looks like it can do something, but it actually still stinks!
Agreed, as a Captain, that might not be the best way to say it. But in the end, who was right?
For Saku Koivu, the more the years pass by, the more they look the same. Once every little while, he can expect to see his name mentioned in some angry article written by an obviously offended sports writer. And as soon as the first one covers it, the whole media community feels like it is a duty to go on and on about the case.
And yet, President Pierre Boivin had a heck of a speech talking about a more competitive team and the Stanley Cup. Very impressive. It has been a while since Lord Stanley hasn't been in the conversations of the great minds of the Canadiens.
As everyone had all eyes and ears wide opened to live every word of the famous winning speech, I had the feeling something had to be wrong.
And yes, it was about time before the newspapers and columns had the scoop of the year: Saku Koivu did not come to the tournament.
On CKAC, or Corus Sport, Jacques Demers had a few words about it, having spent the day with the players in Laval-sur-le-Lac. "It might be normal since the camp has been delayed this year. But he had a chance to spend the whole summer in his country."
Demers finally brought up the only meaningful sentence of the whole day, saying that "the main thing to remember is that everyone is happy and ready for the season. They know they have a good team." In other words, please people, get a life.
The power of media in this city is so large that when it comes to such debates, the Montreal Canadiens organization has no other choice than deal with it, right away.
The team's spokesman, Daniel Beauchamp, replied "every year, the players can chose to participate or not to the tournament. Saku is currently in an intensive training program in Finland. And a trip between Helsinki and Montreal wasn't the best thing to do."
Straight-forward columnist Bertrand Raymond of Le Journal de Montreal must have set his "azerty" on fire during the redaction of his Saku Koivu's situation coverage.
"Koivu is not an ordinary player. He is the captain, the leader. He sometimes gives us the impression that he does not understand the nature of his role. We just want him to show more that he deserves the confidence vote we do not give to anyone."
Georges Laraque had the same warm welcome from the journalists. Actually so warm that it burns every part of your body, 'till you go nuts and get sick about it.
But the big player did not hold it back during the conference call. "The truth is that I don't play golf. I hate this sport. I asked the organization if I was obliged to go, they said no. I don't get why you make such a fuss about it." - Attaboy! That's my man!
He stayed in Edmonton to train and get prepared for the season as well.
Funny thing, the season hasn't even started yet and topics such as Saku Koivu's captaincy put under high-risks are everywhere. It just cracks me up.
But that is how it has always been. Kovalev has been there, Carbonneau has been there, Roy is right into it.
And I keep wondering why players do not want to come to Montreal ... They'd rather play Poker. I love my team, but man, sometimes it goes as far as being ridiculous!