Monday, June 11, 2007

As Canadien as Possible #4: Good Canadian Boy

The most unusual bit of fallout from the Markov signing has nothing to do with Markov. The unassuming and indispensable blueliner had his press conference, said a few words, got many pats on the head from all and sundry. The fans rejoiced, took a second look at the numbers involved, cringed a bit, got over it, rejoiced a little longer in a more subdued fashion, and then, as fans do, moved on to other questions. And the most pressing new question is apparently this: what does this mean for Sheldon Souray?

Rationally, throughout the past season, not many people believed that the Habs would be able to bring back both Markov and Souray, and though Gainey declared his intention to try, that declaration was met with considerable skepticism. Gainey’s plan makes some kind of sense from a hockey perspective, since both had an excellent season this past year, and together they made the Habs #1 power-play the force that it was. But in terms of financial and long-term strategy, it’s a risky thing to dump so much money into maintaining pieces of an unsuccessful team, even good pieces. There’s no reason to believe that the exact same Habs team would do any better in 2007-2008 than they did in 2006-2007. Changes have to be made, and given Montreal’s history they’re likely to be expensive changes, so is it really a good idea to lock up a huge amount of salary, long-term, in two pre-existing defensemen when what is really needed is a new defenseman, and a couple of new forwards as well? Of course, if the Habs could clear some space and some salary by moving players who are not UFA, that changes things, but the Theodore trade might have used up all of Gainey’s go-ahead-take-a-chance-on- our-very-expensive-underperformer-maybe-he’ll-do-better-for-you street cred amongst other GMs.

It’s very reasonable to question whether the Habs should even bother trying to keep Souray. While he might not be as expensive as his recent stats would suggest, he’s still going to want a lot of money, and the long dingy shadow of Bryan McCabe hovers over the entire prospect- an offensive defenseman is quite a gamble to make with your big-money deals. Souray is, in fact, a huge risk. Huge. Guinness Book of World Records huge. Huge like the Grand Canyon, Mount Everest, the Pacific Ocean, the Antarctic ice fields, so huge you can’t even see how huge it is.

Sheldon Souray is amazing. He is, literally, a power-play in the flesh. He is the man advantage. When he’s healthy and the other team is even a little bit careless, he’s pretty much a guaranteed goal-per-game. Sometimes he scores it, sometimes someone else scores it off a tip-in or rebound from his shot, sometimes somebody else scores it because the opponents spent so much time trying to shut down Souray that they left wide-open lanes for the forwards down by the net. But whatever, all that matters is that as a team your power-play will jump at least 4 or 5 places up the rankings if you buy Souray.

Sheldon Souray is a disaster. He’s capable of good defensive play, but it doesn’t seem to come naturally to him. In his own zone he’s most often the proverbial pylon, and he has a bad tendency to interfere with his own goalie. This is a man who deflected a shot past Ryan Miller during the freakin’ All-Star Game. But mostly, Souray just doesn’t read opposing forwards well, and too often he makes the wrong decision, or worse yet, makes no decision at all while the play swirls around him. He’s good for a lot of power-play goals-for, but equally reliable for a lot of even-strength goals-against.

So, you pays your money you takes your choice: given a player whose on-ice performance is almost perfectly balanced between the excellent and the abominable, which is more important? Obviously every team, and every fan, will have a different answer. To some, he might actually be worth $6 million. Others wouldn’t even take him for free.

The size of the Markov signing was a good indication to the hockey-world at large, as well as Habistanis, that it’s going to be a pricey summer for defensemen, Souray included. Although the two players are not really comparable at all in terms of play style, it’s likely that they won’t be too far removed from each other in eventual paycheck. And the debate du jour is: Is Sheldon Souray worth Andrei Markov money?

I’ll leave my own answer for a little further down the page, but I expected that the Habistani consensus would be NO. His numbers are gaudy, but believe me, when you’ve spent 82 games chewing your fingernails until they bleed every time he gets near Huet, you really start to wonder if it wouldn’t be worth giving up a few power-play goals just to keep your blood pressure down. And if he’s giving you an elevated heart rate at $2 million a season, he might very well give you a full-blown myocardial infarction at $5 million+. Generally speaking, I figured a majority (albeit a narrow one) of public opinion on the Habs would call for letting Souray get his big windfall elsewhere and looking to acquire a somewhat cheaper ‘puck-moving defenseman’ in his place.

I was wrong. Oh, there’s still an angry posse or two out there who want to see him gone, and a quite few rational people as well, but it seems like the Markov signing has brought forth a rising tide of affection for Shelly-jaan. Even more so because the Ducks rolled on and on and eventually all the way to the Stanley Cup. Because, leaving aside for the moment all his numbers, good and bad, he has one quality that makes him distinctive on the Canadiens' roster: Sheldon Souray is the Habs’ last Good Canadian Boy.

‘Good Canadian Boy’ is not a position, but it is a role one plays, both a hockey role and a social role. It has absolutely nothing to do with being Good, and is often only tangentially related to being Canadian, and Boy is a misnomer, since it’s routinely used for guys on the far side of thirty. But we all know what a Good Canadian Boy is. Good Canadian Boys are big and aggressive. They play hard and passionate and physical. They do what it takes to win, whatever their skill level. They throw checks and get in fights. Good Canadian Boys stand up for their teammates, on and off the ice. They lead vocally, give good speeches in the room and good soundbites to the media. They know all the hockey clich├ęs and deploy them often. Good Canadian boys come from small, frigid towns in remote areas, preferably towns that feature a large mammal somewhere in the name. They play junior, and the commentators on CBC will make sure you never forget where. Ideally they have not had too much schoolin’, hockey in Canada being something like politics in the United States in that an appearance of too much education is automatically suspicious. They radiate a down-to-earth, folksy, faux-self-deprecating charm. A player can be missing one or two of these qualities, especially if he’s freakishly talented, but lacking three or more very much puts your Good Canadian Boy status in doubt.

The Habs have technically Canadian players. There’s the significant Quebecois contingent- Latendresse, Lapierre, Dandenault, Begin, and Bouillon (honorary). I daren’t talk about the politics of this, because as an American it's one of the things about Canada I still just don't get, suffice to point out that, however they play- and I don’t think anyone could deny that Begin, Lapierre, and Bouillon play in a Good Canadian Boy mold- there seems to be a significant block in the modern era of Canadian hockey culture against describing Quebecois players in terms of the ideology of Canadian hockey. Like Europeans, the prevailing attitude on CBC and TSN and such seems to be that some of them play like Canadians, but they’re somehow exempt from the mystique of the Good Canadian Boy. They have their own category.

Beyond that, well, there’s Mike Johnson, who might come back, but he lacks the proper hockey backstory for a Good Canadian Boy- not a star in junior, never drafted, went to an American college. Plus, while he certainly knows how to throw an effective check when the situation calls for it, he’s not particularly aggressive, and generally ends up taking more hurt than he gives. And there’s Michael Ryder, but he’s from Newfoundland, and if there’s one thing I learned from the San Jose/Detroit series, it’s that people seem rather uncertain as to whether Newfies count. And again, Ryder’s play-style isn’t the sort that anyone is likely to hold up as an example of ‘Canadian’. He’s an instinctive goal-scorer, but other than that, not a particularly forceful presence on the ice.

What became of all our Good Canadian Boys? We started last season with a few. There was Aaron Downey, the well-meaning but painfully inadequate enforcer, now demoted to the minors and lent out to another team. There was Garth Murray, the Saskatchewani 4th liner, still technically under contract but benched for much of 2007, and a good bet to be pushed aside by some developing prospie in the coming season. And there was, of course, Craig Rivet, who was just about as perfect an emblem of traditional Canadian hockey values as you could put on skates, but he went the way of so many Good Canadian Boys these days- to California.

I look at the way the Ducks are being marketed up here, and especially the way their roster and their system of play are held up as exemplars of the Canadian Way of Hockey- an attempt to counterbalance Ottawa’s grab for the national affections, which developed it’s own momentum over time- and I realize that my Canadiens are ironically named indeed, for history and geography notwithstanding, this is one of the least ideologically Canadian teams in the League. And even in Montreal, where the vast bulk of hockey-pride is invested in local players and local traditions, there’s still a surprisingly powerful sentimental attachment to the idea of having at least a few properly, stereotypically, conventionally Canadian hockey players on the team. Oh sure, we say we don't care about getting HNIC's approval (they're all biased against us anyway), but nevertheless...

When Souray goes, people wonder, who will be our Good Canadian Boy? It seems impossible to have a team without one. Who is going to do the fighting? We have no real reliable fighters any longer, Bouillon who has the spirit but not the size, Komisarek who has the size but not the spirit, and though we cringed for his wonky wrists every time Souray dropped the gloves last season, it was important to know that somebody would put up that largely symbolic but nevertheless effective defense of our too-often-broken captain and long-suffering goalies. Back when Rivet was wearing the other A, back in the days of the utterly pointless but inevitable Garth Murray Hockey Fight™, it didn’t seem so important that Souray was a bit violence-prone, in fact it seemed like a distinct disadvantage, because you don’t really want one of your scoring leaders- especially a previously injured one- playing enforcer when there are other guys who can do it pretty much as well. And even now, if he sticks around, I’d prefer it if he kept his gloves on and saved whatever is left of his arms for those lovely slapshots. But- like surprisingly many things in hockey- the willingness to do something can sometimes be more important than whether or not one actually does it. And part of the reason the fans liked him so much was because we knew he was willing to do it, even injured, sick or exhausted, even in the midst of a personal slump, even on those nights when his play was crap, we knew that he would at least ‘show up’ in that regard, that he would do the pushing and shoving, that he would play as tough as he possibly could, that he’d never take the night off, never be invisible, and never fail to notice if someone on the opposition was pushing the boundaries too far. Maybe he wouldn’t always be able to, or have to, do anything, but it’s the will to do it that meant more.

Who is going to lead? Koivu leads the team, obviously, but he’s one of those quiet, stoic types who leads by example and endurance- on the whole, I prefer his style, especially in the context of this city, but it doesn't exactly lend itself to good mid-season fan-chatter. Souray’s the one who did the loud, showy leading. Souray’s the one who’d get raging angry after a bad game, the one who’d make the big speech, the one who’d ‘call out’ the team in front of the media. He’s the one who’d give post-game comments that mimicked the emotions of the folks at home, congratulatory words for the hard working guys and oblique criticisms for the lazy ones. Maybe the men in the room don’t need him to lead, I have no idea, but the fans do, so badly that it’s not rare to hear calls for him to be given the C, because his is the kind of leadership that comforts and inspires us, and that’s important too.

And who will work the media? Not just the Montreal media, but the larger hockey media, when they occasionally turn their gaze to this tiny island? In spite of the fact that they probably spend more time on camera than any team short of the Leafs, the Habs are not a particularly camera-friendly team, a lot of players who leave all their elegance and intensity on the ice and turn reserved and reclusive off it. On a team that is collectively not particularly stylish, attractive, or charming in their real-life forms, Souray might as well go around wearing a neon sign that flashes INTERVIEW ME in three different colors. Because the hockey media loves a Good Canadian Boy, especially one who can pull off a flashy suit. He’s a great interview, he says all the right things, and has a compelling way of taking even the tritest hockey-platitudes and making them sound fresh and sincere. He’s good at celebrity, and all the more so because it’s the best hockey player form of celebrity- casual, friendly, easygoing. If you saw any Hab chattering away for any reason in the general-hockey media last season, it was probably Sheldon Souray, and I bet you liked him. And while fans here, myself included, might say they don’t care that the team isn’t exactly glamorous (they’re paid to play hockey, not look good), there’s no denying that we all got a little twitch of excitement seeing one of our guys doing some camera-hogging at the All-Star Game.

All this stuff isn’t really necessary. It’s silly, in fact, to want to keep a player just because of the character he plays. Objectively, I don’t think the team needs Souray to improve its game, although I also don’t think that losing him would be a case of ‘addition by subtraction’. They can be better, I believe, with him or without him, although the way of being better will be slightly different if he’s around. But, like a lot of my fellow Habs fans, I find myself a little too attached to some of those intangibles to be entirely objective. I hope he comes back, because he’s been a part of this team for a long while now, and because we’ve come to expect- even depend on- his sometimes infuriating, sometimes inspiring performance of the Good Canadian Boy role. Really, every team should have one.

That, and I don’t ever want to see any goalie of mine on the wrong end of that shot.

19 comments:

Jordi said...

When I think of our hometown guys, it's definitely Begin. But non-fans know Sheldon Souray, not Steve Begin or Mathieu Dandenault. And hell I want Souray back just so we can deal him away.

I'm really, REALLY sad that so many people want to rip the C off of Koivu. I keep hoping that he'll score 40 goals to silence them or something but I don't want to jump into a fantasy here. Because he has the heart, he damn well has the heart for the team.

hambown said...

E, I know well the allure of the Good Canadian Boy. Todd White filled that role on the Sens, and I for one was sad to see him depart. Until we got Mike Fisher. Good Canadian Boys can be replaced.

As one who grew up adoring the Habs (and still feels them close to my heart, just not as close as Ottawa), I feel the team will be better served by letting Souray earn big bucks elsewhere, preferrably in the Western Conference. The comparison to McCabe is just too apt. One of the hockey commandments should be:

Thou shalt not blow thy cash on a magnum defensive liability despiteth him scoring 20 lovely powerplay goals last season.

The Habs would be better served using the money Souray would command (say 5.5 - 6 mil) by signing: a big stay-at-home type to play in the second defensive pairing (think Vitaly Vishnevsky, Stephane Robidas), or mobile powerplay quarterback type (think Tom Preissing). Having a more responsible defenseman (who is historically a plus player) would be much more beneficial to the Habs.

Oh, and stay away from Preissing. We've totally got dibs!

E said...

jordi- begin definitely has the hometown crowd love all locked up. but i still think people put him in a different category from souray, i dunno, maybe because he's 'only' a 4th liner, maybe because we take him for granted. and speaking of players who are taken for granted, it is sad, the amount of totally undeserved shit that people throw at koivu, but if i start ranting about that i'll never stop...

hambown- habs-sens polyamory? is that allowed? it seems somehow... dirty. i also think you're using your early-modern-english -th suffix incorrectly, i'm pretty sure that's supposed to go on verbs. but the point is well-taken. they do seem to have perfected the good canadian boy production system, haven't they? but in terms of spending that money on things other than souray, and putting myself in completely-rational mode for a moment, i agree with you in principle. problem is, the principle might not count for much, since there are only so many free agents this season, and it seems like most of those who could help the canadiens are much desired by other teams as well. so it's possible that even if they in theory could buy something better than souray, they still won't get it. in which case, is it better to have souray, or just have a bunch of cap space sitting open while josh gorges takes his slot? seriously, that's not a rhetorical question, i'd really like to know...

noha said...

Hi e,
as a fellow habistani, I just have to say that I LOVE your posts, entertaining, fun, and well thought out. In terms of what you said about Souray, I can see the allure, and he's actually one of my favourite habs, but when I look at it objectively, I can't justify keeping him for the money that'll be needed to do that. As another commenter said, Good Canadian Boys can be replaced. I think if Chipchura is on the team next year, or the year after, he'll be that guy (From the tiny northern outpost, big, probably willing to drop the gloves, self-deprecating, etc... Heck, if he's good enough to be the "Good Canadian Boy" for Darryl Sutter, who coached him in the world juniors two years ago and GAVE HIM THE C, he's good enough for me...) and like another commenter said, Begin IS that guy for the hometown crowd, so we don't lose it completely...

Julian said...

in which case, is it better to have souray, or just have a bunch of cap space sitting open while josh gorges takes his slot? seriously, that's not a rhetorical question, i'd really like to know...

Obviously, it depends on what you're planning on doing with the cap space.... Figure 5M in space if you don't sign Souray, that's alot of room to have to add players during the season, as I'm sure the thinking goes.

One of the oilers bloggers did a post on this a while back, pointing out that the Oilers policy of remaining 10% under the cap as to have room to add salary during the season is pretty foolish, it's much better spent during the off season. By the trade deadline, enough salary is off the books that you can add something like two or three league max contract players at the deadline and not go over if you've been spending to within 10% of the cap throughout the season.


http://ykoil.blogspot.com/2007/03/are-they-really-that-stupid.html


So in response to your question, it's probably best to not have souray and spend his paycheck elsewhere. But if the choice is one or the other, then you may as well keep Souray. Georges isn't Souray, and probably won't ever be, you may as well have someone out there who can at least score on the PP.

kazmojo said...

I think everyone here has said it about Souray. Objectively speaking, he's got to go. But you touched on something else that I've been thinking about for quite some time: what makes a Canadian?

This is, of course, a matter of national identity. Most nationalities define themselves by some combination of the standards: language, religion, culture, or even food. French Canada has all of that.

But English Canada? All it has is hockey. The CBC esp seems to have taken it upon itself to define what is Canadian -- and ends up with the same conclusion. How many non-game related hockey specials can they drag out over the course of a year?

It's strange, in my mind, to be defined by a sport. Esp one whose popularity stretches into much of Europe. So maybe this is where the further refinement of "Good Canadian Boy" comes from, with Don Cherry and the like as their #1 promoters.

It's at once sad and aggravating. Don't we have more than that?

But as far as the Habs, I say screw it. Don't need any "Good Canadian Boys." In the end, we just want to win, with players whom we can embrace as one of our own, "Canadian" or not. I think that most of us have embraced Souray, but he just can't help us win.

E said...

kaz- as somebody who is obviously sociopathically over-invested in hockey, i have a hard time criticizing canadians tendency to behave similarly. canadian hockey nationalism supports my addiction, and for that, i love it. a colleague of mine once told me that he thought, when it comes to nationalism, the most powerful symbols are often the most irrational ones. take flags, for example, they're just blocks of color on cloth, there's nothing substantive that links them to a country. but people go insane for them. i don't know why, maybe because a mad devotion to a 'trivial' symbol reflects love of the thing symbolized more purely than something important. or maybe because trivialities are more removed from the moral conundra of society and politics.

anyway, i don't think there's anything wrong with canada using hockey as a national symbol. but i do think it can become problematic for hockey, in that it can become hyper-exclusionary. as much as there's something mythological and romantic about the good canadian boy archetype, i do wonder how the media deployment of it affects the canadian players whose best game is not played in that mode, to be seen as somehow deficient in national character just because you're not much good at shot-blocking and such.

Julian said...

I dunno, Gretzky is an abosolute saint in the Canadian media, he's a larger than life figure. I don't mean the hockey media, i mean Canadian media at large, and pop culture. He's far from the archetype of "good Canadian boy", and he did get dinged for it by some in the hockey press, but back then and even today he's absolutely venerated in the mainstream media.
I don't think you can really say it's hurt him and his perception all that much, that he isn't a tough, heart n' soul battler.

However, it's definitely been applied to other players though as one of the highest compliments you can pay a guy.


I think the love of "heart" thing came from 1972, if that's all it was that beat the Soviets, then that must be something to it, right? And while skill or talent is something you get from drills and practice, it's an individual thing. Heart is something innate, something you're born with or at least is instilled by the hockey culture you grow up in. It represents your people, not the individual.

I dunno, just throwing some thoughts out there. Obviously I haven't been around long enough to really follow the hockey zeitgeist in Canada.

hambown said...

E - I accept that some will see the Habs / Sens polyamory as dirty, but I'm of the opinion that all love is complex love, and to love one team at the exclusion of another is injurious to one's self. It's what I feel! Besides, I consider myself a hockey fan above being a Sens fan. I even admit to admiring the Ducks a little (Perry and Pronger excepted, I consider them to be douch bags).

To respond to your question of testing the market versus locking up $ouray before July 1st, I argue that going to the market should prevail. I argue that best expected performance for dollars invested should be the deciding criterion. Souray is by now a known quantity:

- great on the PP
- good in the offensive zone
- not so good positionally
- lousy at even strength (-39 over the past two seasons)
- not quick enough moving the puck in transition
- expecting McCabe money (5.5 - 6 mil for 3-4 years) on the open market

In short, I don't think he's worth the investment as a top pair defender. If the Habs opt to pencil in Georges to their top six while using the combined cap relief, pursuant to letting Souray and Niinima go, to try and land a top four defender at around 3 - 4 mil for 2 - 3 years (Vaananen, Vishnevsky, Robidas, Skoula, Sarich, Sopel) they will get more value for money while retaining flexibility. Finally, consider that Souray will likely ask for either a No-Trade or No-Movement clause .

E said...

julian- you're right about gretzky, but i think there should be an implied disclaimer in everything ever written about hockey:

*please note that no generalizations made apply to wayne gretzy unless specifically stated.

i actually just read something very interesting on the relationship between skill, heart, and nationality... but more to come on that later.

hambown- *sniff* i think you've done a great thing in making us all a little more understanding of the lifestyle of the polyamorous hockey fan (team-polyamorous, that is). but it must be hard to manage it with both teams in the same division. most of the other open-minded souls who come around here seem to do the one-in-the-east, one-in-the-west thing. more a kind of hockey-bigamy, really, two separate fan-lives that don't interact often.

but back to souray, yeah, i can see where you're coming from. i don't think i would have minded signing him for the reported slightly over $4 million offer. i suppose i'm just very discouraged about the habs' chances on the open market... everyone they want they can't get and everyone they can get they don't want. or hopefully don't want. i've been having yashin-themed nightmares for two days now.

hambown said...

E - Try not to sweat Yashin; I'm confident that Gainey and Carbo will come out against adding another motivationaly deficient Russian forward to the lineup. I can see him landing in Dallas, Columbus, Washington (or going back to Russia), but definitely not Le Tricolor.

And yes, it's not easy breaking the fan love mold, especially for in the division. Let me tell you, it was harder when was at school in Toronto, where to root openly for non-Leafs was considered a confrontable offense. Oases (plural of Oasis?) were hard to come by. Here in Montreal I find it easier to simply cheer for hockey, be it Sens or otherwise.

E said...

i've noticed that there seems to be a running theme in hockey-blogistan about how dangerous/difficult it is to be a non-leafs fan in the toronto area. is it really? why? what on earth do the leafs acolytes (leafistanis?) have to be so ornery about? if i went to toronto in my habs-ballgown, i would be killed? lord knows people here are very serious about their team, but on the whole i fear more for the safety of those who are still running around in samsonov t-shirts than those in sens/leafs/avalanche/capitals jerseys...

hambown said...

I used hyperbole for the sake of humour, but still stand behind the proposition.

My theory is that the root of this hate for the Other is the 100,000,000 pound elephant looming over the GTA: that the Leafs, a once storied franchise committed to on-ice excellence, have been institutionally bankrupt since the Harold Ballard era, compounded with the fact that they've neither won the cup since '67 nor mounted a serious challenge since the early nineties.

The entrenched mediocrity of the on-ice product, coupled to the knowledge of past excellence and stratospheric ticket prices, leaves today's Leaf fan with a host of angry devils begnawing their minds. Total media saturation of the Leafs makes it impossible to ignore, and so this Gestalt of Hate for the Other develops. The presence of Other fans leads naturally to the comparison of the Leafs to Other teams, which brings to mind the Elephant, which is not bearable. Hence the vehemence. It's almost Orwellian.

Words are fun!

hambown said...

Finally, I think your fear for those in Samsonov shirts is misplaced. Your average Habs fan is more likely to pity the sap with a shirt bearing "Samsonov" or "Theodore".

E said...

that's a terrific comment, thanks for leaving me with images of torontonians being crowded into big underground cement rooms in identical grey jumpsuits where they ritualistically scream at video of daniel alfredsson for two minutes.

also, for bringing to mind the idea of GTA: Toronto. i would shell out large amounts of cash money for that game.

also, for using the word 'begnawing'.

and i'm sure that the one old guy who still wears his samsonov shirt in public has nothing to fear now that we're safely in the off-season, but during the days of fresh disappointment in our dear sergei, i bet he got some very unkind comments.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your wonderful post. If you want to spend Souray money in the off-season on something other than Souray, may I suggest that you lead a charge for the money to be spent on Ryan Smyth. He is not a defencemen, but he is as elite a Good Canadian Boy as there is in hockey. He is "Captain Canada," he speaks in hockey cliches, he plays without teeth, he bleeds, he cheats (in the honourable ways) to win. He will seem to be everything that Sergei Samsonov was not, which may be very soothing for many in Montreal. Montreal will then have The Good Canadian Boy of our era... and he will certainly not cost you goals at even strength.

E said...

ahh ryan smyth... he is to the good canadian boy what anthony hopkins was to the serial killer- the definitive performance of our times. and you're right, he would definitely fill a critical gap for the habs (not just in terms of canadian ideology, but from a strategic perspective), and i'd gladly see him paid huge gobs of cash to do it.

honestly, if i had mind control powers over smyth, i'd tell him to get his crookedy ass back to edmonton. if that bridge is irreperably burnt, as it likely is, then i guess he might as well come here as anywhere. realistically, though, i don't see it happening. he's either going to go somewhere that looks like a safe bet to be a cup contender for the next long while, or somewhere that he can work up a nice surrogate-edmonton sentimental attachment to. i'm not thinking montreal is a frontrunner in either of those categories.

but i'd love to be proven wrong on this one...

Julian said...

If he's not coming back to Edmonton, I think he'd look pretty good in blue, white and red.


A Habs ballgown E? That sounds intruiging. Kinda like what Shania Twain wore at the Junos (was it?) a few years back, only probably alot more formal.

E said...

why does blue, white, and red sound so much worse than bleu, blanc et rouge? you've gotta stick with the french on that one. i think he'd look weird in a habs uni, i might have a minor stroke. but in a good way.

someday i will tell the long, strange story of the habs ballgown, but today is not that day. but yes, my design did involve somewhat more fabric than shania's version... i'm not sure i have the, uh, stage presence to pull that off.