I’ve argued on both sides of the Canadiens-should-have-a-French-speaking-coach issue. On one hand, as a fan, I believe winning should come before all else; On the other hand, I can see why the French-speaking population of Quebec wants a French-speaking coach.
While my inclination is to say winning should come before all else, I can make an argument from either side of the fence.
That said, I was thinking that for a team that’s – to paraphrase Gazette columnist Henry Aubin (and many others) – technically owned privately, but really belongs to the people, I find it interesting that in fact, it’s barely ever been owned by a francophone Quebecer – and hasn’t been so since 1957. (See list of owners, according to the Montreal Canadiens’ official history site, below)
I wonder why, in the over 100 years that the Blue-Blanc-Rouge has been owned exclusively by anglophones (including an American) for all but 37 of those years.
I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, I’m just illustrating the facts. I wonder why the no franco-Quebecer has stepped up to own the team since 1957…? I realize the Caisse owns part of the team today, but that was at the behest of Molson. Why hasn’t a francophone Quebecer stepped up and said “this is our team and we should own it?”
Canadiens owners (francophone Quebecers in bold):
1909-1910: J. Ambrose O’Brien
1910-1921: George Kendall-Kennedy
1921-1935: Leo Dandurand Jos. Cattarinich and Louis A. Létourneau
1935-1957: Senator Donat Raymond (Canadian Arena Company)
1957-1971: Molson family
1971-1978: Bronfman family
1978-2001: Molson Breweries
2001-2009: George Gillett Jr.
2009-present: Molson family