Colour Commentary: Winning is a universal language

It seems like we have this conversation every couple of months, and I’m sick and tired of it. But since seeing the signs some people decided to put up all around the streets surrounding the Bell Centre, I’ve been really pissed off.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, there are a bunch of signs hung up on lampposts in the design of a Habs jersey that read “Minimum 10 Québécois.” The signs were paid for and authorized by Stefan Allinger of La Fondation Équipe-Québec.

Really? We’re doing this again?

Before I rant on this subject, let’s think about this logistically for a second. Including goalies, there are 38 active players in the NHL that are born in Quebec, two of which play for the Canadiens. Some of these players have played most of their careers with the same team; Patrice Bergeron, Jonathan Huberdeau and Kristopher Letang. Yes, the Canadiens had the chance to draft two of those players, but they didn’t, and 29 other teams passed on them as well.

Traditionally the Canadiens have always had a French-speaking coach; this has apparently turned into a prerequisite for the job as they need to be able to address the French media in the city. Even with that reasoning, I don’t understand the need for it.

The Montreal Canadiens are the only team in the world that limit themselves to hiring a coach and general manager from a single region of the – one that isn’t the most highly populated. Now some people are calling for a minimum amount of Quebec-born players.

In 2013, Gareth Bale, who could have been argued as one of the top footballers on the face of the planet at that time, signed with Real Madrid in Spain. He did not speak a lick of Spanish, so what did the club do? They hired a translator for him to answer questions because they have millions of dollars at their disposal.

There are countless other examples of teams signing foreign coaches and players. It’s okay with fans because they are proven winners. Winning is a universal language that everyone understands.

I couldn’t care less where a coach or player is from – if they bring a team success, they’re good enough for mine. Let’s stop this debate right now, because frankly I’m not alone in being absolutely sick of it.

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