Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 12/25/11 at 04:59 PM ET
The New York Post’s Larry Brooks asked New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur and New York Rangers goalie Martin Biron to weigh in on the Montreal Canadiens’ hiring of Randy Cunneyworth as a monolingual, English-speaking coach of a living, breathing symbol of Quebecois pride, culture, language and heritage. Brodeur believes that Cunneyworth’s campaign might be doomed from the start, even if he attempts to learn some French along the way:
Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur, a native of Montreal whose father, Denis, served for decades as the Canadiens’ official photographer, is conflicted about the appointment of Cunneyworth. So, too, is Rangers netminder Martin Biron, a native of Lac-St-Charles, Quebec, who has nothing but praise for the man, having known him as a teammate in Buffalo.
“I’m divided,” Brodeur told The Post. “Where I play hockey, I think you have to go with the best, whatever you think is the best. But saying that, I’m from Montreal, I understand the people. They love the communication, to get the right answers, and they feel they get that from a bilingual leader. They’re making a big deal of it, but again, I’m divided on it because of me knowing how hockey works. But the people are proud of their heritage and language, and they think if they let this go now, what’s going to happen? Are we ever going to see another French [coach]? That’s the attitude I think people have.
“That’s not right or wrong, you’re not in their shoes,” Brodeur said. “Me, I’m in between because I’ve left Montreal, but I understand what they’re going through a little bit.”
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