Jump to content

The Conehead of Silence


 Share

Recommended Posts

http://www.montrealg...7833/story.html

Jack Todd is an ass, and to some extent this is just typical journalistic whining about lack of access, but he puts his finger on something here - namely, the harm inflicted upon the Habs as an organization by a managerial control machine that most closely resembles the constipated repression of Stephen Harper's PMO than a normal hockey team. I'd add that it further hurts the team because the management is continually playing catch-up to the fan/media narrative rather than helping to shape it, which then compounds the hysteria and the pressure on all concerned. Indeed, you can argue that the gruesome lack of class displayed by Gauthier's Habs is a direct consequence of an approach that shuts out all feedback - a sure sign of a poorly-run organization in ANY field, hockey or otherwise.

Discuss.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gauthier has the personality of a turnip. That being said, I don't think we need Kim Kardashian running the Habs, but perhaps somebody who's not afraid to address the media/fans. It's part of the job. If you can't take the heat, then go sell Molson beer!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Its not just Todd. On Sportsnet they were discussing this yesterday with all of the reporters complaining about it. Another point they made is that between the silence and some of the things that have gone on this year (trades, slights against Halak, Muller, etc), that the organization was losing is reputation as "a class act".

Its funny how we expect the coach to speak french because the media needs to be able to ask him questions, but the GM can be mute....

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I for one would love for better communication about the events going on. However what has become a nightmare for not only sports teams but governments and business all over the world is access to information that needs to be confidental and is exposed. The media and the internet are the villians.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't agree that the GM needs to be some bombastic mouth piece of the organization. How often do you hear anything out of the mouths of, say, NFL GMs? Or NBA (not that I follow NBA) or even MLB? Why does the GM need to blatantly layout a "5 year plan" for the public? I didn't read the article as I pretty much embargoed Todd years ago.

What do people WANT to hear the GM say publicly? That's a serious question.

This is by no means in defense of PG, I've already stated my case for canning him even before the circus came to town in December.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just want more regular updates on the health of the team. Fans pay money for tickets to see their favorite players. If I was forking out money for the ridiculous ticket prices, I would wanna know what team I would be seeing. The most annoying part is that there is absolutely zero reason why it has to be such a mystery.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just want more regular updates on the health of the team. Fans pay money for tickets to see their favorite players. If I was forking out money for the ridiculous ticket prices, I would wanna know what team I would be seeing. The most annoying part is that there is absolutely zero reason why it has to be such a mystery.

That said, no team is very forthcoming with injury info. Especially since seemingly every sport has adopted the vague "upper-body" or "lower-body" injury designation. It's now perceived that telling the public exactly what is wrong with a player puts them at a competitve disadvantage.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just want more regular updates on the health of the team. Fans pay money for tickets to see their favorite players. If I was forking out money for the ridiculous ticket prices, I would wanna know what team I would be seeing. The most annoying part is that there is absolutely zero reason why it has to be such a mystery.

Every team in the league makes it a mystery to a certain extent, the vague diagnoses, upper body injuries etc... Ask yourself when will sidney crosby be healthy and what is even wrong with him? The teams hide injuries because they don't want opponents targetting them.Its just exagerrated in montreal because we have the most media coverage.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Every team in the league makes it a mystery to a certain extent, the vague diagnoses, upper body injuries etc... Ask yourself when will sidney crosby be healthy and what is even wrong with him? The teams hide injuries because they don't want opponents targetting them.Its just exagerrated in montreal because we have the most media coverage.

Could the Habs be more forthcoming with the lengths of an injury though? Nokelainen has been DTD for what, a month now? Now I don't think anyone is paying to see him but if they were taking the same approach with Subban, I could see it being an issue. They don't have to disclose the nature of the injury beyond upper/lower body but a more updated timeline seems like a plausible compromise.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Could the Habs be more forthcoming with the lengths of an injury though? Nokelainen has been DTD for what, a month now? Now I don't think anyone is paying to see him but if they were taking the same approach with Subban, I could see it being an issue. They don't have to disclose the nature of the injury beyond upper/lower body but a more updated timeline seems like a plausible compromise.

Just to satisfy fans/media curiosity does not seem like an important reason to disclose anything at all is it?

I know some might like to have a blowhard like Burke running things and spouting off every chance he gets, even though 1/2 of it is B.S.

But i am fine with and actually prefer, the more conservative/reserved approach of a Gauthier/Holland/Bowman, who speak only when needed and does little grandstanding.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Could the Habs be more forthcoming with the lengths of an injury though? Nokelainen has been DTD for what, a month now? Now I don't think anyone is paying to see him but if they were taking the same approach with Subban, I could see it being an issue. They don't have to disclose the nature of the injury beyond upper/lower body but a more updated timeline seems like a plausible compromise.

I agree with you, but that sort of backfired with Markov. He was suppose to be ready at start of season and supposely has been delayed every month since. Regardless of why that happened, the management team didn't come across as the sharpest knives in the drawer.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't expect the GM to tell us what is going to happen. I expect him to explain his reasoning behind what he did. I expect him to give a vision of where he wants to go. I want some context around his decisions. I want him to answer some questions, the answers to which will help me gauge if he knows what he is doing.

I don't want a blathering mouthpiece, but several points were made on Sportsnet. 1. They have had almost every other GM on the show openly discussion their team. If Lou can do it, why can't Pierre? 2. Its not just the GM. They said all the coaches and scouts are on a no-talk order. Guys they have known for years look down and shake their heads with a "not aloud to talk to you" look.

Montreal is standing out as different from the other teams. If we were the number one org you can make an argument that we are doing it right, they are wrong. We are not even a playoff team. PG is the one doing it wrong.

They also pointed out that several GMs have commented that PG doesn't talk to them either. They don't know who is available most of the time. They don't get a chance to "bid" on players. This isn't the media, these are the potential trading partners.

Most damning.. they said Gainey was downright chatty vs PG! Wow...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't expect the GM to tell us what is going to happen. I expect him to explain his reasoning behind what he did. I expect him to give a vision of where he wants to go. I want some context around his decisions. I want him to answer some questions, the answers to which will help me gauge if he knows what he is doing.

I don't want a blathering mouthpiece, but several points were made on Sportsnet. 1. They have had almost every other GM on the show openly discussion their team. If Lou can do it, why can't Pierre? 2. Its not just the GM. They said all the coaches and scouts are on a no-talk order. Guys they have known for years look down and shake their heads with a "not aloud to talk to you" look.

Montreal is standing out as different from the other teams. If we were the number one org you can make an argument that we are doing it right, they are wrong. We are not even a playoff team. PG is the one doing it wrong.

They also pointed out that several GMs have commented that PG doesn't talk to them either. They don't know who is available most of the time. They don't get a chance to "bid" on players. This isn't the media, these are the potential trading partners.

Most damning.. they said Gainey was downright chatty vs PG! Wow...

100%. There is simply no way that that is a healthy organizational culture. It speaks to a defensiveness bordering on paranoia and a fundamental disinterest to basic rules of good business in any field: be open and responsive to the customer, be open and responsive to others in your industry. It's those networks and contacts that really help to bag good results over time.

Not for Gauthier. Frankly, it would be consistent with his practice to avoid communicating with any other GM whom he felt he could not count on for total discretion. Better to miss an opportunity to acquire a good asset than to risk losing control of the PR machine. The irony of this approach is that you DO lose control of the narrative much more reliably than would otherwise be the case.

It was noted on Vancouver radio that Gauthier had been very approachable and personable when he was still shopping for a job. Once he got one, it was a totally different story. Again, I don't give a rat's arse about the media, but I don't like what that says about Gauthier's style. I've known people like that. Wouldn't want to work for one.

When every other organization, including the highly successful ones, does things differently from you, and you are getting awful results, well - it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out who's got the wrong model.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with you, but that sort of backfired with Markov. He was suppose to be ready at start of season and supposely has been delayed every month since. Regardless of why that happened, the management team didn't come across as the sharpest knives in the drawer.

I'll meet you halfway here. Yes, it did backfire on Markov but would the backlash be as bad if they'd have actually updated his status over the last 2 months or so? If there was a statement saying we're hopeful (not that he will, but hopeful) he'll be back by ___, you wouldn't see this topic pop up every couple of weeks. Then if he's not on schedule, say so, not just pretend everyone forgot the original statement. It doesn't bother me a whole lot that they're overly secretive (I prefer it to overly talkative) either, I just think the organization could buy themselves a little bit of goodwill by being a little more forthcoming with the lengths of injuries.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some great discussion here.

As for what I want the GM to say simple "I would like to thank the fans for supporting us in winning our 25th Stanley Cup...we look forward to seeing you on St Catherine Street."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Every team in the league makes it a mystery to a certain extent, the vague diagnoses, upper body injuries etc... Ask yourself when will sidney crosby be healthy and what is even wrong with him? The teams hide injuries because they don't want opponents targetting them.Its just exagerrated in montreal because we have the most media coverage.

I do agree that injuries need to have a lid put on them and be as vague as possible most of the time. You don't want weakened areas targeted on returning players to avoid further injury. A situation like Markov's is totally different. The has been exactly 0 mystery on what is wrong with Markov. Every player/GM/coach/fan that wants to know what's wrong with him can find it out in 10 seconds. The only mystery is the return date. What disadvantage does this give to Montreal or what advantage does it give any team against Montreal? None, there is no reason for the secrecy.

Brobin made a point that almost explains it. Why do we need a french-speaking coach when they don't speak outside of the controlled interview anyway? Get a bi-lingual assistant to teach a good english coach vague answers. Even better make Gauthier answer the questions.

Bottom line is Gauthier has to go. He should be already gone. Crippling your team with every trade isn't how you build a successful team. First indication of not knowing what your doing is trading one of your most valued players without letting anybody know.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If PG came out and said "I took a risk with Markov. He is a great player and a great person. I am confident he will make a full recovery based on everything the docs are telling me, but i won't lie, there is some risk. I decided to take the risk because the upside of a healthy Markov is worth it"... well, I for one would be much kinder if Markov never plays again. Acknowledge the risk, explain your view, make a decision.

Now if he came out and said "I asked Markov and he said his knee was fine, so I locked him up. I trust him, I didn't feel the need to check with a doctor", then I know we need to fire him. I highly doubt that he would say that however, so I don't see the downside.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do agree that injuries need to have a lid put on them and be as vague as possible most of the time.  You don't want weakened areas targeted on returning players to avoid further injury. A situation like Markov's is totally different.  The has been exactly 0 mystery on what is wrong with Markov.  Every player/GM/coach/fan that wants to know what's wrong with him can find it out in 10 seconds.  The only mystery is the return date.  What disadvantage does this give to Montreal or what advantage does it give any team against Montreal?  None, there is no reason for the secrecy.

Brobin made a point that almost explains it.  Why do we need a french-speaking coach when they don't speak outside of the controlled interview anyway?  Get a bi-lingual assistant to teach a good english coach vague answers.  Even better make Gauthier answer the questions.

Bottom line is Gauthier has to go.  He should be already gone.  Crippling your team with every trade isn't how you build a successful team.  First indication of not knowing what your doing is trading one of your most valued players without letting anybody know.

When it comes to Markov, I get the impression that the team and the doctors don't even know the return date.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My question about this cone of silence thing is that could it be caused by the nature of the media in Montreal itself? The media in Montreal is insanely aggressive looking for stories and will blow stuff out of proportion easily. Yes it would be a bit extreme to let no one talk, but really, if the media in Montreal didn't run around like a chicken with its head cutoff every time something happens maybe the organization would be more open. Look what happened with Martin, the media killed him, look at this whole french coaching thing, AK's story in the offseason commenting on Martin, I know Cammy was misquoted in the offseason when he said he was going to have the best season of his career when he really said he felt good physically cause he got more time to work out over the summer. The media blows stuff out of proportion in Montreal as everyone is looking for the killer story all the time. No other hockey city has to deal with that kind of media pressure.

Could the Canadiens be a bit over cautious, sure, but I think if the media took a healthy dose of moderation every once and a while we could see a more open Habs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jack is sticking up for his buddies in the press here. I honestly don't care if their job is easy or not. I don't know why any fan honestly should care, especially since they generally do a pretty lousy job (a few notable exceptions, but given the volume of media, very few are actually any good) even when given a special access.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jack is sticking up for his buddies in the press here. I honestly don't care if their job is easy or not. I don't know why any fan honestly should care, especially since they generally do a pretty lousy job (a few notable exceptions, but given the volume of media, very few are actually any good) even when given a special access.

At one time sports/news people reported the news, now theyr'e in the business of creating the news and thats the CRUX of the problem.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...