Monday, May 28, 2012

Marc Crawford Autographed Team Postcard

Surprisingly, Marc Crawford's name comes up pretty often when it comes to naming the Montréal Canadiens' next coach, mainly in English-speaking media from outside Québec. Not that he isn't a good coach - you don't coach 4 different NHL franchises on bullshit alone.

But many of his supporters point to his knowledge of French and a Stanley Cup acquired by the surging Colorado Avalanche (division winners the year before who acquired the best goalie of all time midway through their Cup season) as sure signs he should always be considered for the Habs' coaching job when he is the one who has contacted the team - twice.

He has failed to make the playoffs in his past 5 NHL seasons - since the lockout ended, actually - with 3 different teams. He is still the subject of a lawsuit from the Steve Moore incident... and will forever be remembered as the guy who kept Wayne Gretzky on the bench in an Olympic shootout.

And there are coaches with better, more current resumes - Bob Hartley (also a Cup winner, now European champion); Guy Carbonneau (led his team to 1st in the East, with 1st overall powerplays and PKs); Michel Therrien (a Cup Final and a three-quarters of a Cup season); and Patrick Roy (GM and head coach of a junior team that has won the Memorial Cup and been a contender every year since he stepped behind the bench). Two of those are Habs legends and there may be more, including Hall Of Famer Denis Savard (former Chicago Blackhawks head coach, Habs Cup winner in 1993).

Which is not to say Crawford's a bad guy. As a matter of fact, he sent me this team postcard during the 2003-04 season after I'd merely sent him an email - back when team websites gave out such information! The back of the card is the full team schedule for the 2003-04 season, and his signature (in thick black sharpie) even went through!

To put it in perspective, had the team named Crawford head coach 4 years ago instead of Jacques Martin, I would have been happier - happier than today, and happier than I was when they named Martin. But the team needs new blood, a teacher with an attitude that superstars won't intimidate.

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