After months of waiting for the new season to start, all hockey fans were elated when deal was reached and a new collective bargaining agreement was signed. Like many Habs fan, I did everything I could to get tickets to the opening game and lo and behold, I succeeded! So on January 19th, I was at the Bell Centre! Even with the loss, I had an amazing night because I was just thrilled to have the coolest game on earth back. However, for me, one thing was missing for that evening to be perfect: you. You are a great player and your team and fans need you.
The media are reporting that after Friday’s meeting with Marc Bergevin, you said you would take the weekend to think and discuss with your family before coming to a decision. They are also saying that you want to be paid what you are worth. That’s very understandable and if you’ll allow me, I’d like to tell you a story…
I lived in England for 8 years, before leaving a had done a law degree. When I got there, I managed the work in the legal field and I was rather happy with my situation. However, 8 years down the line, I was missing my friends, my family and my country. So, I came back and I had to start all over. By that I mean find a new job, a place to live, buy furniture, a car, you name it, I had to buy it. When I started looking for work, there wasn’t much out there but as I needed the money, I took a job as a legal assistant. It certainly wasn’t my dream job, I wasn’t doing the stuff I liked to do and I definitely felt I wasn’t paid what I was worth but I stuck with it because I had to do it to put my life back on the rails in Quebec. A little short of two years later, I saw a job advert for a paralegal post applied for it and got it. Now that was my kind of work and on top of that, it meant a sizeable raise. I had to be patient before the big payday and I did it because I really wanted to be back here in Quebec.
I feel you are now faced with the same situation except that the Montreal Canadiens are your Quebec…So P.K., if you really do love your Montreal Canadiens, now is the time to agree to a transitional deal which is the normal team policy for its homegrown player. Carey Price had to take one, Tomas Plekanec went through the same thing and more recently, so did Max Pacioretty. The Canadiens are attempting to build a solid team and to do so, they feel they must treat their players equally. A little patience can go a long way, Price, Pleks and Max Pac all got long term deals after going through a transitional deal much like the one you now have on the table.
So P.K., I beg you to please sign that contract and get back to doing what you love, that is to fly up and down the ice and inspire millions of hockey fans. The first time I saw you play was in the Gardiner Cup in Edinburgh Scotland when the Bulldogs crossed the Atlantic to compete against the Marlies, the Edinburgh Capitals and the Belfast Giants. I was absolutely blown away by your skills and at the start of the second day of the tournament, I spotted the Dogs’ bus and got you to sign my Bulldogs jersey right on the Habs shoulder crest because that’s where you were headed fast, you smiled when I said that and replied I sure hope so. We then chatted for a few minutes and it was clear back then that you loved the game and the organization so please, think about all this during the weekend and make the best possible decision. I knew back in 2009 that you’d do great things and I know now that you will do the right thing.
Thank you for reading,