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Loose Change: Theories abound

Not sure if you’ve noticed or not, but things aren’t exactly going well in La Belle Province. Les Canadiens are in the midst of a death spiral that has worn out the city’s 911 system (callers: please use 411 as an alternative; ask for Patty) and the team has quickly gone from possible contender to probable corpse. Not a great way to celebrate your 100th birthday (I suggested bowling).

Of course, everyone has a diagnosis and a prescription for the club; everyone’s a critic. Opinions, as they say, are like nostrils; everybody has (at least) one.

You really want to know how to fix the Habs? Really? Take my advice (but read the disclaimer at the bottom first: NO REFUNDS).

Oh, here’s that gibberish I was talking about earlier:

Too Many Russians – Russians are dead weight. Well, not actually the players themselves, but the names are so long even Don Cherry can’t pronounce them. Add that many consonants to the back of enough jerseys and you’ll soon have a very tired squad. As an alternative, go with Koreans.

And not enough Belgians – Hands up anyone who can’t get along with a Belgian? I rest my case.

Too close to Toronto – Sporting-wise (and possibly a couple of other ways as well) the capital of Ontario is toxic. Get too close and you start to act like them. According to geologists, the tectonic plates under the Canadian Shield have shifted three millimetres in the past 10 years bringing Toronto further East (and you thought your vehicle just needed a tune-up) and slightly closer to Montreal. If that sounds far-fetched, look what it’s already done to the Senators.

They miss Robert Lang – I mean really miss him, like a four-year-old misses her dead rabbit. Rumor has it the players ask about him between shifts and Lang has been overwhelmed with “Get Well” cards from his teammates. Greeting cards mean handwritten notes; handwritten notes translate to sore wrists, which turn into terribly tired arms. And you wonder why they can’t score?

The Gods have had enough – Imagine this: You have a frustrated Maurice Richard yelling in one ear and Doug Harvey yelling in the other (on the off chance the Gods of Hockey aren’t bilingual). All the dead Canadiens roaming around heaven are a little miffed it’s been 16 years since Montreal last raised the Cup and they’re voicing their displeasure. Ex-Habs and Habs fans don’t understand; it’s a new regime. There’s no special French connection anymore. Hockey is everyone’s game now. Did Carolina’s 2006 NASCAR lobby not convince anyone?

Goaltending – Carey Price does not remind anyone of Ken Dryden or Patrick Roy (he’s too tall and wears a different number). Jaroslav Halak? Sounds more like a cough remedy. Meanwhile, Montreal is way down at 21st in goals-against average and up to 14th in goals scored. The solution? Simple: pull the goalie.

Get rid of the coach – It’s been six games. The players have tuned him out. It’s high time the GM fired Bob Gainey or Bob Gainey fired the coach. One or the other. Insolence like that will only fester. Show him who’s boss.

Change things up a bit – I’m getting really tired of that old (ho hum) CH logo and that bleu, blanc et rouge stuff. Play around with the uniform a bit. Everyone’s doing it. I’m thinking something purple or mauve with sequins, possibly double-breasted and flames would be cool. I really don’t think anyone would mind.

This Centennial thing is dragging on way too long – How many times can Jean Beliveau jump out of a cake?

The preceding was purely fictional and meant for entertainment purposes only. By entertainment, we mean we hope you laughed while reading it, framing it, or burning it. Any similarities between this and actual events is strictly coincidental and frankly, dumb luck. Remember to remind your lawyer about the made-up part, OK?

Charlie Teljeur, creator of THN's hockeysockpuppettheatre, brings you Loose Change every Tuesday only on Subscribe to The Hockey News today to have Charlie's cartoon delivered to you in each issue.

Want to talk to Charlie about love, life, or Loose Change? Email him at


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