National Post: Briere blasted for ‘refusing to be a hero’


    Habster’ take:

    Allison Hanes from the National Post wrote this great article which gives you an example of the craziness that exists in the french press about the failure of Daniel Briere signing with the Habs. They are so starved for a Quebecois superstar to lead the Canadiens to the next Stanley Cup that they are dumping blame on Briere. Daniel Briere did what was best for his family and himself, not what was best for his homeland. I wasn’t aware that Quebec born players were obliged to play or sign with the Montreal Canadiens upon birth. The days and rules have changed since the Canadiens had territorial and exclusive signing rights to Quebec hockey players.
    This type of journalism and attitude is one of the main reasons why most player especially francophone players balk at signing with the Canadiens. Whether it’s passing judgement and embarrassing Saku Koivu regarding his lack of spoken french or flashing a very bright camera light in his badly injured eye in a hospital, certain segments of the french press go way beyond the “call of duty” to perform “professional” journalism. Koivu has donated his time and raised millions of dollars for this community yet he is still treated with disrespect. NHL players take notice of these types of things.
    Honestly, when you read quotes like:

    One columnist said Briere “missed his date with history” and refused to become a “hero to a people.”
    “The pride of playing for your gang, for folks who speak the same language as you didn’t sway the balance,” sports columnist Stephane Laporte wrote in his blog for the daily La Presse. “Are there any more great Quebec players who have the desire to stoke passions, rather than just live a quiet little existence in a suburb of Philadelphia?
    “Daniel, you didn’t just refuse to be a Canadien, you refused to be a hero.”

    Whether you’re anglophone, francophone or allophone, doesn’t it make you cringe or feel uncomfortable when you read these types of comments. Does Daniel Briere or any Francophone player deserve this type of added pressure to be a “hero to a people”.
    Daniel Briere, as much as I would have loved seeing you in a Habs uniform, you made the best decision of your NHL career!!!! Enjoy every moment of your “quiet little existence in a suburb of Philadelphia”, you’ve earned that right regardless what Stephane Laporte thinks.

    Read my article Criticism is common place in Montreal which relates to the same subject.