Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Habs: 100 Years...100 Stars?

The Mother Corp. ran a special Friday night (rerun tonight after the NHL All-Star Game Skills Sideshow) called "The Montreal Canadiens: 100 Years, 100 Stars." Hosted by the Father, the Son and the Goalie host of "The Hour" and Canadiens' fan George Snuffleupagus (as opposed to his American doppelganger also oddly with the exact same moniker--George Snuffleupagus).

I don't know about you, but even this lapsed B's fan was expecting a countdown of the top 100 players in Hab history hence the title of the program. At the very least I was curious as to where Rick "4 Cups" Chartraw and Mike "B's killer" McPhee ended up on that list.
The man, the myth, the moustache

But noooooooooo! We got various typical Canajan celebs takes on their fave Hab teams, moments, players, etc. Of course, spliced in were some interesting short new interview clips from the Guys (Lafleur and Carbonneau), Bob Gainey, Mr. Erudite, the Pocket Rocket and the Le Gros Bill.

Other than that, we heard from such stellars Canadian "stars" as Mitsou, Justin Trudeau, the guy who played the lead character in the blink-and-you-missed-it "Ed" TV series, as well as members of such bands as Simple Plan, Great Big Sea, Sam Roberts of the creatively named Sam Roberts Band, Gino Vannelli and the ubiquitous Anne Murray. Apparently, Rene Simard was unavailable, but we got to see a 15-year-old Celine Dion in action. I was half expecting Bobby Bittman and Lola Heatherton to make appearances.

This led to learning that Jason Priestley won $10,000 off Val Kilmer and Kurt Russell by betting on the Habs in the '93 Final vs. the LA Gretzkys. So now we know the organizer of the "Donna Martin Graduates" protest likes his sports betting. Of course, having a Canuck fan relate this story added much gravitas to the program.

At least we learned a few more things:

The program also managed to tie Jackie Robinson's breaking of baseball's color barrier which began with the Montreal Royals to the Habs' multiculturalism being the key to their success. Never letting the facts get in the way of their point, of course, the Al MacNeil-Henri Richard feud in the 1971 playoffs that got MacNeil canned despite coaching (with a tad of help from rookie goalie sensation Ken Dryden) the Habs to the Cup that season was not mentioned.

Also, Strombo tried to tie the recent revival of the Hab franchise under Carbo and Gainey to Montreal's current supposedly "vibrant" music scene. If you consider Arcade Fire "vibrant" then you're probably onboard with everything this program has to say on the Hablers.

Anyway, it's good to know that our tax dollars are hard at work producing such fine filler for the airwaves.

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