Life is full of twists and turns. Some are worthy while others, well, not so much. They say that for Montreal Canadiens’ fans, hockey is a religion but perhaps some people need a life lesson to put things in perspective. Many of us have lost loved ones in unfair manners, too soon. Others have had situations in their lives teaching them what’s truly important and what’s really not so crucial.
It seems like a certain Dr. CK, in spite of his occupation, has yet to learn that life lesson. Either that or he just has too much money and is in dire need of attention. Note that one doesn’t eliminate the other in this case, and Charles Kowalski, a 52-year-old ER physician who lives in Ottawa, wants still has a lot of learning to do.
Unless you live under a rock, you couldn’t have missed the full page ad purchased by Dr. CK, said to be valued at $20,000, to proclaim loud and clear, for the world to know that he is not pleased with the Canadiens’ management and their decision to trade P.K. Subban this past summer. Dr. CK is not the only one who wasn’t happy about the trade but he certainly was the only one going to the extravagance of waiting to the Canadiens’ opening day to try to steal some spotlight on himself or, as he claims, on his dissatisfaction towards Marc Bergevin and Michel Therrien.
Ironically (or not), Dr. CK purchase that ad in The Montreal Gazette. That’s the newspaper that employs Stu Cowan, who has been excessively critical of the Canadiens’ organisation for some time now. That same Cowan who was put in his place by Canadiens’ owner and President Geoff Molson not so long ago. The Gazette also seems to be relying on reporter wannabe Brendan Kelly, who has yet to write anything positive about the team. Ironically, Kelly’s speciality is not hockey, but show-business! Habs’ fans have long noticed how much the quality in The Gazette has dropped since the departure of Dave Stubbs, who now occupies a position with NHL.com.
What Dr. CK did not realise is that the Canadiens’ fan base is, in vast majority, cheering for the logo in front of the jersey more so than the name in the back of it. He didn’t think that so many Habs’ fans, hardcore hockey fans, understood that if Bergevin took this major and franchise changing decision, it wasn’t out of spite and that he had to have his reasons, serious ones at that. He didn’t expect the backlash from the fan base who, loud and clear on Social Media and on radio call-in shows, were questioning why he wouldn’t give that $20,000 to the Childrens’ Hospital sponsored by his idol Subban. In fact, he was perceived by those who he thought he was speaking for, as a spoiled rich man who was having his temper tantrum.
Only after that backlash did Dr. Kowalski try to do what’s right and put his excessive money where is mouth was by donating $250,000 to the Hospital and Subban’s foundation. While this is a great gesture by any means and everyone should support that decision, it doesn’t change the fact that instead of spending that $20,000 on an ad, perhaps he should have given $270,000 to the Childrens’ Hospital…
Dr. CK is a prime example of today’s society where it seems like people feel like everything is owed to them and that’s one of the biggest misconception even here in Canada. NOTHING is owed to you, to me. Not money, not jobs, not education, not respect, and certainly not decisions made by private enterprises and sports teams, even if you are a fan or a client of them! Never will the Montreal Canadiens run decisions by their fans before taking them. Never will Marc Bergevin or Geoff Molson will consult with their fans before trading, signing or letting a player go. Why? Because it’s not owed to the fans. Because it’s a private enterprise whose decision makers are fully aware of the entire story, unlike fans, and who are well informed when making those tough decisions.
Why else but to seek attention would Dr. CK buy this full page ad with his letter? Does he think that Mr. Molson or the Montreal Canadiens will stop making hard decisions for the best of the team, of their franchise, just to please some loud mouth fans? If so, he is only book smart but I doubt that’s the case. He knows it won’t change anything. He wanted some attention and he got it. Unfortunately for him, aside from getting the support of a (loud) minority who share his point of view, he looked bad in this story.
I, for one, am proud of the fans’ reaction since the trade. Yes, many were upset but they took the time to heal. They watched the World Cup of Hockey very carefully and they realised that this was a hockey trade… and a good one. They listened to what other coaches and players were saying about the player Bergevin brought back in return, and they started warming up to the idea. On Tuesday, at the home opener, Shea Weber received the loudest ovation (with Carey Price) and Weber, who knew that the trade wasn’t popular with some fans, was visibly touched by the crowd’s reaction.
It’s perfectly normal to love players on your favourite team. It’s absolutely understandable to be upset when something negative (in your mind) happens to him, whether it’s benching, sitting or even trading. It’s also okay to not like management who you might feel is responsible for the situation and it’s definitely one’s right to protest. But when someone goes to the extent of trying to make a point in the newspaper and draw attention to themselves, that’s where we have to draw the line.
You see Dr. CK, Montreal is a hockey City. People love the game but mostly, they love their Canadiens. They understand that players come and go. They understand that while they might sometimes not agree with management, those people also come and go. They understand hockey and that ultimately, Bergevin has improved his team this past summer. So while you are sitting at home sulking and getting a tax credit for your donation, the children who will be using YOUR tickets will be cheering for… the MONTREAL CANADIENS.