The American television sitcom Married with Children was a huge hit in the 80’s and 90’s. The series’ jingle was a Frank Sinatra song called Love and Marriage and it spoke that “Love and Marriage is an institute you can’t disparage”. Here in Canada, one could easily make a point that Beer and Hockey is the institute you can’t disparage and the Montreal Canadiens are the living example of that. The Molson family, owners of Molson Brewery, has been a staple in the Habs’ organisation for many years, on and off.
Senator Hartland Molson purchased the team in 1957 and during the 1963–64 NHL season, he offered his 35 year old cousin, John David Molson (goes by David), the position of President of the Montreal Canadiens. On May 15, 1964, David and his brothers, Bill and Peter, acquired the team from Hartland. David continued as team president until 1972 when he and his brothers sold the team to Edward and Peter Bronfman for $15 million. During his tenure, the Canadiens won 5 Stanley Cups: in 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, and 1971. Mr. Molson passed away on May 8, 2017 of congestive heart failure. He was 88 years old.
On August 4, 1978, Molson Breweries of Canada Ltd. reacquired the Canadiens until they sold 80.1% of it to George Gillett on January 2, 2001 for $275 million, keeping 19.9%. Mr. Gillett then sold his shares back to the Molson family in June 2009. The group is led by Geoff, Andrew and Justin Molson.
At that time, the Molson brothers named Geoff as team President, a position he still proudly occupies to this date.
“This is a proud moment for my family and our partners in the transaction. As owners, we will be right there with management and the team, building and battling toward our next Stanley Cup.” ~ Geoff Molson, on his family’s acquisition of the Montreal Canadiens
After the 2011-2012 season, Mr. Molson, feeling the need for a change, fired his General Manager Pierre Gauthier. Wanting to ensure picking the right candidate to replace him with, he asked former Canadiens’ player and General Manager Serge Savard, a good friend of the Molson family, to help him select the team’s next GM. After much deliberating, that’s when they decided to give the position to the Habs’ current GM, Marc Bergevin.
Geoff Molson sits on several boards, including the NHL Board of Governors and the Hockey Hall of Fame, amongst others. In spite of what some people claim, Mr. Molson is more than qualified to preside on the Montreal Canadiens and that, whether they want to believe it or not. Leaving the Hockey Operation to his hockey people as he does is a very positive decision folks, as hands-on owners and Presidents often hamper their team, as proven by the Aquilini’s in Vancouver.
So if you’re presumptuous enough to claim that Molson isn’t knowledgeable to be the team President, it’s on all on you. The fact is that he knows about hockey and the business side of it more than any fan or member of the media, and on the hockey side, he is privi of information through his General Manager that none of us have access to. Such claims only makes those who make them look bad, exposing self-proclaimed most knowledgeable fans for what they are… ‘Know-it-alls’ in their own mind.
I, like most other Habs’ fans, will be looking forward to the Canadiens returning to contention with the help of Molson and Bergevin’s effords through this reset. Good things are coming and this is certainly not the time to panic… an almost impossible request to put on Habs’ fans and media alike. And it will happen under President Geoff Molson. Go Habs Go!