What can cause all the radio stations in Montreal to halt their regular programming? What can occur that would cause our local TV stations to lead off with the same breaking news story? What can happen that my entire staff stopped working to search the internet for more details on a news story?
Was there a plane crash? Was there a terrorist attack? Did the Olympic Stadium implode? Did the Decarie Expressway collapse? Did the ancient volcano beneath Mount Royal awaken? Did Montreal Island sink?
No. No to all of the above.
The city stopped dead in its tracks because the Montreal Canadiens hockey club made a trade.
Goaltender Jaroslav Halak was traded by the Montreal Canadiens to the St. Louis Blues for two forwards. This event caused the city to stand still.
Is this an unprecedented event? Hell no. Do the Richard Riots ring a bell? Hear about Patrick Roy needing surgery? Or when Roy demanded a trade? What about the numerous times the city cordoned off the downtown core because the Canadiens won a playoff round? Oh, wait, sorry, that was a playoff game.
Montreal is a glorious city. It's cultural and entertainment scene is vibrant. Its sports history is rich and celebrated. Jackie Robinson played for the Montreal Royals. The first non-American based Major League baseball team was created here. Sugar Ray Leonard fought Roberto Duran. The Canadiens have won 24 Stanley Cups. We've won, we have celebrated. Yet the world stops when a goalie gets traded.
Where the hell was this passion when our right to speak our mother-tongue in the work place was taken away from us? What the hell did you do when you were told you could not send your child to an English school? What are you doing about it today?
On trade deadline day earlier this year a colleague of mine left work early telling his boss he wasn't feeling well. In actual fact, he was too upset to work because the Canadiens did not make a trade on deadline day.
How can so many people lose perspective? Our roads are failing. Our hospitals are failing. Only a grandfather clause allows me to send my kids to an English language school. I love hockey. I love my city. But this is fucking ridiculous.