Despite sour mood, Habs golf tournament goes on
Published Wednesday, September 19, 2012 2:47PM EDT
MONTREAL—The Montreal Canadiens Annual Golf Tournament is normally the kickoff to a new hockey season. Despite the 2012-2013 season being on ice due to the lockout, the golf continued.
The mood was sour at the Royal Montreal Golf Club as the excitement of players pulling up in their sleek cars and teeing off was replaced by gloom.
“I own a restaurant and the restaurant business is suffering very badly right now, we are counting on the hockey season,” said Canadiens legend Guy Lafleur. “Not just me, but hotels and everyone who relies on hockey for a job.”
This is the third lockout to hit the National Hockey League since 1994, a situation that is bad for players, owners and fans.
“It’s early and it’s been three or four days now since the lockout started, I continue to hope for the best and hope that we can reach an agreement,” said Canadiens owner Geoff Molson. “Gary [Bettman] is leading that process for us, for the 30 teams, but at the same time I hope for the best.”
Canadiens General Manager Marc Bergevin said that he hoped for a quick resolution. With players looking for work elsewhere, many eyeing leagues in Europe and Russia, coaching staff was also nervous.
“We can’t lose our focus, we need to make sure that we are ready to go and prepare ourselves,” said head coach Michel Therrien.