A few questions for Allan Walsh
By now, most of you know about the ''controversy'' that was stirred up this weekend after the Canadiens 3-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. But for those who live under a rock, let's recount what happened that led to what many are calling a ''goaltending controversy'' (even though I've been calling it that since the beginning of the season):
Mere minutes after the buzzer sounded to end Saturday night's game, Allan Walsh, NHL player agent that represents, among others, Ondrej Pavelec, Patrick Elias, David Perron, and Pascal Dupuis, published the following on his twitter account:
"Interesting stat of the night.... #Habs' Price is 10W, 32L in last 42 starts. Hmm."
I guess I forgot to mention that he also represents Canadiens goaltender Jaroslav Halak... hmm...
Well, rest assured that Twitter did its job, and the message got around to some twitter users that didn't take the comment too lightly. Amongst the people this comment offended was the man behind the All Habs blog, who's replies to Walsh you can find here as well as an updated blog here. While his back-and-forth with Walsh was fairly entertaining, the catalyst in all this seemed to be Jeff Maryk, who works on Hockey Night in Canada's ''I-desk'' alongside Scott Morrison.
Marek not only replied to Walsh's comments, calling him out, but brought it up live on the air during the first intermission of the late Calgary Flames game. The comments understandably upset former goaltender Kelly Hrudey, who replied to Walsh publicly with the following, recounted on the same All-habs blog above:
“It makes me sick. I hate it and I’ll tell you why. I have no problem with an agent sticking up for his client and telling management and whomever that this is what I think about my guy, the team and the direction and all that, but to make that public really annoys me."
"If I’m Carey Price, that’s already starting a fight between me and the other guy. I would actually go to the goalie the next day and say ‘You know what? Tell your agent to shut up!’ You know what, we have to work together in this whole thing and we do need competition and we have to battle through this but don't start doing that. Don't pit us against each other. Don't make a separation between the two of us that are in this together. That annoys me!”
Upsetting not only many Canadiens fans, but also some prominent figures in the media (mostly everyone who was on the air in HNIC that night, not to mention Dave Stubbs, Mike Boone and pretty much everyone who's sounded off on this issue since Saturday night), Walsh finally had the following to say to Marek before he ended his comments on the matter:
"It was a tongue in cheek comment not meant to be taken seriously, forgot it was Montreal and everyone loses a sense of humor."
Walsh proceeded to delete his comments, obviously knowing that what he said was wrong, and that he had been embarrassed, but the damage had been done.
There's only so much I could say about this man that hasn't already been said on All Habs, by Steve Hindle of hockeybuzz by Dave Stubbs, by Mike Boone, or the Hockey Night in Canada guys, but even so, I present to you a list of questions I or any other Habs fan should have for Allan Walsh on this Monday afternoon, in the style of Eric Engels' 10 questions:
1) How much did you have to drink Saturday night?
2) As a long-time player agent, who not only represents a Montreal Canadiens player, but players from Quebec who have played in this province, not to mention as a person who has a long standing history in this province, what the HELL were you thinking when you decided to tweet about Carey Price?
3) Why did you choose a seemingly arbitrary base of 42 games? Why not 64 games, the amount of games your client has played, a period over which Price actually has a winning record?
4) Why not spin your OWN client's statistics and show HIS qualities to the public, instead of defaming a player you have no association with?
5) Seriously, what the Hell were you thinking? Do you not know how this town works? Do you not understand that this can, in now way, be a good thing for your client? It doesn't take someone who's been a national hockey league goalie to know that this will only cause a rift to develop between Price and Halak, and that it will only piss people off.
6) Do you have any barometer of professional judgement?
7) Do they teach you about said professional judgement, or about class, in any of the schools you got your degrees from?
8 ) Seriously?
9) Out of curiosity, how does Jaroslav Halak feel about this not even 48 hours after you single-handedly spread a goalie controversy that was already starting to get out of control in this city? Does he feel good that his agent is insult his teammate? Does he like that?
10) Really, Allan Walsh? REALLY?
Ok, some of those questions may have been repetitive, but so is the situation that Walsh's unprofessional tweets have caused. Walsh should know better, and he should step up and face the music if he wants to post arbitrary stats over arbitrary periods with no basis in anything, and he should answer not only to his client or Bob Gainey about this matter, but to the public who he carelessly transmitted these so-called ''facts'' too.
Albeit unlikely, I would love for Walsh himself to take a stab at answering these questions, but he's probably too busy finding a way to hide his tail between his legs after embarrassing himself and his client in a public forum for all the world to see.
Habs/Flames re-match coming up tomorrow, so expect a blog for that. Right now, all that can be hoped for is for the organization to be able to settle this silliness without anyone else getting upset, but that's certainly unlikely. We've debated the merits of Price over Halak since the season began, so I won't rehash any of those arguments today, but I think we can all agree, whether we're Price fans or Halak fans, that this was the last thing this team needed while they're struggling to pick up wins.
Enjoy the rest of your Monday, if you can,