There’s another story brewing in Montreal, one of confidentiality of a current player, a malcontent ex-coach, and an outing of a substance abuse problem over the airwaves.
Mario Tremblay, one time coach of the Montreal Canadiens, is currently an analyst on the Canadian French language sports network RDS. This week he spoke about Alex Galchenyuk and his possible substance abuse problem. (Warning: the webpage is in French so you may have to use a translation page.) On 98.5 FM in Montreal, he stated that to his knowledge, Galchenyuk has had off-ice problems and hinted that he’d been through two courses in the NHL. What he means by two courses is anyone’s guess. Galchenyuk was asked about it after the Canadiens win against Florida on Tuesday night and rightfully disregards the question.
“I do not listen to the radio, I have Spotify. I do not know what you’re talking about,” said Galchenyuk, who met after the Canadiens’ 5-1 win over the Florida Panthers yesterday.
Relaunched on Tremblay’s words, he remained evasive. “I do not know what you’re talking about. Next question. “
What Tremblay actually means about two courses is curious. Is he saying that he’s been through the protocol twice or he’s been through treatment twice? It certainly doesn’t mean that he is in stage two of the substance abuse program, as former Canadiens player Zack Kassian was a couple of seasons back for he would be immediately suspended without pay.
The actual program that was determined through the collective bargaining agreement states that a players can undergo any number of treatment options from attending counseling to being admitted to rehabilitation facilities, as determined by the two doctors, one hired by the NHL, one by the NHLPA. Two rounds could even mean that he’s been through treatment and counseling.
Mario Tremblay is not new to getting under the skin of players. Most notably, he was the coach that pissed off Patrick Roy enough that he no longer wanted to play in Montreal. He would go on to lose other players during his brief two-year stint as a Habs coach. To say that Tremblay was a player’s coach would be a misstatement.
What’s the point in outing Galchenyuk? Is it to excuse his play or shame him? Confidentiality with regards to personal and medical issues should never be breached regardless of the person’s stature or how poor their play is as an athlete. Seems to me that some guy with a big mouth and an opinion is trying hard to remain relevant in a league that hasn’t had need of him in almost ten years.