Like many Quebecers, François Legault is a hockey fan and, like many Quebecers, he has his take on what the Montreal Canadiens should be doing to try to make their way into the playoffs.
Unlike other Quebecers, however, Legault is also the province’s premier, so when he decided around 8 a.m. Friday to post an apparently tongue-in-cheek tweet to his more than 119,000 Twitter followers on what the Habs should do to improve their fortunes, the replies were, predictably, mixed.
“Gros défi en 2020: Doit-on échanger Price et Weber?” (Big challenge in 2020: Do we trade Price and Weber?) mused the premier, wading into an ongoing debate hitherto largely limited to talk radio and sports bars on whether goalie Carey Price and defenceman Shea Weber should remain on the Canadiens roster.
While many of the replies remained on topic — some commenters arguing that a Price trade is long overdue, while others feeling a change behind the Canadiens bench would be more useful — an equally fair number of comments made it clear Legault should be looking to his own team rather than the Canadiens.
“Trading (Education Minister Jean-François) Roberge and (Digital Transformation Minister Éric) Caire would also be a good idea,” wrote Mario. “But I’d start by sending (Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon) to the minors.”
An account called “Le stagiaire” warned the premier that he was on “slippery ground. … I would let the Canadiens think about (any trade). On the other hand I would like to see your involvement in a return of the Nordiques (to Quebec City). $400 million of public money (invested in a hockey arena in Quebec City) and no NHL team is very frustrating.”
Eric Lajeunesse advised Legault to “pay your public service employees fairly! Get the crowds out of hospitals, more full-time employees and eliminate part-time workers, same thing in schools. Concentrate on that!”
“Trump is on the verge of starting WW3,” complained Alie. “Meanwhile, we have a premier who takes himself for (Canadiens general manager Marc) Bergevin.”
Pipefitter666 was even less circumspect: “REALLY … REALLY!!! That’s the question you pose to start off the year? Let me ask you a question! Trade Price or three (more) years of caving in to lobby groups? Who elected you?”
However, some commenters defended Legault’s tweet, urging those online not to “mix hockey and politics,” McGreggor Alexander wrote. “Is it possible to see the man behind the premier? If I’m a lawyer, I’m not obliged to argue a case every time I breathe. … The (premier) has a life, too.”