Song demand out of tune

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 1:58 PM ET

I can't figure out if the timing of Michel Brule, the publisher of something called Les Editions des Intouchables, is better than Evgeni Malkin's or worse than Carey Price's.

Malkin, the Pittsburgh star, has picked just about the best time to play his best hockey these playoffs. Price, the Habs' rookie goaltender, picked the worst time to play his worst.

Brule stood on a Montreal street corner to complain about how few French-language songs were played at the Bell Centre during the Canadiens' Game 7 victory over the Bruins last month. Brule got people to sign a petition while he stood on that street corner asking the Canadian and Quebec governments to set a quota on how much francophone music is played at the Bell Centre.

He wants better than six out of every 10 songs played in the Bell Centre to be in French.

I would hope our various governments would have better things to worry about like more heavily armoured patrol vehicles for our troops in Afghanistan or the 41,000 deportees who have apparently disappeared within our borders. Even the asbestos in the prime minister's attic might be more important.

I'm guessing that with the Habs having been eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs by the Flyers, the argument about how many French-language songs are being played at the Bell Centre is kind of moot when the real issue to Canadiens fans, I would think, is the fact there are no songs (English, French or whatever language they use to sing that Cotton Eye Joe song) or games being played at the Bell Centre right now.

TOO LATE THIS SEASON

Brule might have been better off raising his argument while the Habs were still playing. I'm sure a bunch of newspapers or websites would have broken down all the songs played at the Bell Centre during a game. That's the case for bad timing on Brule's part. The Habs' horse is out of their dark barn.

Then again, you might argue it's a good time for this story to be getting out there now with the NHL once again needlessly extending its too-long season by having a three-day break between the end of the conference semi-finals and the beginning of the conference finals.

There's hasn't been much going on except for a couple of very predictable bits of news yesterday: Both Paul Maurice and Jason Spezza lost their jobs and you could see both of those things coming from a long way away, both the victims of turnover(s).

There's not much happening right now, so Brule will probably get some play from the people who will react so predictably on either side.

Personally, despite attending the Habs' playoff home games this spring, I couldn't tell you what the breakdown of songs were, French vs. English. It is often difficult to notice when you are bleeding from the ears from the decibel level generated by the crowd.

I know I heard Phil Collins' In the Air Tonight and U2's Where the Streets Have No Name, but other than that, it's all an audio blur.

One thing I'm sure about is Brule is completely out to dejeuner when it comes to his assertion the Canadiens have "no respect" for their francophone fans.

That's where he loses all credibility with me. The Canadiens promote French over English at every turn ... French always comes first. That's the way it should be. French is the predominant language of the marketplace.

It's hard to believe the Canadiens -- who are marketing wizards, for the most part -- would consciously do something that would tick off the majority of their ticket-, sweater-, car flag- and beer-buying customers. I'm just guessing here, but I have to think the Habs' marketing folks have done copious research into what their fans want to hear when they attend games at the Bell Centre.

TOP TUNE ... IS SPANISH

One other thought?

The most popular and most-heard song at the Bell Centre -- as chosen and sung by the fans themselves -- is that Ole, Ole, Ole song.

Isn't that in Spanish?

Frankly, the fans don't seem to care what language the songs are in as long as they help them have a good time.

And they have a good time.


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