“Why was (Weber’s surgery) kept a secret when we were told the team would be transparent?” fan asks.
Geoff Molson answers fan questioning the Canadiens’ transparency
When Canadiens owner/president Geoff Molson met with the media in early April after the team missed the playoffs for the second time in three seasons and finished 28th in the overall NHL standings, he promised the club would be more transparent with fans and the media moving forward.
Then Shea Weber had knee surgery on June 19 and the Canadiens didn’t announce it — or the fact the team’s No. 1 defenceman will be be sidelined until mid-December — until two weeks later.
The Canadiens put a video on their website Friday of Molson answering questions from fans and one of them came from Gary Millan (@garmillan), who asked: “Why was (Weber’s surgery) kept a secret when we were told the team would be transparent? I am a huge Habs fan and have always been, but these are tough times for us.”
Here’s how Molson responded on the video:
“I understand your frustration. It was a difficult season last season and we’re doing everything we can to refresh the team and get it ready for the new season. As for transparency, you can count on me and you can count on the whole organization to be completely committed to being more informative for our fans and essentially to tell our fans as much as we possibly can to keep them best informed (as) possible. So that’s a commitment we’re making. I can’t guarantee we’re going to be perfect the whole time, but we sure are going to make the effort to make sure you guys are all informed.
“As for the Weber situation, it was one of those situations where the operation was done and a lot of discussions had to happen and some evaluations had to happen before we actually were ready and knew how long it was going to be. And it includes the Weber family, which are also impacted by this and to them it’s important as well. So it took us time and then the draft came along and then the free agency came along and we determined that it was probably best for us to announce after the free agency period.”
Here’s what Molson said about the team’s promised new transparency when he met with the media in April:
“Sometimes when we communicate we just communicate that we’ve done something but we don’t give a little more colour to it to make sure that everyone really understands why we did it. Why did we call up a player, why did we send him down the next morning? Why did we make this decision that we might have made? And I think that we have an opportunity to be a little bit more transparent there and to provide more information so our fans have a better understanding of why we’re doing this. … Overall, I think that members of our executive hockey teams could be more accessible and spend more time with you all (in the media) discussing our season.
“I don’t think it’s a misunderstanding with the relationship with our fans. I think it’s an understanding that we can communicate better and bring in a fresh way of us communicating with our fans that they’re going to appreciate. Sometimes, every once in a while, I’ll listen to the radio, the talk shows, and people talking about things that happened. The full story’s not understood and I wish I could just pick up the phone and say: ‘You missed something here.’ So when we do make decisions, I want to be in a position to give as much information as we possibly can so that the debates that people have about our organization are as legitimate as possible. And I’m not accusing anyone. I’m just saying the more we give and the more transparent we can be the better off, the happier our fans will be.”