So there’s a new book being published about whether or not there is a bias against French Canadian players.
Bob Sirois believes there is, as he’s written in Le Québec mis en échec: la discrimination envers les Québécois dans le LNH (Quebec bodychecked: discrimination against Quebeckers in the NHL).
I think the guy is being foolish, but what do I know. I just look at the stats.
There were something like 40 players in the NHL last year that are from Quebec.
There were only about 700 players in the league, and about only half of them are from Canada. So Quebec makes up about 8.5 per cent of all Canadian hockey players.
Doesn’t this sound just about right?
Think about it. That means the other 91.5 per cent of players come from nine other provinces and three territories. You know, other provinces like British Columbia, Ontario and Nova Scotia.
The book also looks at NHL drafts and players who later went on to play in the NHL. But sometimes, a player just doesn’t deserve to make or stay in the NHL.
Are people really going to argue that Normand Rochefort should have been chosen over Paul Coffey in the 1980 draft? Or Pascal Leclaire over Jason Spezza in the 2001 draft? Or Dan Geoffrion over Bobby Smith in 1978?
Or that Martin St. Amour, a Montreal draft pick in 1988, deserved to play more games?
And there’s a reason that Sebastien Bordeleau never played more than 251 games, and it has nothing to do with whether he’s from Quebec or not.
And there are tons of players born from Ontario that struggled to make it. And players from Sweden. And players from Buffalo. And so on.
Just because someone isn’t drafted as high or doesn’t play too many NHL games has nothing to do with where they are from. It has to do with how they fit into a team’s future plans, the way they play and the team’s needs .
Why do some people think Quebec players should have a monopoly on hockey? They shouldn’t, and don’t.
And that’s the way it should be.