Wednesday, May 2, 2012
I would like to be among the first to offer Jeff Goldblum a very warm welcome on his first day as general manager of the Montreal Canadiens. Goldblum was a surprise finalist for the job, given the fact that IMDB lists him as starring in six different Hollywood projects at the moment. The man has skills and a phenomenal ability to manage his time, no doubt about it.
His acting background will certainly be an asset to him in his new role. On Law & Order, he learned the astute observational powers of a criminal detective. Even though Andrei Kostitsyn now plies his trade in Nashville, that skill is one that would serve any general manager well. On Will & Grace, he learned to drink cat's pee. That will be invaluable when dealing with Montreal's media. On Saturday Night Live, he proved he can handle a live audience and can think on his feet, again, helpful in handling the daily media throng. Independence Day taught him who to call when the world is blowing up. In Jurassic Park, he learned what happens when history comes to life and overwhelms you, which is vital knowledge when dealing with the Canadiens' marketing department. And, in The Fly, he figured out how to morph into a giant insect when one of his experiments goes horribly wrong. Obviously, a valuable skill.
Goldblum has many personal attributes that will help him as Habs' GM. He's versatile, suave and handsome. Montreal fans appreciate those qualities and will show him great tolerance because of them. On movie sets, you get used to doing the same thing over and over again, with minimal achievement, which describes the Habs of the last 20 years, so the patience learned there will help. He's got a wicked sense of humour, but is able to turn sensitive on a dime, and that will certainly help him strike the right tone publicly, no matter what the situation he's facing. His line on his first day, "The Montreal Canadiens are me," is easily as evocative as his remark on South Park that "I'm afraid that Earth, a-all of Earth, is nothing but an intergalactic reality-TV show." You can't write that stuff.
Now, of course, the question becomes, who does Goldblum hire as coach? He's got a wide cast of former co-stars from which to choose, among them some true All-Stars. Glenn Close from The Big Chill is scary enough to put the fear of God into the most hardened hockey player. If she doesn't know the game, she'll learn pretty quickly. Sam Shepard from The Right Stuff would be crusty and brilliant enough to rival Scotty Bowman. And Laura Dern can beat down resurrected dinosaurs, so she'll have little trouble with puck throwers. Those are just a handful of possible candidates.
At first, I admit, I was wary of seeing a Hollywood actor become GM of the Habs. How would we ever know if he was being sincere, or just playing a part, I wondered? What does he really know about hockey? Then I realized, Goldblum is the perfect choice. He's a chameleon who can change to fit any situation; a teflon GM, if you will. There won't be a situation to which Goldblum can't adapt. And, as Glen Sather has proven for years, if you act like you know what you're doing, most of the time, that's good enough. So, welcome, Jeff Goldblum. You never won an Oscar, but maybe someday your name will be on the Stanley Cup. Some would say that's the greater honour of the two anyway.
Posted by J.T. at 1:07 PM