…you can still win a Stanley Cup. From the AP :
Jaques Demers, who coached the Montreal Canadiens to the Stanley Cup in 1993 and was later a general manager in the NHL, admits in a newly released biography that he is illiterate.
“I could read a little bit but I can’t write very well,” Demers said at a party for the book’s launch. “I took to protecting myself. You put a wall around yourself. And when I was given the possibility of talking, I could speak well and I think that really saved me.”
In the book “Jacques Demers: En Toutes Lettres,” which roughly translates to “All Spelled Out,” Demers said his inability to read and write was the result of an abusive and impoverished childhood.
The book, which was released Wednesday, was written by Canadian journalist Mario Leclerc.
Demers coached the Quebec Nordiques, St. Louis Blues, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal and the Tampa Bay Lightning, where he was also general manager in the late 1990s.
He was able to hide his illiteracy from all but a few people by asking secretaries and media relations people to write letters for him, claiming his English wasn’t good enough.
Even his wife Debbie didn’t know until he told her after he put off writing checks to cover household bills for several days.
When he was a general manager, he brought in Cliff Fletcher and Jay Feaster as assistants to handle contracts he couldn’t read.
“I never really was a GM,” he said. “I hired Cliff Fletcher and Jay Feaster because I knew I couldn’t do that.”
All things considered, this has been quite a week for the opponents of the disabled. The Buffalo Bills were beaten by a stroke victim, the Nets and Sixers were defeated by a point guard with a broken back….and Barry Melrose can think about how he was outcoached in the ’93 finals by an illiterate.