What’s in a number; 2016-17 – That’s a wrap for 2016-17

The Montreal Canadiens finished their 2016-17 season on a down note.  Despite winning their division with a 47-26-9 (103 points) record, the Canadiens weren’t able to get through the first round of the payoffs.

This past season, 41 different players dressed for the Canadiens, including 13 new faces.


The biggest off-season acquisition was Shea Weber who came in from Nashville in exchange for P.K. Subban.  Weber has worn #6 for most of his 11 year career.  And former Canadiens Greg Pateryn relinquished the number.  Some of the Habs that wore number 6 the longest include Toe Blake, and Pierre Mondou.


Greg Pateryn switching to number 8 was short lived as he was soon traded to Dallas Stars for defenceman Jordie Benn.  Coincidentally, that is the exact number that Jordie Benn opted for when he arrived to Montreal.


This marks the first time in Jordie Benn’s NHL career that he wears #8.  previously he wore #58 and #24 with the Stars.   Number 8 is one of only 2 single digit numbers not retired by the Canadiens.  it’s a number that not too many players have worn it for many season.  In recent memory, Doug Riseborough wore in from 1975-82.  Since then Mark Recchi and Mike Komisarek also wore #8 during their time with the Canadiens.


Chris Terry was an off-season UFA pick up from Carolina.  And this season he appeared in 14 games with the Canadiens.  He was assigned #15.  Bert Olmstad, Rejean Houle and Bobby Smith have worn the number the longest.


Zach Redmon is a depth defenceman who was also acquired as a UFA back in July 2016.  Although he spent the majority of the season with their farm club, St John’s Ice Dogs, Redmond played 16 games with the Canadiens this season.  It’s the first time Redmond wears #20.  A number worn most famously by Pete Mahovlich (1971-78).


Dwight King is another trade-deadline acquisition made by GM Bergevin.  King wore #74 his entire NHL career with the LA Kings.  With 74 used by Alexei Emelin, King opted for 21.  Former captains Guy Carbonneau and Brian Gionta.  And for you trivia buffs, Glen Sather wore #21 back in the 1975 season.


Mikhail Sergachev is a junior-aged rookie who played four games with the Canadiens before being returned to his junior club.  #22 was made famous by Steve Shutt, the Canadiens all-time leader in goals by a Left-Winger.  Shutt wore #22 from 1973-85.


Andreas Martinsen was acquired at the trade deadline from Colorado for Sven Andrigheto.  Martinsen was given #37, a number worn by six different goalies in Habs’ history.  Steve Penney wore it first back in 1984.


Nikita Scherbak is another top prospect in the Canadiens origination, who made an emergency appearance during the 2016-17 season.  He’s the 10th player to wear number 38.  The longest tenured Habs to wear #38 Vladimir Malakhov 1995-2000, and Jan Bulis 2001-2006.


Bobby Farnham was a UFA signing to provide depth to the Canadiens farm club.  Farnham appeared 3 games with the Canadiens.  #44 was made famous by the Canadiens last 50-goal scorer, Stephane Richer.  Sheldon Sourray also wore #44 during his seven seasons with the Canadiens.


Alex Radulov was the steal of at the UFA frenzy last summer.  Radulov wore the only number he ever wore in the NHL (previously with the Predators).  Only 6 players have worn #47 with the Canadiens.  The longest was Stephane Lebeau 1989-94.


Brandon Davidson was acquired from the Edmonton Oilers prior to the trade-deadline for poplar forward David Desharnais.  Davidson has always worn #88.  And in Canadiens history, Davidson joins only two other players to wear the number; Xavier Delisle and Chris Higgins.


Nikita Nesterov is a depth defenceman acquired during the 2016-17.  Nesterov previously wore #89 with Tampa.  And with Montreal, Nesterov became only the 2nd player to don the sweater.  The other being Ryan Johnston who first wore in during the 2015016 season.


Steve Ott was acquired at the trade deadline (acquired from Detroit for Montreal’s 6th round pick in 2018 NHL Draft) and #92 is one and done!  Steve Ott is the only player in Canadiens history to ever wear #92.  In his 16 NHL seasons, Ott always wore #9 or #29.  When he was acquired by the Canadiens, he consulted his youngest daughter on what number to wear since both #9 and #29 have been retired by the Canadiens.  Following the conclusion of the 2017 playoffs, Ott announced his retirement as a player, and will join the coaching staff of the St. Louis Blues as an assistant.

Montreal Canadiens Legacy Trades

As we kick off the 2016-17 Canadiens hockey campaign, all eyes will be on the Canadiens biggest acquisition this past summer; Shea Weber.

Weber was acquired in a one for one trade with Nashville in exchange for fan favourite PK Subban.   The trade is seen as winning it now, despite the fact that oddsmakers have given the Canadiens the 22nd best odds of winning the Stanley Cup.

Immediately following the trade back on June 29, listening to TSN690’s Mitch Melnick, he called it a legacy trade for Habs GM Marc Bergevin, four years into his tenure as Canadiens GM whereby Bergevin will always be defined by this trade.

So I decided to go back in time … past four decades to see the legacy trades of prior Canadiens GMs.

Pierre Gauthier (2010-2012)

In his brief tenure as Habs GM Pierre Gauthier made what was the strangest deal I could remember.  He traded Mike Cammalleri to the Calgary Flames, while the Canadiens were playing a game!!!  Ordering Cammalleri off the ice after the 2nd period and to wait for the trade call back at the team hotel.

Bob Gainey (2003-2010)

Prior to the 2009 free agency frenzy, Habs acquired Scott Gomez from the NY Rangers in exchange for Chris Higgins (F), Ryan McDonagh (D), Pavel Valentenko (D), and Doug Janik.  Obviously McDonagh was the steal in that trade and a throw in for that deal because Gauthier was unimpressed with his college development until then, despite the fact that Gomez was starting to slow down in his career.  McDonagh is currently the captain of the NY Rangers.  All the players Habs acquired in that trade are no longer in the NHL, and Scott Gomez retired prior to the start of this season.

Andre Savard (2000-2003)

Andre Savard’s biggest trade was in 2001 trading away team leader Trevor Linden to Washington Capitals for Richard Zednik and Jan Bulis. To be fair to Andre Savard, he came in to fix the disaster that Rejean Houle caused prior.

Rejean Houle (1995-2000)

The trade everyone still talks about to this day, and how it set the Canadiens back for a generation, trading away Patrick Roy to the Colorado Avalanche for Jocelyn Thibault, Martin Rucinsky, and Andrei Kovalenko. And to boot, House threw in team captain Mike Keane in the deal too.

Serge Savard (1983-1995)

Although Serge Savard is the last Stanley Cup winning GM in Canadiens franchise history, and although his deals acquiring Kirk Muller, Vincent Damphousse and Brian bellows were instrumental In the 1993 Stanley Cup championship season, it was the trade Savard made in 1990 off season when he traded away Norris trophy winner Chris Chelios to Chicago for Denis Savard.  Serge Savard was under pressure to trade Chelios more so for off-ice reasons.  However Denis Savard’s career was winding down playing only three seasons with Montreal.  Whereas Chelios went on to play for 23 more seasons and win two more Stanley Cups!!!

Irving Grundman (1978-1983)

Irving Grundman’s 5-year tenure as Habs GM did cause a few ripples to be felt especially when he traded away a future Norris trophy winner Rod Langway to the Washington Capitals along with Brian Engblom, Doug Jarvis, Craig Laughlin, for Ryan Walter and Rick Green, who played pivotal roles years later in the 1986 Stanley Cup winning run.

Mario Perrazzino

Fresh Faces for the 2016-17 Montreal Canadiens



Fresh Faces for the 2016-17 Montreal Canadiens

by Joe Messineo, Special to GOHABS.com

The Montreal Canadiens’ have been very active in both the trade and free agent markets in the past month and Canadiens’ Exec Marc Bergevin is at the center of the activity.  There’s a lot of new faces that Bergevin believes will push the Canadiens’ back into serious contention to win the Atlantic Division and hoist Lord Stanley in 2017.  Let’s get to know them.

The first major move occurred  just before the 2016 draft in Buffalo, NY.  Bergevin swung a deal with the Chicago BlackHawks’ to obtain the negotiating rights for forward Andrew Shaw.  The Habs only gave up two second round draft picks for the upcoming 2016 draft.  Bergevin acted quickly, inking Shaw to a six year deal, securing his services to pester the front of the net with opposing goalies being the victims.  During his career Shaw has 70 goals and 67 assists for a total of 137 points in 322 career games, with two rings as a member of the 2013 and 2015 Stanley Cup Champion Blackhawks.  He is an upgrade which will add intensity and toughness lacking with the Canadiens.

The second major move occurred just after the draft with a straight trade occurring involving the Nashville Predators.  Montreal says goodbye to P.K Subban and in return they receive 30 year old Shea Weber who has several years left on a monstrous contract that may have cap implications down the road.  Weber brings 166 goals, 277 assists, for a total of 443 points and immediately will fill in the top pairing for Montreal.  Many hockey experts are critical of the deal due to age of both players ( Subban is 27) with one former Habs analytics consultant Mark Pfeffer imploring management to keep Subban instead of trading him.  It will be a good two years to get an actual gauge on who wins the deal, but for now the jury is out.

Other moves made during the free agency period seem to be more ancillary in nature.  The Habs signed former Colorado Avalanche blue liner Zach Redmond to a two year deal worth $1.25 million.  During the 2015-16 year he tallied six points with 22 shots on goal with a plus -5 rating and will compete for the bottom pairing role on the blue line.  Bergevin looking to add competition, signed free agent goaltender Al Montoya to a one year $950,000 deal and if he stays with the club, should provide solid backup to phenom Carey Price who will recover fully from his injury plagued 2015-16 campaign for the Canadiens.

A curious move was the signing of Alexander Radulov who was not in the NHL for awhile.  The one year $5.75 million price tag raised some eyebrows as the knock on Radulov is a load of talent and scoring ability yet short on work ethic and bringing his “A” game every night.  The press in Montreal might give management a hard time if this does not work.

Marc Bergevin has been in Montreal for five seasons now and he seems to be staking his job on some of these moves that can get Montreal right back in the mix.  The collapse last year can be attributed to the loss of Price, but if the woes continue, there may be some changes on the horizon at Bell Center Central.


It’s Time For The Canadiens To Stop Falling Short of Expectations


It’s Time For The Canadiens To Stop Falling Short of Expectations

by Joe  Messineo, Special to GOHABS.com

Last year, there was arguably no better team in hockey than the Montreal Canadiens, through about six weeks of the season. Then Carey Price went down and never came back. Montreal went from 17-4-2 to 38-38-6 and finished sixth in the Atlantic division. 93 points was good enough to make the postseason out of the Eastern Conference, but the Canadiens fell well short of that mark with what turned into a hole at goaltender and uneven offensive and defensive production.

93 points is a light year though. The season prior, it took 98 points to grab the eighth seed in the East. There is no telling where that benchmark will fall ahead of time. But assuming something in the range of 90-95 points is necessary to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs as a wildcard, do the Canadiens have enough to challenge for a spot in 2016-17? The answer is yes with a caveat.

First off, the P.K. Subban trade for Shea Weber isn’t as big a travesty as everyone is making it out to be. Weber is still an elite defenseman in the NHL. Perhaps he won’t age well; he is already close to four years older than Subban. But for this coming season, Weber can be just as good, if not better, than Subban. He is coming off of seven straight 40-point seasons (not counting the strike-shortened 2012-13 season where Weber played all 48 games). Weber has also tallied at least 15 goals in all seven of those seasons, a plateau Subban has reached just one time in his seven-year career.

Not only is it possible Weber provides an upgrade over Subban’s production for this coming season, but Montreal also made a number of other additions this offseason. The Canadiens signed  wingers Alexander Radulov and Andrew Shaw, and defenseman Zach Redmond. And, of course, there is the indisputable advantage of having Price return healthy to goal.

A lack of Price wasn’t the team’s only shortcoming last season, but it was the main one. This is a guy who’s already won a Vezina and a Hart trophy and led the league in wins twice. He was 10-2-0 last season before going down for good. It’s easy to make a case that Price is the best goaltender in the sport. Adding that to a team automatically makes them a playoff contender.

Other than a goalie upgrade, Montreal will need to improve in some other areas. They were a middle-of-the-road team in goal production and well below that in power-play conversions and shooting percentage. But there are positive signs that those areas will see upgrades regardless of personnel changes. The Canadiens were eighth in hockey in Corsi For Percentage last year, which measures a team’s puck possession. It sounds basic, but the more often a team possesses the puck (and takes aim at the opposing goal), the more likely it is to win. Montreal was pretty good at possessing the puck. Over a large enough sample, that will result in more offense.

Last year, the Atlantic was the far easier division in the East. Only Florida would have even finished in the top four of the Metropolitan, and only two teams even topped 93 points. That won’t necessarily translate to how these teams finish next season; Tampa Bay should be good again; Boston may rebound, etc. But the door is open for Montreal to make a move up the standings. A higher producing offense, combined with a healthy return of Price, should result in a playoff berth for the Canadiens come next spring. After all, this was the best team in hockey to start last season.

The Carey Price Injury: What Could Have Been


The Carey Price Injury: What Could Have Been

by Joe  Messineo , Special to GOHABS.com

When the Montreal Canadiens traveled to Vancouver to prepare to take on the Canucks on October 27 of the 2015-16 NHL season, they sat at 9-0-0; the best team in the league. At that point, goalie Carey Price was himself 7-0-0, with backup Mike Condon handling 2 of those wins.

A month later, on November 25, the Canadiens sat with a still marvelous record of 17-4-2. Price had missed a string of games in November in which the team went 4-2-2, but he returned to win three straight for the club. With a record of 10-2, November 25th was the last game Price would play in the ’15-’16 season.

He wouldn’t be completely shut down with his MCL injury. Instead, his possible return lingered through the spring as Montreal collapsed without his services. From that 17-4-2 mark, the team finished 21-34-4 to crumple to a 38-38-6 season and a sixth-place finish in the Atlantic division. It cycled through four different goaltenders outside of Price, trying to find some consistency that was out of reach. In just 12 appearances, Price’s two shutouts led the club, as the team only managed to earn one other shutout late in the season with Condon in the net.

Though Montreal couldn’t overcome his nearly year-long absence, it begs the question, where would this team have been had Price not gone down? It’s a fool’s errand to truly examine what-ifs in the world of sports, but with the way the Canadiens started the season, it remains interesting to explore.

In those 12 Price games, albeit a small sample size, Montreal killed off 39 of 44 opponent power plays. That 88.6 percent mark dwarfed where the team finished with less reliable goaltending backing up the penalty kill. Even more interestingly, the Canadien offense wasn’t too shabby all year despite the weak record. Based on Corsi, which measures a team’s puck possession by calculating all shots plus misses plus blocked shots, Montreal finished with the eighth-best mark in the NHL. It ranked ahead of Stanley Cup finalist San Jose in both offensive opportunities generated and CF%.

The real undoing of Montreal was not an underachieving offense or unreliable special teams, though the latter certainly took a hit. It was goaltending through and through. The Canadiens ranked 25th in the league in team save percentage even factoring in Price’s unbelievable beginning. This wasn’t a one-man team, but the team lost the one man it couldn’t succeed without.

Price had never started fewer than 38 games in a season prior to last year. He was also coming off of the very best season of his career when he went 44-16-6 in 2014-15, with a minuscule 1.96 goals-against average and .933 save percentage. It was so good a year, Price not only won the Vezina Trophy as the best goalie in the NHL; he also won the Hart as the league’s MVP. Then he began last season somehow with a save percentage even better and a GAA right in line with where he left off.

It’s impossible to know for sure what would have happened with this team had it had a healthy Price because, the fact is, it did not. However, he was on his way to challenging yet again for the mark of best goalie in the sport. That possibility surely fills Canadiens fans with disgust at the way the season turned out, but fortunately, Price will be ready to yet again pick up where he left off for this coming season.

email: Joe Messineo


Latest Habs Rumours and News

Latest Habs Rumors and News

by Alex Chambers, Special to GOHABS.com

There’s no denying that the Habs had a truly disappointing season – having started the season with a glorious 9 game winning streak it was little wonder that the Habs were the team most backed to win the Stanley Cup this year. But, almost overnight, the team went from glory to failure and were the team to have gained the least points since December. It was no surprise really when the team lost all hope of Stanley Cup contention in March after their loss to the Rangers.

To come back from such disappointment the Habs will need to work on their team before next season with new signings and returns from injury. Here are all the latest team rumors:


  • The Habs are desperate to get outstanding KHL scorer Vadim Shipachyov out of SKA St. Petersburg and the KHL league and into a HABs jersey. Shipachyov, 29, has had an outstanding 60-point season. Although other NHL teams have shown interest, it has been rumored that the Habs and Shipachyov are getting closer to signing a deal.


However there may be a clause in Shipachyov’s contract that means that he’ll have to play another year in Russia before he can come to the NHL.

  • It’s looking more and more likely that the Habs will lose Bud Holloway to the KHL before the start of next season. Although the 28 year-old was only signed last year as a free agent, he has only played one game for Montreal this season so is likely looking overseas for better success.


Russian website Championat.com has reported that Holloway has signed a deal with CSKA Moscow, however nothing has been confirmed with the Habs yet.


  • Martin Reway is set to take up a Habs jersey next season after signing a 3 year contract with the team. Although Reway plays mainly center – where the Habs are pretty full – he can also play wing which could be useful for the Habs. Particularly useful as a secondary scorer, he is also an impressive passer.


  • Jeremiah Addison has just completed his fourth year of junior hockey with Ottawa 67’s and it was an impressive season for the defensive forward. He had a career best with 26 goals and 27 assists in just 66 games. If the Habs decide not to sign Addison this year it is likely that he’ll play an overage season with Ottawa.


  • Injury wise, all injured players – including the much missed Carey Price – are likely to return fully fit for next season. It’s no coincidence that the Habs began losing after Price was put out for the season so his return will be a much needed boost for the team.



What’s in a Montreal Canadiens number 2015-16, Part 2


Here’s an update from when I last wrote this blog back in November 2015.  Allot has happened for the Canadiens and because of injuries, trades, etc many new faces have made their Canadiens debut in what is an extremely disappointing 2015-16 season.

After a torrid start, best in franchise history, the Canadiens collapsed as they are destined to miss the playoffs for the fist time since 2012.

Below are the new faces since November.

#43 Daniel Carr

Daniel Carr becomes only the 5th Habs player to ever wear this number.  Benoit Brunet first wore it in 1988-89.  Followed by Andrew Cassels, Patrice Brisebois, and Mike Weaver wore it the last two seasons.

#45 Mark Barberio

Mark Barberio was a free-agent acquisition during the off-season coming from the Tampa Bay Lightning.  Barberio becomes the 7th player to wear #45 for the Habs.  Jocelyn Lemieux first wore it back in 1988.

#54 Charles Hudon

Charles Hudon was a mid-season call up for the Canadiens.    Although he only played two games, Hudon was sporting the #54, becoming only the third player in franchise history to wear it.  Others were Patrick Traverse (2000-2003) and Mikhail Grabovski (2007-08).

#34 Michael McCarron

Michael McCarron is a highly touted prospect in the Canadiens organization and here’s hoping he will now stick with the club in his second call up from the AHL.  McCarron’s #34 was previously worn by 12 former Habs.  First seen in the 1981-82 season by Bill Kitchen.  other notables to don it were: Shayne Corson, Donald Dufresne, and Peter Popovich.

#52 George Holloway

During the Christmas period, when the Canadiens were decimated by injuries, the Canadiens called up 27 year old-rookie George Holloway for a 1 game stint with the Habs.  Holloway was in unique company as only two other Canadiens have worn #52.  Craig Rivet for twelve seasons (1994-2007) and Mathieu Darche (2009-12).

#53 Lucas Lessio

Back in December 2015, Lucas Lessio was acquired by the Canadiens from Arizona in exchange for Christian Thomas.  Lessio previously wore #38 with Arizona, but with Montreal he was given #53.  A number first worn by Andre Racicot back in 1989-90.  In total 5 former Habs have worn this number with Ryan White being the last (2009-2014).

#20 Victor Bartley

Acquired in a three team trade with Nashville, Bartley joined the Canadiens in a deal that sent Jarred Tinordi to Arizona.  Bartley previously wore #64 with Nashville.  With Montreal Bartley wears #20.  A long list of players have worn #20 dating back to the 1935-36 season.  Over the years the list includes Jean Beliveau when he was first called up in 1950, Phil Goyette, Pete Mahovolich, Mark Hunter, Richard Zednick, Robert Lang, Thomas Vanek, and Manny Malhotra the last Canadien prior to wear it.

#40 Ben Scrivens

With Carey Price out since third week of November, the Canadiens were hard pressed to find a backup goalie.  Scrivens was acquired from the Edmonton Oilers organization.  This marks Scrivens’ fourth organization and first time he wears #40.  First seen back in the 1985-86 season by Dominic Campedelli, Scrivens is the 9th player and fourth goalie to wear it.  Nathan Beaulieu last wore in 2012-14 season before he switched to #28.

#13 MIke Brown

A trade deadline acquisition on the waiver wire, this marks the 7th organization Mike Brown’s NHL career.  #13 number is familiar for Brown who also wore it when he played for the Anaheim Ducks, and Edmonton Oilers.  Only the 7th player to wear it, #13 went unused for 86 seasons until Alex Tanguay wore in 2008-09 and Mike Cammalleri in 2009-13.

#24 Phillip Danault

Phillip Danault was acquired from Chicago days leading up to the trade deadline.  In exchange habs sent for Dale Weise and Tomas Fleischmann to Chicago.  Danault  is a former 1st round draft pick previously wore #24 with Chicago.  #24 was first worn by Wilf Cude back in 1938.  Over the years Serge Savard wore it when he was first called up in 1966.  Other distinguished Habs to wear it include Chris Chelios, Lyle Odelein, Mathieu Schneider, and just recently Jarred Tinordi for the past two seasons.

#21 Stefan Matteau

Stefan Matteau was acquired on trade deadline day .  #21 was just recently used by Devante Smith-Pelly .  A long history of layers have worn #21 including Toe Blake, Glen Sather, Doug Jarvis, Guy Carbonneau (the former captain having worn it for 12 seasons) and Brian Gionta during his 5 year reign with the club.


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What’s in a Montreal Canadiens number, 2015-16 edition


Every season there is always changeover on any NHL team.  This season marks the fourth season with GM Marc Bergevin at the helm, and the the least new faces to start the season.  There have only been four new faces; Tomas Fleischmann who was a Player Try-Out sign on at training camp; Alexander Semin who was a free-agent signing during the off-season, rookie Mike Condon who beat out Dustin Tokarski for the back-up goalie spot, and finally Paul Byron who was claimed off waivers from Calgary at the start of the season.

(I’m excluding Zack Kassian acquired in exchange for Brandon Prust on July 1st, because Kassian is suspended by the NHL and might never play 1 game for the Canadiens).

Maybe part of the reason for the lack of new faces to start the 2015-16 season is two-fold.

  1. One can argue GM Bergevin brought in three new faces at last season’s trade deadline and was able to retain them during the off-season (Jeff Petry and Torrey Mitchell re-signed with the Canadiens, and Brian Flynn was already under contact).
  2. Or maybe, just maybe, the reason why there are fewer new faces is because Canadiens management believe this team is closer to contend once again for the Stanley Cup than in previous yes!  Yes it’s never too early to talk about the Stanley Cup.  In fact you can bookmark this post for the link to Stanley Cup Tickets.

Now onto the new numbers …

First off, number change.

# 6 Greg Pateryn.  

Since Pateryn was first called up by the Canadiens back in 2012-13, Pateryn always wore #64.  But this season he switched to a more traditional number, #6.  The last few players to wear #6 for the Canadiens have been defenceman.  Bryan Allen was the last player to wear #6.  Before him, Douglas Murray, Jaro Spacek wore it too.  Pierre Mondou wore it for the longest tenure over a span of 8 seasons (1977-85).  Russ Courtnall wore it with distinction for 4 seasons (1988-92).

And now the new faces.

#13 Alexander Semin

Before joining the Canadiens, Alex Semin always wore #28 with Washington or Carolina.  But Nathan Beaulieu wears that number.  So Semin went with Lucky #13.  past players to wear it were Mike Cammalleri, and Alex Tanguay.

#15 Tomas Fleischmann

Tomas Fleischmann has played 5 different NHL clubs.  He wore #43 with Washington, and number 14 with Colorado, Florida and Anaheim.  #14 is currently taken by his country-man Tomas Plekanec.  So Fleishmann chose #15.  The number was last used last season by P-A Parenteau.  Notable names to wear #15 for the Canadiens are Bobby Smith, Rejean Houle, Bobby Rousseau, and even Maurice Richard wore once when he was called up back in 1943 before he switched to # 9.

#39 Mike Condon

Mike Condon had a superb training camp and beat out incumbent back-up Dustin Tokarski for the job.  Condon, a rookie, was given #39.  The last time #39 was used was when Cristobal Huet played between the pipes for the habs between 2005-2009.  Brian Skrudland was the first ever Canadien to wear #39, and wore it the longest, back in 1985-93.

#41 Paul Byron

Montreal is the third stop for this versatile winger, having played with Buffalo and Calgary previously, and always choosing a different number with each team.  Only four other players in the history of the Canadiens have worn #41.  they are Brent Gilchrist, Jocelyn Thibault, Eric Fichard, and Jaroslav Halak.


Canadiens fans are hoping this is the winning combination to make it deep into the Stanley Cup Playoffs for 2015-16.

Montreal Canadiens new jersey designed for the 2016 Winter Classic

This season’s NHL 2016 Winter Classic will feature two Original Six clubs; Montreal Canadiens vs Boston Bruins, to be played on January 1st, 2016 in Foxborough, MA (home of the Super Bowl Champs New England Patriots).

As is always the case with the Winter Classics, teams unveil specialized jersey designs for the events.  In the past, teams have worn retro jerseys, or have altered their current design.

The Boston Bruins jersey is a throwback to their 1924 logo and dropped the brown colour in favour of their current black.


For the Montreal  Canadiens, the game will mark the third time the Canadiens have played an outdoor game in recent years.   In 2003, the Canadiens particpated in the first Heritage Classic vs the Edmonton Oilers in Edmonton.  The Canadiens opted to showcase their 1946 White jersey.  In 2009, the Canadiens again played in the Heritage Classic, this time in Calgary, and the Canadiens opted to wear their 1976 throwback white jersey.


But this season marks the first time the Canadiens will participate in the Winter Classic.  and for that, the Canadiens went will a special design, incorporating four different jersey features from their 100+ storied history.

Last week was the big reveal as the Canadiens unveiled their 2016 Winter Classic jersey.


The 2016 World Classic jersey incorporates the following:

#1) The Blue stripe is a shade of blue inspired by the first Canadiens jersey worn after their founding in 1909 (See 1 below).

#2) The CH logo is the inverted colors they have worn for the past 90 years.  Or a liking to the 1921-22 jersey they wore.

#3) The sleeves have an image of the globe, the same type of globe the Canadiens wore on their 1924-25 jersey to denote World Champions.

#4) The new jersey also has a red collar reminiscent of that worn first work in 1945-46.

See image below for a snapshot of the 4 main features of the 2016 Winter Classic Montreal Canadiens jersey.


This marks the NHL’s 8th Winter Classic, and the second time a Canadian team takes part.


Best Regular-Season Wins Ever Made By Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens are Canada’s oldest Hockey team. From their formation in 1909, the idea behind the franchise was to represent Canada, and more specifically Quebec’s, Francophone community.

With more Stanley Cups than any of their rivals, in their instantly recognisable bleu, blanc et rouge ( red, white and blue colours), the Canadiens, also referred to as The Habs, are one the game’s biggest names.    As the Montreal Canadiens embark on their 107th season, here is a quick look back at some of their biggest and most important regular season wins over the years.


Toronto St. Pats, 1920

Way, way back in January 1920, player coach Newsy Lalonde set the tone for a remarkable few months when he hit two during the opening period of the match against Toronto St. Pats meaning The Habs left the rink with a 6-1 lead. Lalonde wasn’t done there though as hit a further three in the game’s second period and another in the last as The Canadiens ran out 14-7 winners.


His six goals that night, at their then home the Mount Royal, still stands as a Habs record and has only been equalled elsewhere on seven other occasions. The 21 goals scored that night is also a still standing record, although one that was equalled by the Edmonton Oilers in 1985.

 Quebec Bulldogs, 1920

In January of the same year, The Canadiens scored a still standing 16-3 win over fellow Quebecois The Bulldogs. Strangely, The Bulldogs, who had been formed ten years previously, dissolved that year and, apart from their unfortunate moment, have long been forgotten.

On the night, Bulldog’s keeper Frank Brophy was spared no mercy as Didier Pitre, Odie Cleghorn, Harry Cameron and Newsy Lalonde scored three or more each. Amos Arbour added two goals of his own in a game that, with a thirteen goal gap, remains the largest victory margin in franchise history. The team have never bettered the seven goals in a single twenty minute period they notched up that night, although they have matched it a further six times.


Fancy a punt on the pucks?

Many, many Canadian dollars are waged on the outcome of Hockey games, and in particular Canadiens’ matches, each year. In a game well known for its fiery confrontations, plenty of Ice Hockey fans want to add to the thrill of a sixty minute match by “making things interesting” and adding a bet or two.

Due to Canada’s regionally administered gambling laws, the easiest way to have a bet on the hockey match is by betting online. This can be done safely and securely by following this link where they have listed the best bookmakers for any Canuck that wants to wager on the Canadiens.


New York Rangers, 1944

The New York Rangers were on the receiving end of hockey perfection back in March 1944 when then coach Dick Irvin oversaw an 11-2 thrashing in one of The Habs greatest ever performances. In the last game of what had been an excellent season for The Canadiens, Maurice Richard, Elmer Lach and Toe Blake, known collectively as “The Punch Line“, all combined to score and put The Rangers brutally to the sword.


That performance capped a remarkable season for The Habs as they went the entire season undefeated at their home The Forum which, to this day, no other team has achieved. Across their 25 home games that season, they scored 141 ties, conceding only 50 with over twelve matches claimed by four or more goals.


Boston Bruins, 1955

While not being the highest scoring match in Habs’ history, this night back in November 1955 is significant for a player performance and the fallout thereafter. Jean Béliveau’s scored a remarkable hat trick in under a minute, 44 seconds to be precise – the fastest in Canadiens history.  However, all three goals occurred during the same power play while the Boston Bruins, two goals ahead at the time, had two men in the serving time in the sin bin. The following season a rule changed was proposed that allows players serving minor penalties to return to play after a single goal has been scored in the power play. Unfortunately for the Bruins that was a season too late as “Le Gross Bill” completely turned the game around with three scores in the power play before adding insult to injury by netting a fourth before the end in a 4-2 win for the Canadiens.

Washington Capitals, 1977

On the final day of the 1976-77 season the Canadiens played host to the Washington Capitals in a game that would do justice to what had been a remarkable campaign. True to form, they smashed their visitors 11-0 to extend their unbeaten run at home to 34 games, setting an all-time record. Guy Lafleur, Bob Gainey, Steve Shutt and Guy Lapointe all hit the net on the night.

During that run, they managed to win six games by more than four goals, scoring 205 times, while restricting visiting sides to bag a measly 75 goals against them. Their one home defeat at The Forum that year, against the Boston Bruins, gave them a NHL record for fewest home defeats since the league’s inception more than fifty years previously.

Buffalo Sabres, 1988

With two games left in the season, Canadiens sniper Stephane Richer had 45 goals, and was chasing that elusive 50 goal plateau.  With a home and home weekend set of games against the Buffalo Sabres to conclude the season, Richer scored  hat-trick scoring three goals in a 9-4 romping over the Sabres.  The next night, Richer was still two goals short of 50 goals, and sure enough Richer scored two goals against Tom Barrasso, becoming the 6th Canadien player to reach the 50 goal plateau.

New York Rangers, 1989

On February 4, 1989, the New York Rangers played the Montreal Canadiens.  The game marked the return of Guy Lafleur but in a  NY Rangers uniform.  Lafleur had previously retired as a Canadien back in 1985, and made a successful comeback in 1988-89 with the NY Rangers.  Although Lafleur thrilled fans with a pair of goals, the Canadiens, trailing 5-2 in the game, rallied back with the help of Shayne Corson’s hat-trick, to prevail 7-5.

Quebec Nordiques, 1991

The game marked Guy Lafleur’s final game at the Montreal Forum as Lafleur, now playing with the Quebec Nordiques, had announced he was retiring for good after the season.  Although the Canadiens won the game 4-3, fans will remember the game as Guy Lafleur’s scoring his last goal in the NHL.  (And I was there in person to witness it!!)

Dallas Stars, 1996

March 11, 1996 is a date that will forever be enshrined for Habs fans.  It marked the final game played at the Montreal Forum, the home of the Montreal Canadiens for 23 of their 24 Stanley Cups.  The Canadiens beat the Dallas Stars 4-1, but it’s the closing ceremonies that fans will always remember capped off with a 6 minute standing ovation to their legend, Maurice “The Rocket” Richard

New York Rangers, 1996

March 16, 1996, the Montreal Canadiens inaugurate their new home, the Molson Centre as the Canadiens beat the NY Rangers winning 4-2.

Ottawa Senators, 2002

April 9, 2002, Ottawa Senators visited Montreal but the 403 victory of the Canadiens was overshadowed by the return of  the Canadiens’ Captain Saku Koivu, who returned to play after battling stomach cancer the previous 6  months.  Koivu was welcomed back to an 8-minute standing ovation.

Colorado Avalanche, 2007

October 21, 2007, the game marked the return of their former MVP goalie Jose Theodore, who was traded the previous season to Colorado.  The Canadiens trailed 3-0 at one point, when the comeback began.  Canadiens went on to win 8-5, capped up by Craig Rivet, a stay at home defenceman, scoring on a breakaway when he came out of the penalty box.

New York Rangers, 2008

February 19, 2008, Habs treated their sell-out home crowd with what is the greatest comeback in Canadiens history.  The Canadiens were losing 5-0, and with the 2nd period winding down, Michael Ryder scored two goals within a 5 minute span, trailing by three goals heading into the third period.  Two goals within a nine-second span, cut the Rangers lead to 5-4, and Alex Kovalev scored on a Power Play to end the game 5-5 in regulation.  The five-minute overtime settled nothing.  And the game went to a shootout.  Saku Koivu scored the lone goal in the shootout, and Christobal Huet stop all three shooters he faced including Jaromir Jagr, as the Canadiens capped off their biggest come from behind victory in club history.