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.

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