Category Archives: BLOG

NHL announces Canadiens Outdoor Games for 2015/2016


NHL announces Canadiens Outdoor Games for 2015/2016

written by Matt Green

Ice hockey fans across the world look forward to the announcement of the outdoor schedule. Every year, the NHL uses the announcement of the Stadium Series as a way to mix up the playing field a little, or rink in this case.

The news was broken by  Commissioner Gary Bettman to a host of the mainstream media’s most notable journalists during the All-Star weekend in Columbus. During the announcement, Bettman revealed that our beloved Montreal Canadiens would be facing hosts Boston Bruins in the headline match of the 2016 Winter Classic.

Also hosting games are the Colorado Avalanche and the Minnesota Wild as part of the Stadium Series. They will play Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks respectively.

Upon the announcement from Bettman, the news broke first on the NHL’s official app, which has received significant investment of late to improve its functionalities, interface and general usability.

With the smartphone market booming at the minute, the NHL has announced its intention to continue to improve the app in order to compete with many of the independent ice hockey app already succeeding in the market. Currently there is approximately 17% of the global mobile market able to access the Internet on the go according to Gaming Realms, the developers behind CastleJackpot.

With Fierce Wireless claiming that by 2020, 90% of people over 6-years-old will have smartphones, its no surprise that organizations such as the NHL have shifted its focus to the mobile market. With the current 2.7 billion people owning smartphones, there’s no surprise to see the NHL making the majority of its announcements online moving forward.

Could we possibly see the end of press conferences moving forward? As the digital age continues to pack a punch, many fans are now glued to their phones rather than their TVs or computers, which could have a telling factor on how we are presenting with the next Outdoor Games next in future.

Regardless of how we will be present with content such as this, we can all look forward to the upcoming outdoor games that the aforementioned NHL teams will be featuring in.

What’s in a Habs Number; 2014-15 Edition


What I forward to every season is writing about the new faces and numbers that wear the CH for the Montreal Canadiens.  Half way into the 2014-15 season, Canadiens fans have seen nine new faces.  I’m always curious to see what numbers they choose.  Many players are superstitious, so they try to get numbers they have worn before with other teams.  But sometimes, those numbers are unavailable.

Here are the new faces/numbers for the Montreal Canadiens for 2014-15.

#6 – Bryan Allen – The Canadiens acquired Bryan Allen from the Anaheim Ducks ina deal that sent Rene Bourque.  Bryan Allen was worn #5 for the four organizations he’s played for prior to the Canadiens.  With #5 retired for both Bernard Geoffrion and more recently Guy Lapointe, Allen went with the next available low number.  #6 was last worn only last season by Douglas Murray.  The longest serving member of the Canadiens that wore # 6 were Ralph Backstrom (1958-71) and Pierre Mondou (1977-1985).

#15 – Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau – Acquired from the Colorado Avalanche for Daniel Briere, P-A Parenteau has don #15 with his stint with the NY Rangers and Colorado.  #15 was last worn the past two season by George Parros who retired from hockey this season. It’s a number worn by 53 other members of the Canadiens.  It’s also the answer of a trivia question.  Maurice Richard first wore #15 when he was called up by the Canadiens, before switching to his famous #9.

#17 – Eric Tangradi – The Canadiens traded backup goalie Peter Budaj to the Winnipeg Jets organization in exchange for depth forward Eric Tangradi.  Although Tangradi has spent the majority of his time with the Canadiens AHL affiliate in Hamilton, this marks the first time Tangradi is wearing #17, now with his third organization.  #17 is also a trivia related question because it’s one of the numbers Jean Beliveau wore when he was called up by the Canadiens before he settled for his infamous #4.

#20 Manny Malhotra – A UFA signing by Habs GM Marc Bergevin during the off season, this marks the first time Manny Malhotra wears #20 in his career.  61 other Habs have worn this number previously.  It was last worn briefly last season by Thomas Vanek.

#26 – Jiri Sekac – A Europeon signing during the off-season, this marks Jiri Sekac’s first foray into the NHL. This is a number SEkac has worn before with his Czech national hockey team.  Josh Gorges last wore #26 while with the Canadiens (2006-14).  Other notable members to wear this number are Pierre Bouchard (1970-78), and Mats Naslund (1982-90).

#38 – Drayson Bowman – On a Player Tryout Contract, Drayson Bowman was signed as a free agent during t training camp and was assigned to Hamilton.  But Bowmas has been called up a couple of times this season.   #28 was first iused by Mike Lalor (1985-89).  In all 8 players have worn it before.  Jan Bulis wore it for parts of 6 seasons (2000-06).

#39 – Joey MacDonald – As insurance in case either one of the Habs goaltending tandem Carey Price or Dustin Tokarski are injured, NHL veteran Joey MacDonald is the 3rd goalie on the depth charts in the Canadiens organization.  He has yet to play for the Canadiens but has been called up twice this season as a backup.  Of the seven other players who have worn #39, MacDonald joins three other goalies (Pat Jablonski, Frederic Chabot and Christobal Huet) to have worn this number.

#55 Sergei Gonchar – A 20 year veteran of the NHL, Sergei Gonchar was acquired via a trade with Dallas Stars in exchange for Travis Moen.  This is the sixth time in franchise history that #55 is used,  First used back in the 1934-35 season by Jack McGill, the number wasn;t worn until 1997 when Igor Ulanov took the number. This number is familiar for Gonchar having worn it with all the other organizations he’s played with (Washington, Boston, Pittsburgh, Ottawa, Dallas)

#58 – Sven Andrighetto – A rookie who was drafted by the Canadiens in 2013, Sven Andrighetto made his NHL debut back on dec 6 vs Dallas.  The only other member in Canadiens history to wear #58 was David Deshrnais when he was first called up back in 2009. Desharnais switched to #51 in 2011.

#77 – Tom Gilbert – Another free agent pick up during the off-season, this marks only the second time in Canadiens club history that this number is work.  Pierre Turgeon is the only other member to ever wear #77.  For Tom Gilbert, this is the only number he’s ever worn in his NHL career (Edmonton, Minnesota, Florida)

Speaking of Numbers, half way into the season, checking out “Hockey betting odds at William Hill‎, the Montreal Canadiens ‎ have 13-1 odds favourites to win the Stanley Cup. The  Chicago Blackhawks remain at 2-1 odds to win the Cup.  Let’s hope the Canadiens improve on last year’s deep playoffs run.


Montreal Canadiens highlights and news-maker for 2014

The year 2014 was very good to the Montreal Canadiens and their fans.  Although their quest for a 25th Stanley Cup was curtailed by Carey Price getting bulldozed by NY Rangers forward Chris Kreider, the Montreal Canadiens came within 2 victories of appearing in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Well there is always 2015 as they say.

Below is a list of hi-lights from 2014, and with the Top news story surrounding the Montreal Canadiens.

  1. On February 23rd, 2014 Carey Price and P.K. Subban bring home the Gold Medal at the Sochi Winter Olympics.  Price backstopped Canada to 3-0 shut-out victory over Sweden to take home the Gold.
  2. March 5, 2014 was the NHL trade deadline.  And Habs GM Marc Bergevin made the biggest spash by acquiring the most sought after player, NY Islanders forward Tomas Vanek.  The move did not cost the Canadiens much, and that surprised many as the move sent Habs prospect Sebastien Collberg, a 2014 second-round pick and a conditional fifth-rounder to the Islanders for Vanek.
  3.  On Saturday March 15 in a game vs the Ottawa Senators, with less than 4 minutes to go in regulation time, Habs were down 4-1 when the comeback was on.  The Canadiens got goals from Lars Eller at 16:38, and then another by Brian Gionta at the 17:56 mark.  And David Desharnais scored with .8 seconds left in the the 3rd period to tie the game at 4-4.  And in Overtime, Francis Bouillon scored 1:26 into OT to cap the comeback!
  4. On May 14, 2014, the Canadiens trailing 3-2 in the series against their division rivals Boston Bruins, take both Game 6 and then defeating the Boston Bruins 3-1 in the deciding game.   After the game, the game will be remembered by the famous handshake line where Milan Lucic, acting in bad sport, threatened several members of the Canadiens.   The win enabled the Canadiens to advanced to the NHL Eastern Conference Finals vs the New York Rangers.
  5. During the off-season, Habs fans were getting impatient as restricted free-agent defenceman PK Subban still wasn’t signed to a contract.  The two sides couldn’t agree on a contract prior to their arbitration hearing.  They went to arbitration, and on August 2nd, during the period the arbitrator was deciding on the hearing, Subban’s side and Marc Bergevin concluded the richest contract ever awarded to a Montreal Canadiens hockey player;  8 years, $72 million!
  6. On Saturday November 8, the Canadiens retired the last of the Big Three on defence during the 1970’s, no. 5, Guy Lapointe.  Lapointe has been forever immortalized in Canadiens history, being the 18th player in franchise history to have their jersey retired.lapointe-jersey-retired-20141107
  7.  In the  milestones category, on December 16, 2014, Alex Galchenyuk scored his first career hat-trick in a 4-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.
  8. On December 23rd, Andrei Markov appeared in his 800th career regular-season game in the NHL, all with the Montreal Canadiens in a 3-1 win over the NY Islanders, where Markov even picked up a goal.
  9. On December 29th, Lars Eller scored the Montreal Canadiens 21,000st career regular season goal as the Canadiens beat the Carolina Hurricanes, 3-1.

But in 2014, in the Montreal Canadiens newsmaker department, there is only one news item that takes precedence above all else.  On December 2nd, 2014, the Montreal Canadiens legend M. Jean Béliveau passed away at the age of 83.  To put things in perspective, M. Béliveau has been part of 17 of the Montreal Canadiens 24 Stanley Cups.  M. Béliveau won 10 Cups as a player, and another 7 times as a member of the Canadiens front office.  <<Le Gros Bill>> as many referred to him, was given a “national” funeral.  He was exposed at The Bell Centre for two days, with his family greeting every visitor who went to pay their respects (people like me!!).   On December 10, M. Béliveau was remembered in a touching funeral at Queen Mary of the World Cathedral where his former teammates Dickie Moore, Yvan Cournoyer, Serge Savard and Ken Dryden gave eloquent eulogies.  In addition,  Montreal Canadiens co-owner and CEO Geoff Molson also spoke of M. Béliveau, the man he was, and the person we remember.

But Yvan Cournoyer’s words captured the moment for many on that winter day … «Ô! capitaine, mon capitaine, bon voyage».

Jean Beliveau


Canadiens legend passes away; Jean Béliveau 1934-2014

20141203My Jean Béliveau story.
Circa winter 1993.
I was studying at Concordia University here in Montreal.

One night that winter, we were hit with a huge snow storm. I was taking the metro home like any other day shortly after 5pm.  I was with a couple of my buddies.
Anyway we were on the platform waiting for the metro.  Down the tunnel, I could see the metro train was already at Atwater station, one previous stop. The metro car makes it way to my stop at Guy-Concordia.  It was basically empty.  I recall thinking to myself that perhaps many elected to stay home that day.

The metro car’s doors open, and who do I see standing facing me as I boarded the metro car?  Le Gros Bill himself, Monsieur Jean Béliveau.  I was awestruck.  For a second, I froze. I walk into the metro car.  I make eye contact with Mr. Béliveau.  I smile.  He smiles.  And I go stand next to him, not saying a word.  I was in just total amazement.  Although I never watched Mr. Béliveau play, as he retired from hockey when I was 1 year old, as a big Habs fan, I knew who this legend was.

So while i was standing besides this gentle giant, my buddies all went rushing in for empty seats like mice go after cheese.  But I didn’t.  I continued standing next to a legend.  But my buddies kept calling me over.  “Hey Mario, there’s a seat for you here”.  Over and over they pestered me.   And to myself I’m trying to tell them, “Hey guys, don’t you know who this man next to me is”?

One short stop later at Peel Metro station, I left my spot next to Mr. Béliveau, and I went to sit with my friends.  I had to explain to them who that gentleman was.

At the time Mr. Béliveau was Vice-President of the Montreal Canadiens.  And like many that day, he was taking the metro home from The Montreal Forum (Atwater Metro) due to the storm.
Mr. Béliveau disembarked at Berri-UQAM, making his way to the yellow line heading towards his home on the South Shore.

Fast forward to Year 2005.  Mr. Jean Béliveau was putting the majority of his memorabilia up for auction.  He was promoting the auction on a Sunday night Memorabilia radio show on what was then Team990 (now TSN690).   And that night, the radio host was taking calls.  So I decided to call.

I explained to Mr. Beliveau  that I had the opportunity to shake his hand 12 years earlier but I didn’t, and that it was an honour for me to be speaking with him finally.  Mr. Béliveau replies to me and says, “Sir, the pleasure is all mine”.

Just pure class.

I went on to ask him, what was the most prized memorabilia he was parting with from his auction.  His answer?  The 1971 Canadiens white jersey he last wore during the 1971 Stanley Cup Finals.  His last Stanley Cup ever.

RIP Monsieur Béliveau.

Tale of the Tape: Rene Bourque for Bryan Allen


In less than 2 weeks Marc Bergevin continues to shape the Montreal Canadiens into his vision.

Having first traded Travis Moen to Dallas, Bergevin unloaded Rene Bourque to Anaheim.  In both deals Bergevin obtained depth defenceman in Sergei Gonchar and Bryan Allen.  But more importantly both these defenceman are in their final years of their contracts.

Thereby Bergevin has shaved $5M off next year’s salary cap.

Tale of the Tape

Last week, Rene Bourque was demoted to the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs.  Bourque will join Anaheim immediately.  This is the second trade Bergevin swung with Anaheim.  Ealier this summer Bergevin traded Louis Leblanc to Anaheim, who is currently playing for Anaheim’s farm club in Norfolk.

Bryan Allen will join the Canadiens in time for Saturday’s game vs the Boston Bruins in Boston.  Allen will wear #6.

Montreal Canadiens changeover stats from one season ago


As the Montreal Canadiens embark on a new season, it is always interesting to see how many new faces are in the Canadiens line-up as opposed to one year ago, and compared to end of last season.

In 2013-14, the Montreal Canadiens started the season on October 1st against the Toronto Maple Leafs.  Gone are veterans Josh Gorges (Buffalo, via trade), Raphael Diaz (Calgary, UFA), Francis Bouillon (UFA).  Although Douglas Murray started last season on Injured Reserve, he was still with the club.  But Murray too is a UFA and no longer with the Montreal Canadiens organization.

Safe to assume that the Habs defence heading into 2014-15 are younger and quicker.  In their places, the Canadiens added Mike Weaver (acquired at trade deadline and re-signed UFA from last year), and Tom Gilbert (UFA from Florida).  Although both  Nathan Beaulieu and Jared Tinordi started with the Canadiens last season, they were often sent down to the minors once the injured players returned.  Expect both Beaulieu and Tinordi to stick with the club all season.

Up front, four players that started with the Canadiens last season are no longer with the club.  Gone is the team captain Brian Gionta (Buffalo, UFA).  The role of enforcer seems to be a dying breed nowadays in the NHL as George Parros wasn’t retained and he’s still a UFA and most likely won’t play another NHL game.  Ryan White too was signed as a UFA with the Philadelphia Flyers.  And during the off-season Daniel Briere was traded to Colorado for P-A Parenteau.

Tomas Vanek, who was a Marc Bergevin’s prized trade deadline acquisition last season, signed with Minnesota as a UFA in the off season.

Other than P-A Parenteau, new faces with the Habs from a year ago include Dale Weise (a trade deadline pickup from last year), Manny Maholtra (UFA, Carolina) , and 22 year old Jiri Sekac, a UFA from the Czech Republic.

In goal, at the end of Training Camp, Peter Budaj was shipped off to the Winnipeg Jets organization to make room for for newly appointed back-up Dustin Tokarski, who saw action as Carey Price’s replacement during last season’s playoffs and supplanted Budaj in the process.

To conclude, the number of new faces from start of last season; 7 (Tokarski, Gilbert, Weaver, Parenteau, Weise, Sekac, Mahotra).

The number of new players from end of last season; 4 (Gilbert, Parenteau, Sekac, Mahotra).



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The FAQs about the Montreal Canadiens TV for 2014 -15


I want to preface this blog posting my thanking Steve Faguy and his numerous blog postings on this subject that helps explain the impact of the new NHL TV rights deal which will change the landscape of hockey viewing in Canada.

It is only now, a few days prior to the start of the 2014–15 NHL hockey season, that fans in Canada are coming to grips with what the new TV deal with Rogers means for them.

In the past, catching a Canadiens game on TV followed a simple script.  In English, all Saturday games were on CBC.  For fans out West, all they had to do was tune to CBC-Montreal on their cable or satellite guide and watch the game.  For mid week games, if fans lived east of Pembroke or Belleville, ON, and had Bell-TV or Bell Aliant, they had access to the TSN-HABS channel.  If they didn’t, no worries, RDS carried all the games, so Habs fans simply had to add RDS to their TV package, and voila, all 82 games were at their disposal.

Well those simple days are over.

Rogers was awarded the national TV rights to NHL broadcasts, in English.  And TVA was awarded the same package in French.   In essence here are the details on what it means to the average viewer.

Rogers and TVA Sports have national rights to every Canadian hockey team. with a minimum of 22 Saturday games, and all the playoffs games.  Each team can negotiate a temperate regional TV deal for the remainder 60 games.

The Canadiens have English and French language deals differ slightly.  So I will explain each.

Here is the complete Montreal Canadiens broadcast schedule.


This seasons marks the first time in the history of the Montreal Canadiens that all 82 games will be televised in Engllish.  Because the Canadiens were late in finalizing a regional TV deal, Rogers increased their national rights package to 40 nationally televised Habs games.    It breaks down as follows:


  • 22 Saturday games on Hockey Night in Canada (first four are on City-TV).  HNIC refers to either CBC, Sportsnet E/O/W/P, Sportsnet One, or Sportsnet 360.  Prior to the games played, Rogers will announce which channel will be showing the game.
  • 4 Sunday games on City-TV
  • 2 Sunday games on Sportsnet E/O/W/P
  • 1 Monday game on Sportsnet One
  • 6 Wednesday games on Sportsnet E/O/W/P
  • 4 Thursday games on Sportsnet 360
  • 1 Friday game on Sportsnet E/O/W/P


In August, the Canadiens reached a three year deal to broadcast 42 games Regionally on Sportsnet East (37 games), and City-Montreal (5 games).  John Bartlett leaves TSN690 radio to handle the play by play duties for Habs regional broadcasts.  He will be joined by former NHLer jason York.  These games will be blacked out to viewers west of Pembroke or Belleville, ON.

To determine which regional network you are part of, enter your postal code here.


TVA Sports is the national broadcast rights holder for all Saturday night games:


  • 1 Wednesday night game (Opening game October 8)
  • 21 Saturday night games.

Regional:  The Canadiens French language regional rights were awarded to RDS, whom the Canadiens have had a long history with.  However, in the past RDS had a special exemption with the NHL, allowing RDS to broadcast all national and regional Habs games across Canada because RDS had the rights to both National and Regional NHL games.  With TVA Sports being awarded the national rights, RDS loses that exemption,  meaning fans living outside the Canadiens regional zone will no longer be able to catch Habs mid-week games on RDS.


So how can fans living West of Pembroke and Belleville watch Canadiens games?

Answer:  For starters, for HAbs fans across Canada, the 40 nationally televised games, they need to have the following channels ; CBC, Sportsnet, Sportsnet One, Sportsnet360, and City-TV.

For the remainder 42 Habs regional games, fans can subscribe to NHL centre Ice for $200.


Rogers recently announced that all Habs regional games will be available via online streaming on NHL GameCentre Live for $60.  They will have a choice to watch those games in French (RDS) or English.  NHL GameCentre live is available via online streaming.  Do not confuse NHL Centre Ice with NHL GameCentre Live.  NHL Centre Ice is offered to cable and satellite providers.  At the moment, none of the TV providers (Rogers, Bell, Shaw, Videotron, Cogeco, etc.)  are offering the $60 Habs online streaming package on their NHL Centre Ice offerings.   This offering will be available closer to the start of the season.  Click here.

Others have asked, what if they subscribe to TVA Sports, will they be able to catch the Canadiens games?  Answer:  The 22 games that TVA Sports carry will also be available in English on either CBC/Sportsnet/Sportsnet One/ Sportsnet 360, or CITY.

if you have any questions, drop me a line and I will try to answer you.


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Future is bright, but no guarantees


The Montreal Canadiens were eliminated by the New York Rangers in the 3rd Round of the 2014 NHL Playoffs.

And at the conclusion of every season, Habs management holds a post mortem on the season and the playoffs run.  What struct me most from Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin’s press conference was that only two seasons removed, 4 of the 8 teams that made the playoffs then, did not qualify in the 2014 playoffs; New Jersey, Florida, Ottawa, and Washington failed to make the 2014 playoffs.  That’s a 50% attrition rate!

One can argue Habs are on the rise, and those 4 teams were on the demise.  Perhaps.  But another telling stat, in the last 10 years, only two teams played in back-to-back Conference Finals.  In 2006 and 2007, the Buffalo Sabres appeared in the Eastern Conference Finals.  Losing both times.   In 2008 and 2009, the Pittsburgh Penguins appeared in Conference Finals, winning both, and advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals, where they won the 2009 Stanley Cup.

But as the Canadiens move into the 2014 off-season, many questions lie unanswered.

1) How much term will Restricted Free-Agent P.K. Subban be offered?

2) What to do with Free Agents Andrei Markov and Brian Gionta?  Re-signing Markov means one less spot avilable for Nathan Beaulieu, Jarred Tinordi or Greg Patteryn.   Do Habs re-sign Brian Gionta, or seek an upgrade via free agency?  Is Dale Weise a cheaper alternative to Gionta who is 35, and on the decline of his career.

3) Tomas Vanek?  Seems that ship has sailed as Vanek let it be knows he will test free agency.

4) And a surprise find during the 2014 playoffs, the rise of Dustin Tokarski.  Do Habs part ways with Peter Budaj in 2014-15, who has one year left on his contract at $1.4M.

Answers to all these questions will begin to take form on June 27-28; NHL Draft Day, and on July 1st, Free Agency Frenzy day.

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What’s in a Canadiens Number? 2013-14 edition


Every season, I post a Blog of the new numbers worn that season.  This season waited until the last month to compile the 2013-14 edition where there have been 13 jersey number changes/additions from one season ago.

First let’s start off with a number switch from last Season.

#24 – Jarred Tinordi:  Last season Jarred Tinordi wore #42 because #24 was taken by Jeff Halpern.  Tinordi’s dad, Mark Tinordi wore #24 for most of his career.   This season, with Halpern a UFA and not re-signed by the Canadiens, #24 became available again and Tinordi wore it from the start of training camp and ever since he was re-called from Hamilton.

Now let’s look at all the new numbers for 2013-14.

#48 – Daniel Brière:  The Canadiens big splash in the off-season Free-Agent market was signing Brière to a two year contract. Brière has been wearing #48 since his days with Buffalo.  #48 was first worm back in the 1930’s, and then for fifty years, no one wore it until Canadiens current Assistant Coach Jean-Jacques Daigneault wore it for 7 seasons with the Habs (1989-96).

#15 – George Parros:  George Parros was acquired in the off-season from the Florida Panthers.  This marks the first season Parros wears #15 in his 9 year NHL career.  Fifty-two other players wore #15 prior to Parros.  Amongst which Bobby Rousseau in the 60’s.  Former Habs GM Rejean Houle from 1976-’83.  And Bobby Smith from 1983-’90.  #15 was last worn last seaon by Petteri Nokelainen.

#6 – Douglas Murray:  Douglas Murray was another off-season Free Agent acquisition my the Canadiens.  It marks the first time Murray wears #6 having worn #3 with both San Jose and Pittsburgh.  Number 6 was first worn during the 1911-12 season.  In total 36 players wore it before Murray.  Some notable names include Howie Morenz in his rookie season wore it briefly before he switched to #7.   Toe Blake wore it for 11 seasons in his playing career as a Canadien.  Ralph Backstrom wore it the longest over a span of 13 seasons (1958-71).  More recently Pierre Mondou (1977-85), Russ Courtnall (1988-92), Oleg Petrov (1992-96), and Jaroslav Spacek was the last Canadiens player to wear it  (2009-12).

#49 – Michael Bournival:  The Canadiens rookie Michael Bournival made the team out of training camp this season.  Bournival wears #49, a number that hasn’t been worn since Brian Savage wore it from 1993-2002.  Bournival becomes the third player to wear #49; Brain Savage and Luc Gauthier (1990-91) were the others.

 #82 – Patrick Holland:   As a mid-season call-up by the Canadiens, Patrick Holland played his first 5 games in the NHL.  Holland was given #82, the same number he wore at training camp.  He joins Donald Audette as the only other Canadien to wear #82.

 #57 – Martin St-Pierre:  As a journey-man centreman, St-Pierre got called up to the NHL this season having last played in the NHL for the Ottawa Senators in the 2009-10 season.  For his one game with the Canadiens this season, St-Pierre wore #57.  The number was first worn by Chris Murray back in 1994.  The last Habs player to wear #57 was Blake Geoffrion before a head injury, while playing with the Canadiens farm club during last season, forced Geoffrion to retire.

#28 – Joonas Nattinen:  As another one game call-up by the Canadiens, centre-man Joonas Nattinen wore #28 which was first worn in the 1976-77 season.  One time 50 goal scorer Pierre Larouche wore #28 from 1977-82.  Eric Desjardins wore it between 1988-95.   Other notables include Craig Conroy for one season, 1994-95, Dainus Zubrus  in 1998-99.  And most recently Kyle Chipchura , 2007-09.

#60 – Christian Thomas: Christian Thomas was acquired in trade with the New York Rangers during the off-season.  Thomas was called up for two games.  He wore #60.  Only two players wore it before him,  Jose Theodore wore it for ten seasons (1996-2006).  And Aaron Palushaj wore it for his one season with the club, 2011-12.

 #35 – Dustin Tokarski:  As a fill in for injured Carey Price following the Olympics, Tokarski got two starts with the big club.  He was given #35.  Surprisingly #35 was first used by Mike McPhee from 1983-92.  When Tomas Plekanec first broke into the NHL he wore #35 from 2003-07.  Three other goalies have used #35; Andy Moog, Stephane Fiset, and Alex Auld was the last goalie to wear it.

# 22 – Dale Weise:   Dale Weise was acquired prior to the trade deadline date from Vancouver.  Weise wore #32 with the Canucks but that number is  taken by Travis Moen.  So Weise settled for #22.  Its been used 35 times prior.  Among which John Ferguson 1963-71, and Steve Shutt 1972-85.  It was last used by Tomas Kaberle in 2011-13.

#43 – Mike Weaver:  As a trade deadline acquisition from Florida Panthers, Mike Weaver was able to get the number he wore when he first broke into the NHL with the Atlanta Thrashers back in 2002.,  Weaver also wore #43 with the L.A. Kings, St. Louis Blues, and with the Florida Panthers.   Weaver becomes the fourth Habs player to wear #43.  He joins Benoit Brunet, Andrew Cassels, and Patrice Brisebois as the only players ever to wear #43 with the Canadiens.

#20 – Thomas Vanek:  Acquired on trade deadline day, Thomas Vanek had to find a new number seeing the only number he’s worn in the NHL, #26, is used by Josh Gorges.  So Vanek settled for #20. It’s a number that has been widely used in the Canadiens 100+ years of history.  Sixty different players have worn it prior to Vanek arriving.  Pete Mahovlich wore in the longest between 1969-78.  Jean Beliveau wore it briefly when he was first called up from the Quebec Aces, wearing it in the 1950-51 season.  Guy Carbonneau too wore it when he was first called up back in 1980 before he switched to #21.  Richard Zednick wore it over a span of 6 seasons 1990-96.  And Colby Armstrong wore it last season, his only season with the Canadiens.

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Will GM Bergevin deal or no deal

Wednesday March 5, at 3PM ET is the NHL trade deadline.  Many fans (and players) will be anxious to learn if Habs GM Marc Bergevin will be a buyer or seller at the trade deadline.  But anyone can spin any potential deal as a benefit to the club.

These are the players that might be involved should a deal go through:

Andrei Markov (D); a UFA after this season.  Apparently Habs offered him a 1 year extension.  Markov wants three years.

Brian Gionta (RW);  a UFA after this season.  Does he want to return to New Jersey after this season if he doesn’t re-sign with Montreal?  Does Habs GM have Gionta on his long-term plans?

Lars Eller (C/F); after a promising start playing with Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher, Eller’s play has gone downhill.  People questioning his hockey IQ.  But he does have up-side.

Rene Bourque (LW/RW); Bourque has two more seasons after this at $3.33M cap-hit. what you see is what you get with Bourque.

Travis Moen (LW); A Stanley Cup veteran with Anaheim, he can give a team some added depth.

Daniel Briere (C/LW); Don’t look now but Briere is making the most of his ice time scoring 11 goals in 50 games.  He has one season remaining at $4.0M.

Francis Bouillon (D); The Canadiens have a backlog of defenceman in Hamilton and Bouillon could be used for depth for another team.

Louis Leblanc (F); Buried in the minors, Leblanc is a RFA after this season and could use a fresh start with another organization.

The Canadiens have been quasi active over the last few years at the trade deadline.  Last season at the trade deadline, Habs GM Bergevin picked up Davis Drewiske (D) from LA Kings in exchange for 2013 5th Rnd Draft Pick (Patrik Bartosak, G).  Drewiske has been injured all of 2013-14 and was sent to Hamilton (AHL) today after clearing waivers.


Back in 2012, in then GM Pierre Gauthier’s last role with the club, he traded Andrei Kostitsyn to Nashville for 2013, 2nd Round Pick (Jacob de la Rose, LW).  And leading up to the trade deadline dealt Hal Gill to Nashville for Blake Geoffrion (F), Robert Slaney (F) and 2012, 2nd Round Pick (Dalton Thrower, D).


In 2010’s trade deadline, Habs traded Matt D’Agostini (F) to St. Louis for Aaron Palushaj (F).


Back in 2008, GM Bob Gainey at the time, dealt starting goalie Cristobal Huet to Washington for  2009, 2nd Round Draft Pick (traded to Atlanta, Jeremy Morin – LW), handing the starting goaltending reigns to rookie Carey Price.


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