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.