Montreal Canadiens is an ice hockey team based in Montreal. It was founded in 1909 and it is the longest continuously operating professional ice hockey team. Montreal Canadiens is one of the Original Six teams, along with Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings. Original Six term means that those six teams competed NHL before its 1967 expansion. Montreal Canadiens have won 24 Stanley Cup championships, more times than any other franchise.
“Habs” Team History
Montreal Canadiens is the longest continuously operating professional ice hockey team worldwide. The Habs (as they nickname goes) won their first Stanley Cup 1915-16. First golden era of the Canadiens was between 1953-60, they win 6 Stanley Cups during that period. Next dynasty was between 1965-79 – The Canadiens won ten Stanley Cups during that period. Montreal won next Stanley Cup at season 1985-86, when they beat Calgary Flames 4-1. The latest Stanley Cup win was at season 1992-93, when they beat Los Angeles Kings 4-1. Montreal Canadiens is not reached NHL Finals after that.
Montreal Canadiens’ Owners and Staff
Currently, the General Manager of Montreal Canadiens is Marc Bergevin. The current head coach Claude Julien was appointed to his position in 2017 – this was second time for Julien as a head coach of the Habs. He was head coach also 2003-2006. The team is owned by Molson family (Geoff Molson as a chairman). Montreal Canadiens has one minor league affiliate – Laval Rocket in AHL league.
Henri and Maurice Richard – “Rocket”-brothers
Maurice and Henri Richard played both their whole career with the Canadiens. 15 years older Maurice “Rocket” Richard 18 seasons (1942-1960) and Henri “Pocket Rocket” Richard (1955-75) – so brothers were teammates for Maurice’s last five years. Maurice won 8 Stanley Cups and one Hart Trophy as NHL most valuable player. Henri won 11 Stanley Cups as a player – the most in NHL history. Henri Richard played 1256 games with Canadiens, that is a franchise record.
Jean Béliveau – “Le Gros Bill”
Jean Béliveau played 20 seasons with the Canadiens. He Is widely regarded as one of the ten greatest NHL players of all time. He has 10 Stanley Cup championships with Montreal Canadiens. He has won two Hart Trophies as NHL MVP (1956, 1964), one Art Ross Trophy as NHL top scorer (1956) and Conn Smythe Trophy as play-off MVP (1965).
Guy Lafleur – Cornerstone of five Stanley Cups
Guy Lafleur was drafted as 1st by the Canadiens 1971. He was the first player to score 50 goals and 100 points in six consecutive seasons in NHL history. Lafleur was cornerstone of five Stanley Cups at 70’s. He won Hart Memorial Trophy twice, Conn Smythe Trophy once and Art Ross Trophy three times.
Patrick Roy and Corey Price – two top-goalies
Patrick Roy was one of the greatest goaltenders of all time. He played 11 seasons with Montreal Canadiens and 8 seasons after that with Colorado Avalanche. Roy won 4 Stanley Cups – two with the Canadiens and two with the Avalanche. Patrick Roy won Conn Smythe Trophy three times and Vezina Trophy also three times. Many experts thought that Carey Price is the best active goaltender in NHL. Corey Price played his first game with Canadiens 2007 and he has won Vezina Trophy once and Hart Memorial Trophy once.
Other famous names
Montreal Canadiens has long and successful history, which means of course big names. Ken Dryden and Jacques Plante (first goaltender to wear goaltender mask in regulation play on a regular basis) were top goalies at their time. When we looked defencemen at the Habs – we found many names. Doug Harve won 6 Stanley Cups with the Habs, he won also 7 Norris Trophies as a best defenceman of the NHL. Guy Lapointe, Serge Savard and Larry Robinson were called “Big Three” – those three defencemen played key role in the Canadiens’ dynasty at seventies.