The Montreal Canadiens (Template:Lang-fr) are a professional ice hockey team based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. They are members of the Northeast Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The club is officially known as Template:Lang.[1] French nicknames for the team include Les Canadiens (or Le Canadien), Le Bleu-Blanc-et-Rouge, La Sainte-Flanelle,[2] Le Tricolore, Les Glorieux (or Nos Glorieux), Les Habitants, Le CH and Le Grand Club. In English, the team's main nickname is the Habs, an abbreviation of "Les Habitants". (Note: Even in English, the French spelling, Canadiens, is always used.) Founded in 1909, the Canadiens are the longest continuously operating professional ice hockey team and the only existing NHL club to predate the founding of the NHL, as well as one of the oldest North American sports franchises. The franchise is one of the "Original Six" teams, a description used for teams that were part of the NHL from 1942 until the 1967 expansion. The Canadiens are the sole team of the four major sports leagues of Canada and the United States that is based in the province of Quebec. The team's championship season in 1992–93 marks the last time a Canadian team won the Stanley Cup.[3]

The Canadiens have won more Stanley Cups than any other franchise. They have won 24 championships, 22 of which being since the cup became solely competed for within the NHL in 1927 On a percentage basis, as of 2010, the franchise has won 25% of all Stanley Cup championships contested after the Challenge Cup era, making it one of the most successful professional sports teams of the traditional four major sports of Canada and the United States.

Since 1996, the Canadiens have played their home games at the Bell Centre, which was named the Molson Centre until 2003.[4] Former homes of the team include Jubilee Rink, Montreal Westmount Arena, Mount Royal Arena and the Montreal Forum. The Forum was considered a veritable shrine to hockey fans everywhere, and housed the team for seven decades and all but their first two Stanley Cup championships.


Main article: History of the Montreal Canadiens

The Canadiens were founded by J. Ambrose O'Brien on December 4, 1909, as a charter member of the National Hockey Association,[5][6] the forerunner to the National Hockey League. It was to be the team of the francophone community in Montreal, composed of francophone players, and under francophone ownership as soon as possible.[7] The team's first season was not a success, placing last. After the first year, ownership was transferred to George Kennedy of Montreal[8] and the team's fortunes improved over the next seasons. The team won its first Stanley Cup championship in the 1915–16 season.[5] In 1917, with four other NHA teams, the Canadiens formed the NHL,[5] and they won their first NHL Stanley Cup during the 1923–24 season, led by Howie Morenz. The team moved from the Mount Royal Arena to the Montreal Forum for the 1926–27 season.[5]

In the 1930s, the club started the decade successfully with Stanley Cup wins in 1930 and 1931. However, the club and its then Montreal rival, the Montreal Maroons declined both on the ice and economically during the Depression. Losses grew to the point where the team owners considering selling the team to Cleveland, Ohio interests. However, local investors were found and instead it was the Maroons that suspended operations, and several of the Maroons players moved to the Canadiens.

Led by the "Punch Line" of Maurice "Rocket" Richard, Toe Blake and Elmer Lach in the 1940s, the Canadiens enjoyed success again atop the NHL. From 1952 to 1960, the franchise won six Stanley Cups, including a record five straight from 1956 to 1960, with a new set of stars coming to prominence: Jean Beliveau, Dickie Moore, Doug Harvey, Bernie "Boom Boom" Geoffrion, Jacques Plante, and Richard's younger brother, Henri.

The Canadiens added ten more championships in fifteen seasons from 1965 to 1979,[5] with another dynastic run of four straight Cups from 1976 to 1979.[5] In the 1976–77 season, the Canadiens set a modern-day record for fewest losses by only losing eight games in an 80-game season. The next generation of stars included Guy Lafleur, Yvan Cournoyer, Ken Dryden, Pete Mahovlich, Steve Shutt, Bob Gainey, Serge Savard, Guy Lapointe and Larry Robinson. Scotty Bowman, who would later set a record for most NHL victories by a coach, was the team's head coach for its last five Stanley Cup victories in the 70s.

The Canadiens won Stanley Cups in 1986, led by rookie star goaltender Patrick Roy,[5] and in 1993,[5] continuing their streak of winning at least one championship in every decade from the 1910s to the 1990s. In 1996, the Habs moved from the Montreal Forum, their home during 71 seasons and 22 Stanley Cups, to the Molson Centre (now the Bell Centre).[5]

On December 29, 2008 the Canadiens won 5-2 over the Florida Panthers to become the first team in NHL history to reach 3,000 victories.

Having won at least one Stanley Cup in each decade since the 1910s, the Canadiens failed to become champions during the 2000s, their first decade without a Cup. The Canadiens came close, losing in the Conference Finals of the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs to the Philadelphia Flyers, thus ending a nine-decade streak of at least one championship per decade.

Centennial celebrationsEdit

Main article: Montreal Canadiens centennial

The Montreal Canadiens retired various uniform numbers as part of its lead-up to its celebrations during the 2008–09 and 2009–10 seasons. As part of the scheduled events for 2009, Montreal hosted the 2009 NHL All-Star Game,[9] and the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

Pour toujours, les Canadiens! is a 2009 Quebec feature film about the centennial celebrations, written by Jacques Savoie and directed by Sylvain Archambault. The film debuted in theatres on December 4, 2009, the Canadiens' centennial.

Team colours and mascotEdit

The current team colours are red, blue and white. These colours have been used in combination since 1914. The Canadiens' colours are an important part of French Canadian culture. In the short story "The Hockey Sweater", Roch Carrier described the influence of the Canadiens and their jersey within rural Quebec communities during the 1940s.[10] The story was later made into an animated short, The Sweater, narrated by Carrier. A passage from the short story appears on the 2002 issue of the Canadian five dollar bill.


One of sport's oldest and most recognizable logos, the classic 'C' and 'H' of the Montreal Canadiens was first used together in the 1917–18 season, when the club changed its name to Club de hockey Canadien from Club athlétique Canadien, before evolving to its current form in 1952–53. The 'H' does not stand for 'Habs' or Habitants; this is a misconception. It actually stands for 'Hockey', as in 'Club de hockey Canadien', the official name of the team. According to, the first man to refer to the team as "the Habs" was American Tex Rickard, owner of the Madison Square Garden, in 1924. Rickard apparently told a reporter that the "H" on the Canadiens' sweaters was for "Habitants."[11]


The home sweater is predominantly red in colour. There are four blue and white stripes, one across each arm, one across the chest and the other across the waistline. The main road sweater is mainly white with a red and blue stripe across the waist, red at the end of both arm sleeves and the shoulders are also draped with red. The basic design has been in use since 1914, with the current version dating from 1952. Because of the team's lengthy history and significance in Quebec, the sweater has been referred to as Template:Lang (the holy flannel sweater).

The Canadiens had a barber pole or "barber shop" design jersey for the year 1912-1913.


Nos bras meurtris vous tendent le flambeau, à vous toujours de le porter bien haut.

To you from failing hands we throw the torch. Be yours to hold it high.

The motto is from the poem "In Flanders Fields" by John McCrae which was written in 1915, the year before the Canadiens won their first Stanley Cup championship. The motto is written on the wall of the Canadiens dressing room at the Bell Centre.


Beginning in the 2004–05 NHL season, the Canadiens adopted Youppi as their official mascot, the first costumed mascot in their long history. Youppi was the longtime mascot for the Montreal Expos baseball team, but was dropped from the franchise when they moved to Washington, D.C. in 2004 and became the Washington Nationals. With the switch, Youppi became the first mascot in professional sports to switch leagues.[12] The terms of the deal was reportedly in the six figures.

The team has previously had children as mascots who would skate with the team during warm-ups and during intermissions. One notable child mascot was the son of player Howie Morenz, Howie Morenz Jr. Other mascots were typically the children of players or Canadiens management.

Seasons and recordsEdit

Season by season resultsEdit

This is a partial list of the last five seasons completed by the Canadiens. For the full season-by-season history, see List of Montreal Canadiens seasons.

Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, OTL = Overtime Losses, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against, PIM = Penalties in minutes

Season GP W L OTL Pts GF GA PIM Finish Playoffs
2005–06 82 42 31 9 93 243 247 1312 3rd, Northeast Lost in Conference Quarterfinals, 2-4 (Hurricanes)
2006–07 82 42 34 6 90 245 256 1119 4th, Northeast Did not qualify
2007–08 82 47 25 10 104 262 222 1072 1st, Northeast Lost in Conference Semifinals, 1-4 (Flyers)
2008–09 82 41 30 11 93 249 247 1223 2nd, Northeast Lost in Conference Quarterfinals, 0–4 (Bruins)
2009–10 82 39 33 10 88 217 223 936 4th, Northeast Lost in Conference Finals, 1-4 (Flyers)

Franchise individual recordsEdit

Franchise scoring leadersEdit

These are the top-ten point-scorers in franchise history. Figures are updated after each completed NHL regular season.

Note: Pos = Position; GP = Games Played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; P/G = Points per game

Player Pos GP G A Pts P/G
Guy Lafleur RW 961 518 728 1246 1.30
Jean Beliveau C 1125 507 712 1219 1.08
Henri Richard C 1256 358 688 1046 0.83
Maurice Richard RW 978 544 421 965 0.99
Larry Robinson D 1202 197 686 883 0.73
Yvan Cournoyer RW 968 428 435 863 0.89
Jacques Lemaire C 853 366 469 835 0.98
Steve Shutt LW 871 408 368 776 0.89
Bernie Geoffrion RW 766 371 388 759 0.99
Saku Koivu C 792 191 450 641 0.81
Player Pos G
Maurice Richard RW 544
Guy Lafleur RW 518
Jean Beliveau C 507
Yvan Cournoyer RW 428
Steve Shutt LW 408
Bernie Geoffrion RW 371
Jacques Lemaire C 366
Henri Richard C 358
Aurele Joliat LW 270
Mario Tremblay RW 258
Player Pos A
Guy Lafleur RW 728
Jean Beliveau C 712
Henri Richard C 688
Larry Robinson D 686
Jacques Lemaire C 469
Saku Koivu C 450
Yvan Cournoyer RW 435
Maurice Richard RW 421
Elmer Lach C 408
Guy Lapointe D 406

Sources: "Statistics | Historical Website of the Montreal Canadiens". Montreal Canadiens. Retrieved 2009-06-27. , "". 2010-06-17. 

Records - skatersEdit


* Indicates a league record.

Source: "Season records - Individual records - Skaters | Historical Website of the Montreal Canadiens". Montreal Canadiens. Retrieved 2008-12-12. 

Records - goaltendersEdit


* Indicates a league record.

Source: "Season records - Individual records - goaltenders | Historical Website of the Montreal Canadiens". Montreal Canadiens. Retrieved 2008-12-12. 

Current rosterEdit

Template:Montreal Canadiens roster


Team captainsEdit

Head coachesEdit

Main article: List of Montreal Canadiens head coaches

Source: "Historical Website of the Montreal Canadiens". Montreal Canadiens. Retrieved 2008-12-12. 

Honoured membersEdit

Hockey Hall of FamersEdit

In the Hockey Hall of Fame, the Canadiens boast the most enshrined Hall-of-Famers with fifty-two. Thirty-six of these players are from three separate notable dynasties: 12 from 1955–1960, 11 from 1964–1969 and 13 from 1975-1979. Howie Morenz and Georges Vezina were the first Canadiens given the honour in 1945, while Patrick Roy and Dick Duff were the most recently inducted, in 2006.

Montreal Canadiens Hall of Famers
Player Nat. Position Inducted
Howie Morenz Canada C 1945
Georges Vezina Canada G 1945
Aurele Joliat Canada LW 1947
Newsy Lalonde Canada C 1950
Joe Malone Canada C 1950
Sprague Cleghorn Canada D 1958
Herb Gardiner Canada LW 1958
Sylvio Mantha Canada D 1960
Maurice "Rocket" Richard Canada RW 1961
Joe HallTemplate:Country data United Kingdom D 1961
George HainsworthCanada G 1961
Harry CameronCanada D 1962
Jack LavioletteCanada D 1962
Didier PitreCanada RW 1962
Albert "Babe" SiebertCanada LW 1964
Bill Durnan Canada G 1964
Marty BarryCanada C 1965
Ken ReardonCanada D 1966
Hector "Toe" BlakeCanada LW 1966
Emile BouchardCanada D 1966
Elmer LachCanada C 1966
Tom JohnsonCanada D 1970
Jean BeliveauCanada C 1972
Bernard "Boom Boom" GeoffrionCanada RW 1972
Doug HarveyCanada D 1973
Dickie MooreCanada LW 1974
Gord Drillon Canada RW 1975
Jacques PlanteCanada G 1978
Henri "Pocket Rocket" RichardCanada C 1979
Lorne "Gump" WorsleyCanada G 1980
Frank MahovlichCanada LW 1981
Yvan Cournoyer Canada RW 1982
Ken Dryden Canada G 1983
Jacques Lemaire Canada C 1984
Bert Olmstead Canada RW 1985
Serge Savard Canada D 1986
Jacques Laperriere Canada D 1987
Guy Lafleur Canada RW 1988
Bud O'Connor Canada RW 1988
Bob Gainey Canada LW 1992
Guy Lapointe Canada D 1993
Steve Shutt Canada LW 1993
Larry Robinson Canada D 1995
Denis Savard Canada C 2000
Rod Langway United States D 2002
Patrick Roy Canada G 2006
Dick Duff Canada LW 2006

Retired numbersEdit

The Canadiens have retired fifteen numbers in honour of seventeen players,[14] the most of any team in the National Hockey League, and the third highest total of any of the four major professional sports leagues of the United States and Canada. All of the honourees were born in Canada. Howie Morenz was the first honouree on November 2, 1937.

Montreal Canadiens retired numbers
No. Player Retired
1 Jacques Plante October 7, 1995
2 Doug Harvey October 26, 1985
3 Emile Bouchard December 4, 2009
4 Jean Beliveau October 9, 1971
5 Bernard Geoffrion March 11, 2006
7 Howie Morenz November 2, 1937
9 Maurice Richard October 6, 1960
10 Guy Lafleur February 16, 1985
12 Dickie Moore November 12, 2005
12 Yvan Cournoyer November 12, 2005
16 Henri Richard December 10, 1975
16 Elmer Lach December 4, 2009
18 Serge Savard November 18, 2006
19 Larry Robinson November 19, 2007
23 Bob Gainey February 23, 2008
29 Ken Dryden January 29, 2007
33 Patrick Roy November 22, 2008
99 Wayne Gretzky February 6, 2000 (Retired League-Wide)

See alsoEdit



  1. Club de hockey Canadien, Inc. (2008). "Montreal Canadians: Privacy Policy". Retrieved 2008-09-04. 
  2. Hamilton, Graeme (2008-10-22). "Are the Canadiens a religion?". National Post. The National Post Company. Retrieved 2008-12-12. [dead link]
  3. "The Complete List of Stanley Cup Champions". 2007. Retrieved 2006-02-14. 
  4. "Molson Centre renamed Bell Centre". CBC Sports. 2002-02-26. Retrieved 2007-02-14. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 "Montreal Canadiens Hockey Team". Retrieved 2008-08-13. 
  6. Stubbs, Dave (2008-09-04). "Canadiens toy with game at Olympic Stadium". Montreal Gazette: pp. C2. Retrieved 2008-09-04 
  7. Jenish. pp. 10–11. 
  8. "Canadian Dictionary of Biography online". Government of Canada Library and Archives. 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-30. 
  9. "Montreal will host 2009 NHL All-Star events". 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-14. [dead link]
  10. Tarasoff, Tamara (2004-12-10). "Roch Carrier and The Hockey Sweater". Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation. Retrieved 2008-09-04. [dead link]
  11. "Why are the Montreal Canadiens called the Habs?". 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-30. 
  12. "Canadiens adopt Youppi! as their mascot". NBC. 2005. Retrieved 2008-06-13. 
  13. "". 
  14. Club de hockey Canadien (2008). "Montreal Canadiens - History". Archived from the original on 2007-12-29. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 

Further readingEdit

  • Mouton, Claude (1987). The Montreal Canadiens. Toronto, ON: Key Porter Books. ISBN 155013051X. 

External linksEdit

Template:Montreal Canadiens

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