Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Today in Habs History: February 13th Edition


On this day in 1936, the Canadiens sent goaltender Lorne Chabot to the Montreal Maroons. In return, the Canadiens receive Hector "Toe" Blake, Bill Miller and the rights to Ken Grivel.

Chabot had just been reacquired by the Canadiens from the Chicago Black Hawks for cash a week earlier.

After a Vezina-winning campaign the season prior in the Windy City, Chabot had missed the start of 1935-36 season due to a knee injury he suffered in training camp. He lost the starting job to Mike Karakas and was suspended when he refused to report to the minors.

The last place Canadiens, who traded Chabot as part of the Howie Morenz deal years earlier, were quick to take him back. But it wasn’t for long.

The Maroons at the time were desperate for goaltending. Alex Connell had gone into temporary retirement and Bill Beveridge, despite a respectable season, was suffering the strain of being an NHL goaltender.

Sitting just at the .500 level, and still in the hunt for top position in the NHL’s Canadian Division,the Maroons were willing to give up some younger talent for Chabot’s services.

It was a short-term win for the Maroons. Their new goaltender carried the team through the final sixteen regular season games and into the playoffs, before falling to the Detroit Red Wings. The next October, the financially struggling Maroons sold Chabot the the New York Americans.

Long term, and it really was a long term, the deal clearly benefitted the Canadiens

Miller, who played center and defence, would score three points in the final 17 games of the Habs’ 1935-36 season and played all 48 games of the 1936-37 campaign, picking up four points. Miller donned the No. 6 sweater that season, with Blake wearing the No. 16 sweater.

With a successful lumber business in his native Campbellton, New Brunswick, Miller decided to retire in May of 1937. Ken Grivel never played in the NHL.

Blake, as we all know, would go on to have a Hall of Fame career as a player with the Canadiens, shortened by a career-ending ankle injury in 1948, and become the winningest coach in franchise history.

He retired as Canadiens head coach in 1968, 32 years after he was traded to the Habs.

Also on this day…

1946: Mauruce Richard’s four points (2G, 2A) leads the Canadiens to a 5-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.

1999: Jeff Hackett earns his 100th career victory, and 17th career shutout, in Montreal’s 4-0 win over the Florida Panthers.

2001: Trevor Linden scores his 300th career NHL goal. The Canadiens were on the losing side of a 3-2 decision with the Colorado Avalanche.

Habs Born on This Day: Gaston Gingras (1959)


Windsor Daily Star, May 15, 1937 “Bill Miller Quits Hockey”

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