Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Today in Habs History: May 15th Edition

Samm Pollock bacame the Canadiens GM on this day in 1963 (photo: CHC)



Ownership changes and the arrival of “Trader Sam” highlight today’s edition


It was on this day in 1963 that the Canadiens Personnel Director Sam Pollock took his place as heir to the retiring Frank Selke, becoming the franchise’s new GM.


Pollock would win nine Stanley Cups as the Canadiens GM, technically 10 as the 1979 squad was essentially the same team that won the year before.

Known as a wheeler-dealer, a pair of his famous trades both happened on this day in 1973.

The two deals, made just before the 1973 NHL Draft, were detailed on, by now acclaimed author Todd Denault. The write-up appears below.

May 15th, 1973

Montreal Canadiens trade 1973 first round draft pick, another 1973 first round pick, and 1973 second round pick to the Atlanta Flames for Atlanta’s 1973 first round pick, 1977 first round pick, and 1978 second round pick.

By this point in the 1970’s the Canadiens had a wealth of picks to wheel and deal with. Pollack tried everything in his power to pry the first overall pick from the Islanders but they were determined to keep the pick, and they did selecting Denis Potvin. So Pollock went with his next choice.

However, the Flames were eager to take Tom Lysiak and were afraid he wouldn’t get to them with the fifth pick, so they traded up. Pollack’s player of choice was not Lysiak so he gambled that his player would still be there with the fifth pick.

Coincidentally, Montreal’s first round pick in 1977 turned out to be Mark Napier.

May 15th, 1973

Montreal Canadiens trade 1973 first round pick, 1973 fourth round pick, and 1975 first round pick to the St. Louis Blues for St. Louis’ 1973 first round pick and 1973 third round pick

From the same draft day, St. Louis inquired about Montreal’s fifth pick (acquired earlier from Atlanta). The Blues were afraid that goaltender John Davidson would not make it to their eighth pick of the first round.

Once again Pollock traded down, this time to the eighth spot, gambling that the player he desired would still be there, he was, the Canadiens with the eighth overall pick selected Bob Gainey.




Also on this day…


1964: Senator Hartland de M. Molson and his brother Thomas H.P. Molson sell Club de Hockey Canadien and the Canadian Arena Company to their cousins, J. David, William A. and Peter B. Molson for approximately $5 million.J. David Molson becomes President of the Montreal Canadiens.



1979: Steve Shutt scored a goal and two assists as the Canadiens defeated the New York Rangers 6-2 in Game Two of the Stanley Cup Finals.



Following the Canadiens 4-1 loss in Game One , Montreal coach Scotty Bowman elected to give Bunny Larocque the start in goal for Game Two, in lieu of Ken Dryden.  However, a shot from Doug Risebrough, during the warm-up, struck Larocque in the forehead. He was taken to hospital for x-rays and Richard Sevigny served as the back-up to Dryden.



The Forum fans were on Dryden when the Rangers put up the first two goals of the game. However, boos turned to cheers for the Canadiens netminder, once the Habs had the game in hand.




Habs Born on This Day: Andre Corriveau (1928)





The Montreal Gazette, May 16, 1979

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