Monday, 30 September 2013

Today in Habs History: September 30th Edition


1923: The Montreal Canadiens sign forward Howie Morenz to an NHL contract. Morenz had been sought after by the Toronto Maple Leafs, but word of mouth made the Canadiens aware of the outstanding forward from Mitchell, ON. He initially signed a deal with the Habs, but after discussion with his father, returned the contract and the money to Montreal.

The Canadiens threatened Morenz, stating that by signing the deal, he would be unable to play for any other NHL team. He would later have a change of heart and report to training camp in Grimsby, ON.

Morenz would one of the league’s biggest drawing cards and was deeemed the greatest player of the first half of the 20th Century.


1935: The Montreal Canadiens send cash and future considerations to Providence (Can-Am) for Art Lesieur. On the same day the Habs acquire Paul Haynes from the Boston Bruins, in exchange for Jack Riley.


1937: The Canadiens trade Sammy Godin to Springfield (IAHL) for Red Conn.


1957: The Canadiens send Paul Masnick to the Toronto Maple Leafs for cash.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Friday, 27 September 2013

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Today in Habs History: September 26th Edition


1980: The Montreal Canadiens trade Gilles Lupien and a third round pick in the 1983 NHL Amateur Draft to the Pittsburgh Penguins for their 3rd round pick in the 1983 Draft.


The Habs pick was later dealt to the Winnipeg Jets, along with cash on April  28, 1983, as compensation when the Canadiens hired GM Serge Savard from Winnipeg.


On the Canadiens also dealt Norm Dupont to the Winnipeg Jets for a 2nd round pick (David Maley) in the 1982 Draft.


Habs Born on This Day: Norm Dussault (1925), Craig Darby (1972)



Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Today in Habs History: September 24th Edition


1938: The Canadiens acquire Herb Cain and Buddy O`Connor from the Montreal Maroons for cash.


1952: The Canadiens sign Dick Gamble.


1986: Sylvain Lefebvre signs as a free agent with the Montreal Canadiens.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Today in Habs History: September 23rd Edition

1947: The Canadiens trade Paul Bibeault to the Chicago Black Hawks for George Allen.  Both teams held a right to recall their players and did so in June of 1947.

1951: In a cash deal, the Canadiens acquire John McCormack from the Toronto Maple Leafs.

1991: Scotty Bowman is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Today in Habs History: September 21st Edition


Howie Morenz was born on this day in 1902


The Habs Stand Up to the Bullies


Many say that games in the NHL pre-season don’t matter. Such was not the case on September 21, 1975 when the Montreal Canadiens concluded a weekend exhibition series against the Philadelphia Flyers.


Many say it was a strategy right from the start by Canadiens coach Scotty Bowman. Though not a supporter of fighting in hockey, Bowman knew his squad would have to hit and hurt the defending Stanley Cup champions to get their attention.


It certainly worked, as the Canadiens proved they were willing to hold there ground against the rough and tumble club from the City of Brotherly Love.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Today in Habs History: September 20th Edition


1991: The Canadiens trade Stephane Richer and Tom Chorske to the New Jersey Devils for Kirk Muller and Roland Melanson.

Habs Born on This Day: Sammy Godin (1907), Guy Lafleur (1961)


Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Today in Habs History: September 18th Edition

Canadiens forward Ryan Walter finds himself tied up in Central Red Army’s crease on Sept18, 1990. (Photo: Andre Pichette)

Habs 1990 Friendship Tour Was Not So Friendly

It certainly was not a normal training camp for the Montreal Canadiens in 1990. A  two-week excursion to Sweden and the Soviet Union was indeed a new experience for the club, but with families in tow it wasn’t what coach Pat Burns really wanted. With his experience from behind the bench at the 1987 World Junior Championships still fresh in his mind, Burns was still uneasy about Soviet-NHL relations. He wouldn’t be wrong.

The Berlin Wall had fallen but life in the Soviet Union hadn’t changed too much. It was certainly an experience for the Canadiens players to see how life was on the other side of the Iron Curtain. “It makes you appreciate what we have,” said forward Denis Savard. “You don’t realize until you come here how poor this country is.”

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Today in Habs History: September 17th Edition



1935: Le Club de Hockey Canadien is sold to Ernest Savard, Maurice Forget and Louis Gelinas. They operate the club for the Canadian Arena Company. Ernest Savard replaces Leo Dandurand as Canadiens GM.


1971: Guy Lafleur suits up for the first time in NHL pre-season action. The Habs rookie scores three assists in a 7-4 Montreal win over the Boston Bruins.



1991: The Habs trade Andrew Cassels to the Hartford Whalers for a 2nd round pick (Valeri Bure) in 1992.


Monday, 16 September 2013

Today in Habs History: September 16th Edition


Canadiens goaltender Andre Racicot finds a Dynamo Moscow player in top of him, during exhibition action. Sept. 16, 1990. The Habs lost 4-1 (Photo: Andre Pichette)



1950: The Canadiens trade Roger Leger to the Victoria Cougars (WHL) for cash



1990: The Canadiens lost 4-1 to Dynamo Moscow, on their exhibition tour of the Soviet Union. Mark Pederson had the lone Canadiens goal.


Sunday, 15 September 2013

Today in Habs History: September 15th Edition


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Maurice Richard announces his retirement at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel (Photo: David Bier)


The Rocket Hangs Them Up



On the morning of September 15, 1960, Maurice Richard took to the ice with his teammates for the morning skate at training camp. During the team scrimmage, he potted four goals on goaltender Jacques Plante and assisted on three others.



Following the day’s workout, the Rocket was spotted heading to the office of GM Frank Selke. A half an hour later, a saddened and frustrated Richard walked out.



“What’s happening?” inquired the Montreal Star’s beat reporter with the Canadiens.



“They want me to retire,” was his answer.


Saturday, 14 September 2013

Remembering Glen Skov


This past week, on September 10th, the hockey world lost another from the Original Six era. Glen Skov, a hard checking center, who spent the majority of his career with the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Black Hawks, passed away in Palm Beach Harbour, FL at the age of 82.


Today in Habs History: September 14th Edition

Dryden Calls it Quits

With two Stanley Cups, a Calder Trophy, a Vezina Trophy and a Conn Smythe Trophy to his merit, in just three seasons, Ken Dryden took a look at the two year contract he signed with the Montreal Canadiens at the end of the 1972 season. To him it just wasn’t right, and unable to renegotiate his contract, Dryden (26 at the time) announced that he would not be back for the 1973-74 season.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Today in Habs History: September 13th Edition


Imagine Grapes in le Bleu, Blanc et Rouge!



On September 13, 1962  the Montreal Canadiens sent cash to the Detroit Red Wings for the rights to Don Cherry. Yes, that Don Cherry.



Cherry had seen one NHL game in his career to that point, a 1955 playoff game with the Bruins, who lost to the Canadiens. After that Grapes resumed his minor league career.


Thursday, 12 September 2013

Today in Habs History: September 12th Edition


1979: Henri Richard is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame



1985: Bert Olmstead is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame



1990: Denis Savard (2G, 1A) and Shayne Corson (1G, 2A) each had three points in the Canadiens 5-3 win over SKA Leningrad. It was the first game in a four-game exhibition series against Soviet clubs. Members of Torpedo Yaroslaval also supplemented the Russian team.


Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Today in Habs History: September 11th Edition



1945: Ray Getliffe and Felix "Roly" Rossignol are traded to the Detroit Red Wings for Billy Reay. Getliffe retired and Detroit was later awarded the rights to Fern Gauthier as compensation.



1982: The Canadiens trade Doug Risebrough and a 2nd round pick (Frantisek Musil) in 1983 to the Calgary Flames for a 2nd round pick (Todd Francis) in 1983 and a 3rd round pick (Graeme Bonar) in 1984.


Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Today in Habs History: September 10th Edition


Stephane Richer celebrates one of his two goals in a pre-season exhibition game vs. AIK Djurgardens in Stockholm,Sweden – Sept. 10, 1990. (Photo:Andre Pichette)



The Habs Come to Scandinavia


Training camp for the Montreal Canadiens in  September of 1990 would not be the normal event.



The NHL had decided to showcase their product in the European market. With the fall of the Berlin Wall and a state of openness in the Eastern Bloc nations, the league put together a “Friendship Tour” of the Soviet Union, with the Minnesota North Stars  and Canadiens headed to Russia. The Edmonton Oilers and St. Louis Blues also visited Europe, playing in a mini-tournament in Germany and Austria.



The Canadiens players were allowed to bring their wives and children along on the tour, which made the trip more frustrating for coach Pat Burns. It was not the type of training camp he wanted. He was still tentative of the existing “Cold War on Ice”, having been an assistant coach for Team Canada in the ill-fated 1987 World Junior Championships. The recent defection of Sergei Federov to the Detroit Red Wings also did not sit will with NHL-Soviet relations.



Burns’ feelings would come to a reality at the conclusion of the tour. We’ll look into that as the date approaches.



As a warm-up, the Canadiens played a tune-up game against AIK Djurgardens, in Stockholm Sweden on September 10.


Monday, 9 September 2013

Today in Habs History: September 9th Edition


Grundman Tries His Best Pollock, Did it Work?



“When a player tells you that he doesn't want to play for you, that's not the way you build a team,” said then Canadiens GM Irving Grundman.”The Montreal Canadiens weren't built by keeping players that didn't want to play for them."



Grundman was referring to Canadiens defenseman Rod Langway. The American defenseman was quickly making his way up the ranks on the Montreal blue line, emerging from the shadow of The Big Three. Unfortunately he was disenchanted with paying the absurd Quebec income tax rates and doing tax returns in two countries. Although the Canadiens were still a successful club, Langway wanted out. Grundman had to do something.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Today in Habs History: September 8th Edition



1980: Gump Worsley is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame



1982: Yvan Cournoyer is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame



Habs Born on This Day: Rogatien “Rogie” Vachon (1945), Paul DiPietro (1970), Pierre Sevigny (1971), Trent McCleary (1972)




Saturday, 7 September 2013

Today in Habs History: September 7th Edition


1988: Tony Esposito and Guy Lafleur (pictured) enter the Hockey Hall of Fame. Buddy O`Connor, who played six seasons with the Canadiens, was inducted in the veterans’ category.



Habs Born on This Day: Gene Achtymichuk (1932), Jacques Lemaire (1945), Gino Odjick (1970), Paul Mara (1979), Aaron Palushaj (1989)



Sources:, including photo

Friday, 6 September 2013

Today in Habs History: September 6th Edition



1996: The Montreal Canadiens obtain Scott Thornton from Edmonton, in exchange for Andrei Kovalenko.



Habs Born on This Day: Bill Root (1959)




Thursday, 5 September 2013

Today in Habs History: September 5th Edition



2001: The Montreal Canadiens announce that team captain Saku Koivu will be out indefinitely, after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Koivu made a remarkable recovery, returning to the ice just seven months later.



Habs Born on This Day: John Ferguson (1938)




Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Today in Habs History: September 4th Edition



For the Better. But in the Long Run, For Not



It had been a busy and difficult summer for Canadiens GM Serge Savard in 1990. He had made one controversial trade already, sending future Hall of Fame defenseman Chris Chelios to the Chicago Blackhawks and had later sent the popular Bobby Smith back to Minnesota. Savard’s dealings were not done as training camp overseas approached.



Having groin and abdominal injuries during the season that limited him to 39 regular season games, not to mention a toxic relationship with his coach, the Montreal Canadiens sent Claude Lemieux to the New Jersey Devils for Sylvain Turgeon on September 4, 1990.



Lemieux had solid seasons of 27 or more goals in his first three full years in Montreal, but his troubles with coaches, that dated back to his junior career, would escalate from the start of the 1988-89 season.


Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Monday, 2 September 2013

Today in Habs History: September 2nd Edition



2003: Former Canadiens captain Kirk Muller announced his retirement as a player. Muller played 1349 regular season games in the NHL. 267 came with the Canadiens,  where he scored 104 goals and 143 assists, winning a Stanley Cup with the Habs in 1993.