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.
The Canadiens, with little practice, scored a 7-1 victory. The Swedish team was certainly less experienced, with Borje Salming the only notable among some former NHL players on the roster.
The home club did get their opportunities however, with 38 shots at Patrick Roy and rookie goaltender J.C. Bergeron. Much of that came at the seven power play opportunities presented to them, non of which they were able to capitalize on. It was an early penalty killing test for a young Montreal defensive corps, with veterans Craig Ludwig, Chris Chelios and Rick Green all traded over the summer.
Denis Savard in his first action with the Canadiens –(Photo: Andre Pichette)
The visiting club, with little time to practice, were perfect in their three chances with the man advantage. Stephane Richer and Stephan Lebeau each had two goals. Brent Gilchrist and Mark Pederson added to the scoring with a pair of points each.
Also on This Day:
1936: The Habs send Leroy Goldsworthy, Sammy McManus and $10,000 to the Boston Bruins for Albert "Babe" Siebert and Roger Jenkins. Montreal also sent the rights to Herbert "Buddy" O'Connor to the Montreal Maroons for Sammy McManus.
1959: The Canadiens trade Claude Pronovost to the Chicago Blackhawks for cash.
1986: Serge Savard is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
2009: George Gillett Jr. agrees to sell the Montreal Canadiens, the Bell Centre, and GEG Entertainment to a consortium led by Geoff, Andrew and Justin Molson. The official transition of ownership would take place on December 1, 2009.
Habs Born on This Day: Paul Runge (1907), Pete Palangino (1908)
Rosie DiManno, Coach: The Pat Burns Story
Special thanks to Francis Bouchard