Thursday, 3 October 2013

Today in Habs History: October 3rd Edition

JeanBeliveaucontract (2)


The Canadiens Get Their Man


October 3, 1953 – After years or courting and ultimately buying the Quebec League that he played for, the Montreal Canadiens signed Jean Beliveau to an NHL contract.



At the press conference to announce the signing, Canadiens GM Frank Selke called it the “biggest moment of my long career in hockey.” Selke was also proud that the biggest contract ever issued by the Canadiens (five years, and estimated to be in the six figure range) was “given to a French-Canadian boy from Victoriaville.”


Le Gros Bill had made appearances with the Habs in a series of prior lend lease appearances, but now he was part of the club on a permanent basis.



Beliveau was accompanied by financial and tax advisors, said he was happy to be signing with the Canadiens. “I will be satisfied if I score 30 goals this season.” He would only score 13 in his first full season, but would hit the 30+ goal mark eight times in his illustrious career.



The 22-year-old center didn’t get much time to relish his new contract, as he was in uniform later that night, when the defending Stanley Cup champion Canadiens hosted the NHL All-Stars. Beliveau registered an assist, when his shot bounced off the pads of Terry Sawchuk.The rookie’s idol, Maurice Richard, quickly gobbled up the rebound in a 3-1 All-Star win.




A small clip, including some highlights from Beliveau’s time in the Quebec Sr. League, is featured below.




Also on this Day



1934: The Montreal Canadiens traded Howie Morenz, Marty Burke and Lorne Chabot to Chicago in exchange for Lionel Conacher, Roger Jenkins and Leroy Goldsworthy.



Montreal then dealt Conacher and the rights to Herb Cain to the Montreal Maroons for the rights to Nels Crutchfield.



1951: The Canadiens acquire the rights to Ivan Irwin in a cash deal with Cincinnati (AHL).



1959: Jean Beliveau scored two goals, and teammate Doug Harvey added three assists, as the Canadiens beat the All Stars 6-1, at the 13th NHL All Star game, in Montreal.



Habs Born on This Day: Mike Johnson (1974)



The Montreal Gazette, October 5, 1953, Selke Says Big Jean’s Contract Highest Ever Given Any Player

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