10 Facts About the Montreal Canadiens
This is a very exciting year for the Montreal Canadiens. Aside from impressive additions to the team’s roster with the likes of center Robert Lang, winger Alex Tanguay, and bruiser Georges Laraque, this season marks 100 years of hockey for the franchise. Montreal will also be hosting the 57th NHL All-Star Game on January 25, 2009 as one of the main events of the Montreal Canadiens’ Centennial celebrations. Most people who participate in fantasy leagues and online sports betting have been setting their expectations quite high and are optimistic the Canadiens finish first in the East once again and possibly take home the Stanley Cup.
Here are some fun facts regarding the team’s long and illustrious history.
Founded in 1909 by J. Ambrose O’Brien, a sportsman from Ottawa, the Montreal Canadians are the oldest continuously operating professional ice hockey team in the world.
All three hockey rinks the Canadiens played in before settling into the Montreal Forum during the 1926-27 season were destroyed by fire. In January 1918, the Westmount Arena burned to the ground, and in less than a year so did the Jubilee Arena. The Mount Royal Arena, where they played from 1920-26 went up in flames in 2000. For the sake of the AMC multiplex theatre, and all the restaurants and shops which now occupy the renovated Pepsi Forum, this incendiary trend has hopefully come to an end.
Their new home, the Bell Centre, has the largest seating capacity of any NHL arena with 21,273 seats. In 2007 the Bell Centre was the busiest arena in Canada, second in North America, and was the fifth busiest arena in the world. Montreal Canadiens tickets have been sold out since 2004, and anyone interested in season tickets needs to get on a waiting list
Over the course of the last century, the Canadiens have only ever finished last overall in the NHL twice. Once during their 1935-36 season, and once in 1939-40.
Everyone knows that the Canadiens have won 24 Stanley Cups, more than any other team in the league. But as of 2008 the franchise has won 26% of all Stanley Cup championships, making them one of the most successful professional sports teams of the traditional four major sports of Canada and the United States.
When the Montreal Expos baseball team moved to Washington, D.C. to become the Washington Nationals, their long time mascot Youppi was officially unemployed. But in 2004 the Canadiens adopted the lovable orange creature, making him their first mascot ever, as well as the first mascot in professional sports history to switch leagues.
The Canadiens have inducted the second-highest amount of Hockey Hall of Famers with forty-two. All of these were from Canada, with the exception of former defensemen Joe Hall who was from England.
Homesickness forced Montreal to say goodbye to Ted Kennedy, who would go on to become what many consider to be the best player in Toronto Maple Leaf history. Kennedy attended the Canadien’s training camp in 1941, but was traded to their bitter rivals for Frank Eddolls. Sixteen year old Kennedy missed his mommy causing Montreal to miss out on the 620 points he would earn in fourteen NHL seasons with the Leafs.
It cost $1,000 to form the Montreal Canadiens as a team, as well as $5,000 to guarantee the player’s salaries. Today the team is worth $334 million, and last season’s player salary total was $43,496,666.
Hall of Fame goaltender Ken Dryden was originally drafted fourteenth overall by the Boston Bruins in the 1964 NHL Amateur Draft. Refusing to play for Boston they immediately traded him to the Montreal Canadiens for Guy Allen and Paul Reid, two players who would never even make the cut for the NHL. Meanwhile Dryden went on to help the Canadiens win six Stanley Cups, winning the Conn Smythe Trophy in ’71 as well as the Calder Trophy in ’72. He is still the only NHL player to win the most valuable playoff player award before winning the rookie of the year award.
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