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The Montreal Canadiens ( ) are a professional ice hockey team based in Montrealmarker, Quebecmarker, Canadamarker. The team is a member of the Northeast Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The club is officially known as le Club de hockey Canadien.
French nicknames for the team include Les Canadiens (or Le Canadien), Le Bleu-Blanc-et-Rouge, La Sainte-Flanelle,Le Tricolore, Les Glorieux (or Nos Glorieux), Les Habitants and Le Grand Club. In English, the team's main nickname is the Habs, an abbreviation of "Les Habitants". (Note: Even in English, the French spelling, Canadiens, is always used.)

Founded in 1909, the Canadiens are the longest continuously operating professional ice hockey team and the only existing NHL club to predate the founding of the NHL, as well as one of the oldest North American sports franchises. The franchise is one of the "Original Six" teams, a description used for teams that were part of the NHL from 1942 until the 1967 expansion. With the departure of the Quebec Nordiques in 1995, the Canadiens are the sole NHL team in Quebec. The team's championship season in 1992–93 marks the last time a Canadian team won the Stanley Cup.

The Canadiens have won 24 Stanley Cups (including their first in 1916, before the NHL existed), more than any other team. On a percentage basis, as of 2008, the franchise has won 26% of all Stanley Cup championships contested after the Challenge Cup era, making it one of the most successful professional sports teams of the traditional four major sports of Canada and the United States.

The Canadiens play their home games at the Bell Centremarker, which was named the Molson Centre until 2003. Former homes of the team include Jubilee Rink, Montreal Westmount Arena, Mount Royal Arenamarker and the Montreal Forummarker. The Forum was considered a veritable shrine to hockey fans everywhere, and housed the team for seven decades and all but their first two Stanley Cup championships.


The Canadiens were founded by J. Ambrose O'Brien on December 4, 1909, as a charter member of the National Hockey Association,the forerunner to the National Hockey League. It was to be the team of the francophone community in Montreal, composed of francophone players, and under francophone ownership as soon as possible. The team's first season was not a success, placing last. After the first year, ownership was transferred to George Kennedy of Montreal and the team's fortunes improved over the next seasons. The team won its first Stanley Cup championship in the 1915–16 season. In 1917, with four other NHA teams, the Canadiens formed the NHL, and they won their first NHL Stanley Cup during the 1923–24 season, led by Howie Morenz. The team moved to the Montreal Forummarker for the 1926–27 season.

In the 1930s, the club started the decade with success with Stanley Cups in 1930 and 1931. However, the club and its then Montreal rival, the Montreal Maroons declined both on the ice and economically during the Depression. Losses grew to the point where the team owners considering selling the team to Cleveland, Ohiomarker interests. However, local investors were found and instead it was the Maroons that suspended operations, and several of the Maroons players moved to the Canadiens.

Led by the "Punch Line" of Maurice "Rocket" Richard, Toe Blake and Elmer Lach in the 1940s, the Canadiens enjoyed success again atop the NHL. From 1952 to 1960, the franchise won six Stanley Cups, including a record five straight from 1956 to 1960, with a new set of stars coming to prominence: Jean Beliveau, Dickie Moore, Doug Harvey, Bernie "Boom Boom" Geoffrion, Jacques Plante, and Richard's younger brother, Henri.

The Canadiens added ten more championships in fifteen seasons from 1965 to 1979, with another dynastic run of four straight Cups from 1976 to 1979. In the 1976–77 season, the Canadiens set a modern-day record for fewest losses by only losing eight games in an 80-game season. The next generation of stars included Guy Lafleur, Yvan Cournoyer, Ken Dryden, Pete Mahovlich, Steve Shutt, Bob Gainey, Serge Savard, Guy Lapointe and Larry Robinson. Scotty Bowman, who would later set a record for most NHL victories by a coach, was the team's head coach for its last five Stanley Cup victories in the 70s.

The Canadiens won Stanley Cups in 1986, led by rookie star goaltender Patrick Roy, and in 1993, continuing their streak of winning at least one championship in every decade from the 1910s to the 1990s. In 1996, the Habs moved from the Montreal Forum, their home during 71 seasons and 22 Stanley Cups, to the Molson Centre (now the Bell Centremarker).

On December 29, 2008 the Canadiens won 5-2 over the Florida Panthers to become the first team in NHL history to reach 3,000 victories.

Commemorative 100th anniversary logo for 2008–09

Centennial celebrations

The Montreal Canadiens retired various uniform numbers as part of its leadup to its celebrations during the 2008–09 and 2009–10 seasons. As part of the scheduled events for 2009, Montreal hosted the 2009 NHL All-Star Game, and the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

Team colours and mascot

Logo used (1917-19, 1921-22)

The current team colours are red, blue and white. These colours have been used in combination since 1914. The Canadiens' colours are an important part of French Canadian culture. In the short story "The Hockey Sweater", Roch Carrier described the influence of the Canadiens and their jersey within rural Quebec communities during the 1940s.The story was later made into an animated short, The Sweater, narrated by Carrier.A passage from the short appears on the 2002 issue of the Canadian five dollar bill.


One of sport's oldest and most recognizable logos, the classic 'C' and 'H' of the Montreal Canadiens was first used together in the 1917–18 season, when the club changed its name to Club de hockey Canadien from Club athlétique Canadien, before evolving to its current form in 1952–53. The 'H' does not stand for 'Habs' or Habitants; this is a misconception. It actually stands for 'Hockey', as in 'Club de hockey Canadien', the official name of the team. According to, the first man to refer to the team as "the Habs" was American Tex Rickard, owner of the Madison Square Gardenmarker, in 1924. Rickard apparently told a reporter that the "H" on the Canadiens' sweaters was for "Habitants."


The home sweater is predominantly red in colour. There are four blue and white stripes, one across each arm, one across the chest and the other across the waist. The main road sweater is mainly white with a red and blue stripe across the waist, red at the end of both arm sleeves and the shoulders are also draped with red. The basic design has been in use since 1914, with the current version dating from 1952. Because of the team's lengthy history and significance in Quebec, the sweater has been referred to as (the holy flannel sweater).


Nos bras meurtris vous tendent le flambeau, à vous toujours de le porter bien haut.

To you from failing hands we throw the torch. Be yours to hold it high.

The motto is from the poem "In Flanders Fieldsmarker" by John McCrae which was written in 1915, the year before the Canadiens won their first Stanley Cup championship.


Beginning in the 2004–05 NHL season, the Canadiens adopted Youppi as their official mascot, the first costumed mascot in their long history. Youppi was the longtime mascot for the Montreal Expos baseball team, but was dropped from the franchise when they moved to Washington, D.C.marker in 2004 and became the Washington Nationals. With the switch, Youppi became the first mascot in professional sports to switch leagues.The terms of the deal was reportedly in the six figures.

The team has previously had children as mascots who would skate with the team during warm-ups and during intermissions. One notable child mascot was the son of player Howie Morenz, Howie Morenz Jr. Other mascots were typically the children of players or Canadiens management.

Seasons and records

Season by season results

This is a partial list of the last five seasons completed by the Canadiens. For the full season-by-season history, see List of Montreal Canadiens seasons.

Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, OTL = Overtime Losses, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against, PIM = Penalties in minutes

Season GP W L T1 OTL GF GA Pts PIM Finish Playoffs
2004–05 Season cancelled due to 2004–05 NHL lockout
2005–061 82 42 31 9 243 247 93 1312 3rd, Northeast Lost in Conference Quarterfinals, 2-4 (Hurricanes)
2006–07 82 42 34 6 245 256 90 1119 4th, Northeast Did not qualify
2007–08 82 47 25 10 262 222 104 1072 1st, Northeast Lost in Conference Semifinals, 1-4 (Flyers)
2008–09 82 41 30 11 249 247 93 1223 2nd, Northeast Lost in Conference Quarterfinals, 0–4 (Bruins)
1 As of the 2005–06 NHL season, all games will have a winner; the OTL column includes SOL (shootout losses).

Franchise individual records

Franchise scoring leaders

These are the top-ten point-scorers in franchise history. Figures are updated after each completed NHL regular season.

Note: Pos = Position; GP = Games Played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; P/G = Points per game

Updated at completion of 2007–2008 season
Player Pos GP G A Pts P/G
Guy Lafleur RW 961 518 728 1246 1.30
Jean Beliveau C 1125 507 712 1219 1.08
Henri Richard C 1256 358 688 1046 0.83
Maurice Richard RW 978 544 421 965 0.99
Larry Robinson D 1202 197 686 883 0.73
Yvan Cournoyer RW 968 428 435 863 0.89
Jacques Lemaire C 853 366 469 835 0.98
Steve Shutt LW 871 408 368 776 0.89
Bernie Geoffrion RW 766 371 388 759 0.99
Saku Koivu C 779 191 450 641 0.81


Current roster


Team captains

Head coaches


Honoured members

Hockey Hall of Famers

In the Hockey Hall of Famemarker, the Canadiens boast the second-most enshrined Hall-of-Famers with forty-two. All of their inductees are from Canadamarker (defenceman Joe Hall was born in Englandmarker but raised in Manitobamarker). Thirty-six of these players are from three separate notable dynasties: 12 from 1955-1960, 11 from 1964-1969 and 13 from 1975-1979. Howie Morenz and Georges Vezina were the first Canadiens given the honour in 1945, while Patrick Roy and Dick Duff were the most recently inducted, in 2006.

Montreal Canadiens Hall of Famers
Player Nat. Position Inducted
Howie Morenz C 1945
Georges Vézina G 1945
Aurele Joliat LW 1947
Newsy Lalonde C 1950
Joe Malone C 1950
Sprague Cleghorn D 1958
Herb Gardiner LW 1958
Sylvio Mantha D 1960
Maurice "Rocket" Richard RW 1961
Joe Hall D 1961
George Hainsworth G 1961
Jack Laviolette D 1962
Didier Pitre D 1962
Albert "Babe" Siebert LW 1964
Bill Durnan G 1964
Ken Reardon D 1966
Hector "Toe" Blake LW 1966
Emile Bouchard D 1966
Elmer Lach C 1966
Tom Johnson D 1970
Jean Beliveau C 1972
Bernard "Boom Boom" Geoffrion RW 1972
Doug Harvey D 1973
Dickie Moore LW 1974
Jacques Plante G 1978
Henri "Pocket Rocket" Richard C 1979
Lorne "Gump" Worsley G 1980
Frank Mahovlich LW 1981
Yvan Cournoyer RW 1982
Ken Dryden G 1983
Jacques Lemaire C 1984
Bert Olmstead RW 1985
Serge Savard D 1986
Jacques Laperriere D 1987
Guy Lafleur RW 1988
Bud O'Connor RW 1988
Bob Gainey LW 1992
Guy Lapointe D 1993
Steve Shutt LW 1993
Larry Robinson D 1995
Denis Savard C 2000
Rod Langway D 2002
Patrick Roy G 2006
Dick Duff LW 2006

Retired numbers

The Canadiens have retired fourteen numbers, by 15 players, in their history,the most of any team in the National Hockey League, and the third highest total of any of the four major professional sports leagues of the United States and Canada. All of the honourees were born in Canada. Howie Morenz was the first honouree on November 2, 1937. Although not officially retired under his name, Jacques Laperriere who wore no. 2 after Doug Harvey, was present on the ice in the Montreal Forum the night the number was retired.

Montreal Canadiens retired numbers
No. Player Retired
1 Jacques Plante October 7, 1995
2 Doug Harvey October 26, 1985
4 Jean Beliveau October 9, 1971
5 Bernard Geoffrion March 11, 2006
7 Howie Morenz November 2, 1937
9 Maurice Richard October 6, 1960
10 Guy Lafleur February 16, 1985
12 Dickie Moore November 12, 2005
12 Yvan Cournoyer November 12, 2005
16 Henri Richard December 10, 1975
18 Serge Savard November 18, 2006
19 Larry Robinson November 19, 2007
23 Bob Gainey February 23, 2008
29 Ken Dryden January 29, 2007
33 Patrick Roy November 22, 2008
99 Wayne Gretzky February 6, 2000 (Retired League-Wide)


  1. As of July 2008, the Boston Celtics have the highest percentage of NBA championships with 28%, and in MLB, the New York Yankees have the highest percentage with 25%.

See also

External links

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