Montreal Canadiens

Mon, 16 Mar 2009 03:42

Montreal Canadiens Information

About the NHL team Montreal Canadiens and Betting.

Though this group is considered as the oldest ice hockey team in existence, the Montreal Canadiens are still melting ice and swishing those pucks around the rink and into goals. Eight years before the National Hockey League was even created, the Montreal Canadiens have been blazing on the ice since 1909 under the ownership of J. Ambrose O'Brien. The team was originally meant to be an exclusively francophone team to represent the francophone sector in Canada. However, when the team placed last in its first season, changes in ownership were arranged and the Canadiens found themselves with Montreal's George Kennedy by their next year. The Canadiens then went ahead to carve the team's name on ice and in ice hockey fans' memories through the years as they garnered accolades and their first Stanley Cup by season 1915-1916. After having been classified under the National Hockey Association for almost six years, the Canadiens along with four other teams, formed the National Hockey League or NHL in 1917.

Montreal Canadiens – NHL boom years

The boom years of the NHL saw the Canadiens and four other teams, slide, glide, and battle it out in the rink for various titles. However, only three teams competed for the first season, with the Quebec Bulldogs deciding to sit out the season and the Montreal Wanderers forced to bow out after their home stadium Westmont Arena was razed by a fire. The Canadiens also had their fair share of changes, having just moved to the Jubilee Rink. The Canadiens were surprisingly fit and able to hold their ground against the other teams. Notable players in the first years of the Canadiens under the NHL were Newsy Lalonde and Didier Pitre. However, it was former Bulldog Joe Malone who shined during the regular season, eventually becoming the leagues' first scoring champion. The playoffs finally arrived for the first season of NHL and eventually, the Canadiens were pitted against the Toronto Arenas. Though having an advantage in the first game, it wasn't the right time for victory for the Canadiens and the Arenas ended up as the first NHL team to win the Stanley Cup, the O'Brien trophy, and the clout to go against the Vancouver team. More mishaps followed in the next three years as the Jubilee Rink burned down and left the Canadiens homeless yet again. However, they soon found a new home in the Mount Royal Arena, then still undergoing its final touches. Season 1919-20 was more rewarding as the NHL welcomed another team, the St. Patricks of Toronto while the Quebec Bulldogs rejoined the league. The Canadiens still did not clinch the Stanley Cup, but they finished second best in the league.

The following early years in the NHL for the Canadiens were more fruitful than their first season though. In season 1923-24, the Montreal Canadiens led by team captain Sprague Cleghorn and star rookie Howie Morenz regained the Stanley Cup. By season 1926-27, the Canadiens moved to the Montreal Forum, which eventually became their home for 71 illustrious seasons. Stanley Cups were always within reach for the Canadiens, as the team continued to grab a Stanley Cup once every decade after reclaiming it in season 1923-24. The Montreal Canadiens were recognized as being part of the illustrious Original Six teams who formed and joined the league before the 1967 expansion of the NHL. The NHL by this time acquired more teams, and eventually, teams from Northern America were included in the roster. Nonetheless, the Montreal Canadiens still toppled quite a number of American teams, proving that their francophone roots rule the ice.

Montreal Canadiens – collecting Stanley Cup Wins

The Stanley Cup was and still is the most coveted trophy in the history of professional ice hockey. However, unlike other trophies and awards, there is only one Stanley Cup, and the names of the winning teams and members are engraved on its surface every year. The Canadiens won their first Stanley Cup in 1916, a few years before the NHL was even formed. Though other teams have looked after the cup throughout the years, the Canadiens have the most number of wins and have taken cared of the cup more than any other team. Though the early years of the NHL only gave the Canadiens two Stanleys, the following years saw the cup being awarded to the team at least once in every decade. Seasons 1956-1960 saw the Canadiens drinking champagne from the Stanley Cup in five consecutive wins. A four-peat win had the Stanley Cup in the arms of the Canadiens from seasons 1976-79. A total of 24 Stanley Cup Wins have been awarded to the Montreal Canadiens.

Montreal Canadiens – notable players and figures

Of course, the team wouldn't have reached such prominent status if it weren't for the players, the coaches, and even other personalities that have made an impact throughout the years. In the first few years of the Canadiens, the team was headed by Newsy Lalonde, who then spearheaded their first successful attempt at the Stanley Cup in season 1915-16 after battling it out with the Portland Rosebuds. After the move to the NHL, the team then won prominence for having great players on board. Since the Quebec Bulldogs chose to sit out the first season, one of its players, Joe Malone, chose to play for the Canadiens. While under the Canadiens, Malone scored a lot of points for the team, however, his efforts were in vain as the Stanley Cup went on to different teams in the following three years. Malone eventually went back to play for the Bulldogs in the 1920s.

Even back in the day, the Canadiens and professional ice hockey saw its fair share of bad guys on the ice. One of them was “Bad” Joe Hall, who was notorious for spending 100 minutes in the penalty box, which is still an undefeatable record up to the present. Another tough guy of the Canadiens, 200-pound Bert Corbeau, also spent time in the penalty box.

Howie Morenz entered the rink in the 1923-24 season, tentatively at first, and even asked for release from his contract. However, management turned his request down and decided to put him up with two able but lightweight linemates Aurel Joliat and Billy Boucher. Morenz and the two men eventually made history with their skillful tactics. Eventually, Morenz helped the Canadiens regain the Stanley Cup since joining the NHL.

Player trade off has been a fairly common practice also in professional hockey. Despite having been a coach and team captain at the same time, even veteran player Newsy Lalonde was traded to Saskatoon to play in the Western Canada Hockey League in season 1922-23. However, the most controversial trade-off to happen in the team's history did not involve a change in management or player, but for a mascot. Youppi, the long-time mascot of the Montreal Expos, a baseball team, was the first ever mascot to have been traded professionally to a different league. After the baseball team Montreal Expos transferred to Washington and became the Washington Nationals, they chose to be represented by a different mascot.Youppie was commissioned to represent a new team in a different league and sport in October 2005. He now wears the bleu, blanc, et rouge jersey of the Canadiens and can now be seen skating on the ice. Youppi! is the French version of the expression Yipee! or Hooray!