An NHL franchise, winners of 24 Stanley Cups. The Canadiens predate the NHL, having been founded in 1909 to join the National Hockey Association. They won their first Stanley Cup in 1916 behind goaltender Georges Vezina.

The Habs were one of four teams that founded the National Hockey League in 1917, as well as one of the Original Six that made up the league for many years. They are arch rivals of both the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Boston Bruins.

As a Canadian team "Les Habs" suffer in the era of high salaries. Nonetheless, they win at least once every decade1. Stars have included Maurice Richard, Guy Lafleur, Ken Dryden and Patrick Roy. Famous incidents include the Rocket Richard Riots.

They won the Stanley Cup in 1916, 1924, 1930, 1931, 1944, 1946, 1953, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1986 and 1993.

Team colours: Red, white and blue.

Retired Numbers:

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

1. Like in 1993: the Pittsburgh Penguins should have won but the Pens lost to the New York Islanders in the 1st round of the playoffs and the Habs won the cup.

Actually, the Montreal Canadiens championship streak was to go no longer than 6 years without a Stanley Cup. Somehow, someway, they always won a cup within 7 years of the last one. This amazing streak had been in effect since the 1943-44 season. However, that streak is now dead. The 1999-2000 season was 7 years after the last Stanley Cup win (as mentioned above, 1992-93 season) and the Canadiens failed to win the championship that year.

In fact, by failing to even make the playoffs that year, it meant that the Canadiens missed the playoffs in consecutive seasons. Amazingly, the last time the Montreal Canadiens failed to make the playoffs in consecutive season was the 1920-21 season and the 1921-22 season (back when there were only 4 teams (Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators(the original incarnation), Toronto St. Pats (became the Maple Leafs), and Hamilton Tigers (defunct))).

Contrary to general understanding, the Canadiens' original name was in fact "Club Athlétique Canadien" - french for "Canadian Athletic Club", and even today is not (officially) "The Canadiens" it is "Club de Hockey Canadien". It is this name that their famous "CH" logo stems from.
Before anyone says anything it is spelled "centre" not "center", and "Canadiens", not "Canadians"

History

Dec. 4, 1909
During a meeting of the National Hockey Association J. Ambrose O'Brien with financial backing of T.C. Hare founded the Club Athlétique Canadien. Hare provided $1,000 for the formation of the team plus $5,000 for player salaries.

Jan. 5, 1910
The newly formed Canadiens play their first game at the Jubilee rink before 3,000 people. They win in overtime 7-6 against the Cobalt Silver Kings.

Nov. 12 1910
The franchise is transferred to George Kennedy-Hall, and takes the name "Club Athlétique Canadien".

Nov. 26, 1927
The NHL is founded, the team officially adopts the name "Club de Hockey Canadien" and begins to display the (now) classic "CH" logo.

Jan. 2, 1918
The Westmount Arena, home fo the Canadiens since the 1909-1910 season is completely destroyed by fire. They are forced to play at the Jubilee arena, seating 3,000 rather than the 6,500 the Westmount Arena housed.

Jan. 10, 1920
Inaugural night at the Mont-Royal arena. Built in less than six months and seating 10,000.

Nov. 3, 1921
After the death of George Kennedy-Hall, his wife sells the team to Léo Dandurand, Jos. Cattarinich and Louis A. Létourneau for the sum of $11,500.

Nov. 29, 1924
Opening night at the Montreal Forum. The Canadiens were not intended to inaugurate the Forum. Instead that job was intended for the Montreal Maroons, as it was their new home. However, a problem with the ice at Mont-Royal arena requires the Canadiens to play their game against the Toronto St. Pats in the Maroons' new home. The historic game is a 7-1 victory for the Canadiens.

Nov. 18, 1926
The Canadiens officially adopt the Forum as their home. They suffer a 2-1 loss against Ottawa in their (official) first game in their new home.

August 4, 1978
Molson Breweries of Canada Ltd. acquire Club de Hockey Canadien and sign a long-term lease on the Forum covering the operation of the team as well as the entertainment division.**

June 22, 1993
Ground breaking ceremonies for the new "Molson Centre". The building to replace the revered Forum.

March 11-12, 1996
The final game at the Forum is held. On this night filled with nostalgia, the Canadiens defeat the Dallas Stars 4-1. On March 12th, more than 140 items from the Forum are auctioned.

March 15-16, 1996
March 15th is marked by a grand « moving day » parade with a crowd of more than 50,000 onlookers followed by a pre-opening evening at the Molson Centre. March 16th, the official inauguration of the Molson Centre, the Canadiens win 4-2 against the New York Rangers.

The origination of the nickname "Les/The Habs"
The nickname "Habs" came from the owner of the Rangers (Lester. B. Patrick) in the twenties. He saw the logo, and thought that the "H" stood for Habitants, the name for the farmers that lived on the shores of the St.Lawerence in Canada's early years, so he called them the Habs, but in reality, the "H" stood for "Hockey".

The Captains
Saku Koivu                      1999 - Present
Vincent Damphousse              1996-1999
Pierre Turgeon                  1995-Oct.1996
Mike Keane                      1995 (Apr.-Dec.)
Kirk Muller                     1994-1995
Guy Carbonneau                  1990-1994
Guy Carbonneau                  1989-1990 (Co-Cap.)
Chris Chelios                   1989-1990 (Co-Cap.)
Bob Gainey                      1981-1989
Serge Savard                    1979-1981
Yvan Cournoyer                  1975-1979
Henri Richard                   1971-1975
Jean Béliveau                   1961-1971
Doug Harvey                     1960-1961
Maurice "Rocket" Richard        1956-1960
Émile "Butch" Bouchard          1948-1956
Bill Durnan                     1948 (Jan.-Apr.)
Hector "Toe" Blake              1940-1948
Walter Buswell                  1939-1940
Albert Siebert                  1936-1939
Sylvio Mantha                   1933-1936
George Hainsworth               1932-1933
Sylvio Mantha                   1926-1932
Bill Coutu                      1925-1926
Sprague Cleghorn                1922-1925
Édouard "Newsy" Lalonde*        1916-1922
Howard Mc Namara                1915-1916
James Henry "Jimmy" Gardner*    1913-1915
Édouard "Newsy" Lalonde         1912-1913
Jean-Baptiste "Jack" Laviolette 1911-1912
Édouard "Newsy" Lalonde         1910-1911
Jean-Baptiste "Jack" Laviolette* 1909-1910
*Player/Coach


Hall of Fame

Martin A. (Marty) Barry
Jean Arthur Beliveau
Hector (Toe) Blake
Emile (Butch) Bouchard
Harold Hugh (Harry) Cameron
Sprague Cleghorn
Yvan Serge (Roadrunner) Cournoyer
Gordon Arthur Drillon
Kenneth Wayne Dryden
William Ronald (Bill) Durnan
Anthony James (Tony) Esposito
Robert Michael (Bob) Gainey
Herbert Martin (Herb) Gardiner
James Henry (Jimmy) Gardner
Bernard Joseph Andre (Boom Boom) Geoffrion
George Hainsworth
Joseph Henry (Joe) Hall
Douglas Norman Harvey
Thomas Christian (Tom) Johnson
Aurel Emile Joliat
Elmer James Lach
Guy Damien Lafleur
Edouard (Newsy) Lalonde
Rod Corry Langway
Joseph Jacques Hughes Laperriere
Guy Gerard Lapointe
Jean Baptiste (Jack) Laviolette
Jacques Gerard Lemaire
Francis William (Frank) Mahovlich
Maurice Joseph (Joe) Malone
Sylvio Mantha
Richard Winston (Dickie) Moore
Howarth William (Howie) Morenz
Edward Reginald (Reg) Noble
Herbert William (Buddy) O'Connor
Murray Bert Olmstead
Didier Pitre
Joseph Jacques (Jake the Snake) Plante
Kenneth Joseph (Kenny) Reardon
Joseph Henri (Pocket Rocket) Richard
Joseph Henri Maurice (The Rocket) Richard
Larry Robinson
Denis Savard
Serge Aubrey Savard
Stephen John Shutt
Albert Charles (Babe) Siebert
Thomas J. Smith
Georges Vezina
Lorne John (Gump) Worsley
Roy (Shrimp) Worters

**There were a few other changes of owenership, however they aren't too interesting since it is only money changing hands and some paper shuffling. I included the other changes due to their significance in the history of the team. If you would like me to add the others, /msg me and I'll add them in.

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