An Original Six Team
30 Fascinating Facts about the Habs
- Montreal Canadiens hockey has been around a long time — a long, long time. A charter member of the NHL in 1917, le Club de hockey Canadien was formed in 1909 as part of the National Hockey Association.
- The team was founded by John Ambrose O’Brien, business magnate from Renfrew, Ontario, who also founded the National Hockey Association. He played hockey at the University of Toronto and was a star player.
- Montreal Canadiens championships are anything but rare: The hockey team has enjoyed more success than any other NHL team, with 24 Stanley Cup victories. The next best record is the Toronto Maple Leafs, with 13.
- The official colors of the Habs: red, white and blue.
- Majority owner of the Habs is the Molson family. Known for the Molson Brewery, the family has roots in Quebec going back to the 1700s and has been involved in many business and philanthropic activities.
- The Habs primary logo has changed very little since its introduction in 1918. The white “H” inside the red “C” is one of the most recognizable logos in all of sports. (The “H” stands for hockey, not habitants.)
- The Canadiens have retired the numbers of 18 players: Jacques Plante, Doug Harvey, Emile Bouchard, Jean Beliveau, Bernie “Boom Boom” Geoffrion, Guy Lapointe, Howie Morenz, Maurice “Rocket” Richard, Guy Lafleur, Dickie Moore, Yvan Cournoyer, Henri Richard, Elmer Lach, Serge Savard, Larry Robinson, Bob Gainey, Ken Dryden and Patrick Roy.
- Holding the Habs team record for scoring: Guy Lafleur, with 1,246 points.
- Holding the Habs team record for goals: Maurice Richard, with 544.
- Most seasons played for the Canadiens: Maurice Richard, with 20. He also played the most games for the team, 1,256.
- Maurice Richard leads the Habs with 26 hat tricks, eighth-best in the NHL.
- Carey Price has tended net for the Habs in the most games, at 561 (and counting).
- Carey Price also leads the Habs in saves, with 15,264 (and counting).
- Most team wins for a goalie: Jacques Plante, with 314.
- Best save percentage for the Habs: Ken Dryden, .922.
- Collectively, the Montreal Canadiens have raked in nine Art Ross Trophies, nine Conn Smythe Trophies, seven Frank J. Selke Trophies, 18 Hart Memorial Trophies, 12 James Norris Trophies and (wait for it) 29 Vezina Trophies. Jaques Plante won seven Vezina Trophies, the most in the NHL.
- Maurice Richard was the first NHL player to score 50 goals in a season (1944-45) and the first to record 500 career goals.
- The Canadiens have the highest number of individuals in the Hockey Hall of Fame with 66.
- The Habs have fared well against their Original Six rivals throughout history:
- 360-269-103 versus the Boston Bruins
- 304-157-103 versus the Chicago Blackhawks
- 286-203-96 versus the Detroit Red Wings
- 337-192-94 versus the New York Rangers
- 355-288-88 versus the Toronto Maple Leafs
- The only NHL teams who have a better head-to-head record against the Canadiens are the Minnesota Wild, Ottawa Senators (1917-1934 edition) and the San Jose Sharks.
- The Canadiens played 2,965 games at the Montreal Forum between 1925 and 1996 — with an incredible winning percentage of .703.
- The Canadiens have done well at their new home, the Bell Centre, with a winning percentage of .582 over 856 games.
- In 1977-78, the Canadiens set a team record by going undefeated for 28 consecutive games. They won the Stanley Cup that year.
- The Canadiens recorded 387 goals in the 1976-77 season, a team record.
- The Canadiens went 185 straight games without being shut out between 1971 and 1973.
- In the prior season, 1976-77, the Canadiens recorded a franchise-best 132 points, going 60-8-12. They won the Stanley Cup that year as well.
- Starting with the 1940-41 season, the Canadiens reached the playoffs 28 out of 29 seasons and won 12 Stanley Cups. After missing the playoffs in 1969-70, the team made the playoffs in 24 straight seasons and won eight Stanley Cups, the last of them in 1992-93.
- That 1992-93 Stanley Cup was the last the Habs have won.
- The first Stanley Cup won by the Habs predated the NHL: While in the National Hockey Association, the team won the Cup in 1915-16 by defeating the Portland Rosebuds 3-2.
- The Montreal Canadiens motto is: To you from failing hands we throw the torch. Be yours to hold it high. It is a line from a poem, “In Flanders Field,” written by John McCrae in 1915. Here’s the entire poem:
In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved, and now we lie, In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields.