Think you know all there is to know about the Montreal Canadiens? Time to find out. We've dug into the past of the nearly 100 year old team to pull out some factoids you may be totally unaware of. Time for a Habs history lesson.
1. The Real Team Name
Montreal's hockey team goes by many names, but the "official" name is le Club de hockey Canadien, hence the C-H logo. Also, Habs, the English nickname, is an abbreviation of the French "Les habitants."
The birth of the Habs was on December 4, 1909, when J. Ambrose O'Brien founded the team. Since then, the Habs have become longest running pro hockey team, and have won 25.3% of all Stanley Cups, more than any other franchise.
3. Before It Was Called Bell Centre
While the Bell Centre was being built as the new home of the habs, it was being call the "New Montreal Forum." When it was actually opened in '96, the arena was known as the Molson Centre, and not changed to the Bell Centre until 2002, at which point the team had been sold by the Molson brewing company to George Gillette.
4. The First Cup
Five years after being founded, the Habs won their very first Stanley Cup championship in the 1915–16 season.
5. Robinson & Richard
These two players set Habs playoff records, with Larry Robinson playing the most playoff games (203) and Maurice Richard boasting the most playoff goals (83). Richard also holds the title of player with most goals scored in general, at a total of 544.
6. Fastest Goal Ever
The Habs record for the speediest goal goes to Bob Gainey, who scored only 7 seconds into the game on May 5th, 1977 against the New York Islanders.
7. Red Vs. White Jerseys
Changing a long-held tradition, the NHL switched things up in 2003 by making all teams wear dark jerseys (red for the Habs) when at home and white when on the road, which was basically done to boost the sales of team jerseys. Montreal, forever rebellious, has taken to wearing a white "vintage" jersey when at home, which has mixed up the formula a bit.
8. The Richards Riot
In 1955, after a on-ice fight between Rocket Richard and Bruins players (go figure), Richard was severely suspended by NHL league president Clarence Campbell, and fans weren't happy. Campbell was silly enough to attend the Habs' next home game, which led to the now-infamous Richards Riot at the Pepsi Forum, which caused $500,000 in city-damages and the Forum itself.
9. The Team Motto
The Habs had their own motto, which goes like this:
- "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."
Taken from the poem "In Flanders Fields," the motto can still be seen on the wall of the Habs' dressing room.