Remember 2019? When you could be surrounded by people in venues and not have a worry in the world. Well, on Saturday, October 16, the Bell Centre was finally able to be at full capacity for a Montreal Canadiens home game again and it was giving off major 2019 vibes.
For the first time in 585 days, the Habs were able to play in front of a full crowd and the team said it was "worth the wait." In case you couldn't make it in person, here are some visuals of what the night looked like.
Naturally, the arena was filled with fans wearing red jerseys in support of their favourite team.
First Opening Night intro to a full Bell Centre crowd 🥺🙌 @tytoff16 https://t.co/8XcrYnR9Nk
Habs land is a bit of a mess right now so who better to save it than Montreal Canadiens legend Patrick Roy? At least, that's what he believes. At a press conference, the former Canadiens goalie and four-time Stanley Cup champion threw his hat in the ring to become the team's new general manager. But not everyone seems to be on board with the idea.
"Would I have interest? Obviously," Roy told reporters on Tuesday. "But at the same time, I know it's a process."
"If they give me a call, I'll listen."
On Twitter, some people have been critical of Roy's outspokenness on his candidacy. TSN analyst Eric Macramalla commented that Roy should be disqualified from the job because of his "lack of restraint and respect for the process."
Roy spoke at length with reporters, declaring his love for the team and explaining how he understands the depth of the responsibilities should he be chosen as the new general manager. He said that while he still loves his current job as the head coach of the Quebec Remparts, he would be open to an offer with the Habs.
When asked if he would like the chance to win another Stanley Cup with the team, Roy asked, "What would they have to lose by giving me a chance?"
For those keeping score at home, Roy was the Habs goalie last time they won a Stanley Cup in 1993.
But despite Roy's storied 11-year career with the Habs, there seems to be a feeling among some that it wouldn't go over too well if he was appointed GM.
Some observers have commentedon his lack of experience as a general manager in the NHL. However, it's important to note that Marc Bergevin had not previously been a general manager when he was hired for the position.
With many GM candidates apparently under consideration by the organization, Roy would certainly be among the most high-profile and controversial choices for many fans.
Would you be happy if Patrick Roy was chosen to be the new Canadiens GM?
Shortly after the Sunday afternoon sacking of Bergevin, the team published a statement from the former boss, who gave a heartfelt "thanks" to Habs fans after nine years on the job.
"Saying farewell to an organization like the Montreal Canadiens is not an easy thing to do," wrote Bergevin. "I want to leave the organization the same way I came in: with a lot of pride."
With only a few months left on Bergevin's contract and after a disastrous start to the Canadiens season, Molson made the decision to fire the GM, along with two members of his staff: Trevor Timmins, assistant general manager, and Paul Wilson, senior VP of public affairs and communications.
"Thanks to the fans for their support, passion, and loyalty to the Montreal Canadiens," the former GM wrote.
Bergevin had a rough start to the season even before the first puck was dropped. He was under fire for the decision to draft Logan Mailloux, a prospect who was charged and fined by Swedish authorities after taking a sexually compromising photo of a woman without her consent.
After the summer drama, Bergevin was faced with Carey Price's decision to take a leave of absence from the team to enter the NHL's player assistance program after struggling with mental health and substance abuse issues. From there, nothing seemed to go right for the Habs, posting one of their worst starts to the season in recent history.
Bergevin nonetheless declared himself proud of his legacy, declaring that the current roster "is much better than the results show" and saying he believes his "successors will be able to rise to the challenge."
Some of those successors are already in place. With the playoffs already far out of sight, and only hours after sacking Bergevin, the Canadiens announced the hiring of former New York Rangers GM Jeff Gorton as vice president of hockey operations.
And it's not just Bergevin that Molson is saying goodbye to. Trevor Timmins, assistant general manager, as well as Paul Wilson, senior VP of public affairs and communications, are also being fired.
"On behalf of myself and the organization, I wish to thank Marc Bergevin, Trevor Timmins, and Paul Wilson for their passion and engagement towards our Club over the last years," said the CEO.
"Their relentless work allowed our fans to experience many memorable moments, including last summer's playoff run that culminated with the Stanley Cup Final. We wish them all the success they deserve in the pursuit of their careers."
Molson went on to say, "I think, however, that the time has come for a leadership change within our hockey operations department that will bring a new vision and should allow our fans and partners to continue cheering for a championship team."
A new hiring process is underway to find the Canadiens' next general manager, which they are hoping to recruit "as soon as possible."
This new GM must bring "significant hockey expertise to the organization," but must also be able "to communicate with fans in both French and English."
To make sure things continue to run smoothly with the team, Molson "has retained the services of Jeff Gorton, who will serve as Executive Vice President, Hockey Operations."
The Habs CEO will discuss this matter further at a press conference on Monday, November 29 at 11 a.m. at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
Holding up a sign that read "Hey Caulfied 22 & Suzuki 14 let's make a trade. Puck for a pack of Tic Tacs," a young fan got the thrill of their lives. Suzuki noticed the sign and went over to the fan and made the transaction.
The adorable moment was posted on the Montreal Canadiens Twitter account.
Suzuki's mom replied to the post and proclaimed that "orange Tic Tacs are my fave!" She suggested to her son that it would be a "good idea" to get her Tic Tacs for her holiday stocking.
With a fresh eight-year, $63-million contract in hand, Suzuki is probably eyeing a much grander gift for his mom but it's nice to see that she still appreciates the simple things in life. For those of you at home, that equals a $7.875 million annual value for that contract.
Suzuki can buy a 12-pack of orange Tic Tacs on Amazon for $11.59 right now. With a cool $7.8 million bucks, Suzuki can buy his mom over 672,000 of those bulk packs, or around 8,064,000 single packs of Tic Tacs.
That's bound to cover more than a few Christmas, eh?