the Montreal Canadiens are getting ready to celebrate their 100th birthday. The NHL’s oldest club, founded on Dec. 4, 1909, will have special events every month this NHL and in the first three months of the 2009-10 campaign leading up to centennial anniversary.
For all you Habs junkies (and haters) out there, we’ve thrown together 100 fast facts on the most successful franchise in hockey history.
1. Jean Perron coached the Canadiens to their 1986 victory in the Stanley Cup playoffs in his first year behind the bench.
2. Joe Malone scored the first goal in Montreal Canadiens history.
3. Henri Richard leads the franchise for most years in the playoffs with 18 years from 1955 to 1975.
4. Larry Robinson holds the club record for most playoff games played in the Montreal uniform at 203.
5. Canadiens superstar Maurice Richard was the first head coach of the Quebec Nordiques. He coached the first two games and then resigned. He was replaced by Maurice Filion.
6. Maurice Richard is the Montreal Canadiens all-time leading goal scorer in the playoffs with 82 goals.
7. Jean Beliveau’s176 playoff points are the most all-time for a Canadiens player.
8. Maurice Richard has scored three goals in one game on seven occasions in the playoffs.
9. In 1916 the Canadiens beat the Portland Rosebuds of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association to win their first Stanley Cup.
10.The Canadiens and four other NHA team executives formed the NHL in 1917.
11. In 1919, tragedy struck the Stanley Cup final when the Spanish Flu pandemic hit Seattle, and Canadiens star Joe Hall died. The remainder of the series was cancelled.
12. The Canadiens had the worst record in the league by the 1935-36 NHL season. Stunned by such a horrible performance, the NHL gave the Habs rights to all French Canadian players for two years.
13. In 1945, Rocket Richard made NHL history by becoming the first player to score 50 goals in one season, reaching the mark on the final night of the season.
14. In 1957, brothers Tom and Hartland Molson, owners of the Molson brewery, purchased the team.
15. Between 1951 and 1960, the Canadiens made the finals every year, winning six times (including a record five straight between 1956 and 1960).
16. In 1959, goalie Jacques Plante became the first goalie to regularly wear a mask.
17. When Rocket Richard was suspended for the rest of the season in 1955 for striking an official in a game against the Detroit Red Wings. Montrealers rioted in the streets, causing millions of dollars in damage. The Canadiens had to forfeit the game, and went on to lose in the finals to the Red Wings.
18. In 1956 the Canadiens established a farm team in Peterborough, now known as the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League.
19. The Canadiens lost to the Maple Leafs in the 1967 Stanley Cup Final, the last time the two hated rivals met each other in the final round and the last time Toronto won the Cup.
20. The Canadiens missed out on a playoff spot in 1970 on the final day of the regular season thanks to a tiebreaker and since Toronto missed out as well, it meant the only time in NHL history no Canadian teams made the playoffs.
21. In 1976-77, the Canadiens set a NHL record by losing only eight games in an 80-game schedule.
22. In 1995 the Canadiens missed the playoffs for the first time in 25 years.
23. In December 1995, after Patrick Roy allowed nine goals against the Detroit Red Wings and after head coach Mario Tremblay pulled him well after the game was out of reach, Roy approached then team president Ronald Corey and told him, “I just played my last game in this town.”
24. On March 11 1996, the Canadiens defeated the Dallas Stars 4-1 in the final game at the historic Montreal Forum.
25. Current owner George N. Gillett Jr. was the Canadiens only interested buyer when the Molson family sold it to him in 2001.
26. On November 22, 2003, the Canadiens participated in the Heritage Classic in Edmonton, the first outdoor hockey game in the history of the NHL.
27. On September 19, prior to the start of the 2005-06 season, the Canadiens announced that they had adopted Youppi!, the popular former Montréal Expos mascot who was left behind when the Expos moved to Washington.
28. The championship season in 1992-93 still marks the last time that a Canadian team won the Stanley Cup.
29. The Canadiens have won 24 Stanley Cups (including their first in 1916, before the NHL existed), more than any other team.
30. The team moved to the Montreal Forum for the 1926-27 season. In 1996, the Habs moved from the Montreal Forum, their home during 71 seasons and 22 Stanley Cups, to the Molson Centre.
31. The Canadiens were founded by J. Ambrose O’Brien on December 4, 1909 as a charter member of the National Hockey Association.
32. According to NHL.com, the first man to refer to the team as “the Habs” was American Tex Rickard, owner of Madison Square Garden, in 1924. Rickard apparently told a reporter that the “H” on the Canadiens’ sweaters was for “Habitants.”. It actually stands for hockey.
33. Guy LaFleur is the team’s all-time points scoring leader.
34. Henri Richard has played the most seasons at 20 and most games at 1256.
35. Maurice Richard leads the club in goals with 544.
36. Guy Lafleur has the most assists in club history with 728.
37. 1980s enforcer Chris Nilan has recorded the most penalty minutes in club history with 2,248.
38. Most shutouts: George Hainsworth, 75.
39. Most Stanley Cups: Henri Richard, 11.
40. Most goals in a season: Steve Shutt & Guy Lafleur, 60.
41. Most assists in a season: Pete Mahovlich, 82 (1974-75).
42. Most points in a season: Guy Lafleur, 136 (1976-77).
43. Most shutouts in a season: George Hainsworth, 22 (1928-29)* League record.
44. Jean Beliveau, 1961-71 is the longest serving captain in team history.
45. Saku Koivu, 1999- present is the first non-Canadian captain in club history.
46. Dick Irvin, 1940-55 is the longest-serving head coach in team history.
47. In the Hockey Hall of Fame, the Canadiens boast the second-most enshrined Hall-of-Famers with 42. All of their inductees are from Canada with the exception of former defenceman Joe Hall, who was from England.
48. The Canadiens have retired 13 numbers, by 14 players, in their history, the most of any team in the National Hockey League, and the fourth highest total of any North American professional sports franchise. ll of the honourees were born in Canada.
49. Patrick Roy will have his No. 33 retired in a pregame ceremony on November 22, 2008.
50. The Bruins and Canadiens have played each other more times than any other two currently existing teams in NHL history. The rivalry is considerably one-sided, with the Canadiens winning 24 out of 31 of their head-to-head playoff series, and all seven of the Final series.
51. In 1956 Jean Beliveau was the first NHLer to land on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
52. Serge Savard, with eight Stanley Cups, has the record for most by a NHL defenceman.
53. Larry Robinson owns the team record for best +/- in a season with +120 in 1976-77.
54. The club’s longest winning streak is 13 games (03/16/1987 – 04/12/1987)
regular season: 9, playoffs: 4.
55. The longest undefeated streak in team history is 28 games (23-0-5) from 12/18/1977 to 02/23/1978.
56. The longest losing streak is 12 games set from 02/13/1926 to 03/13/1926.
57. The most team goals scored in a season is 387 set in 1976-77.
58. The most team goals scored in a singe game is 16 in a 16-3 win over Quebec in 1920.
59. The most goals allowed in a single game is 11 (six times) most recently on Dec. 12 1995, Patrick Roy’s last game as a Canadiens.
60. Toe blake won eight Stanley Cups as a coach between 1956 and 1968.
61. Jean Beliveau was the first ever receipient of the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1965, with three-game winning goals in 13 playoff games.
62. Current Canadiens GM Bob Gainey had his name misspelled on the Stanley Cup in 1975-76. It was spelled “Gainy.”
63. In 1916, The Canadiens are identified as the “Canadians” on the Cup.
64. In 1965 when they won their 12th Stanley Cup, Maurice Richard was working as assistant to the president and is listed on the Cup as “ass to press.”
65. After winning the 1924 Cup, the Canadiens headed over to owner Leo Dandurands house for a drink. Georges Vezina and two other players crammed into a Model-T but the car stalled on a Cote st. Antoine Hill. They left the Cup on the curb when they pushed the car up the hill, before driving back later to pick it up in the same spot they left it.
66. Six Montreal teams have won the Cup including the Canadiens, AAAs, Victorias and Shamrocks. In all there have been 41 titles for the city.
67. Jean Beliveau’s name appears the most times on the Cup at 17. Ten as a player, and seven as senior VP from 1973-93.
68. The then-longest Cup drought in team history ended in 1944 when coach Dick Irvin created the punch line with Richard, Toe Blake and Elmer Lach. They scored 10 of 16 goals in Final.
69. In 1954 Irvin told the Habs not to shake hands with the Red Wings after losing the Final. There was a white hot rivalry and they lost in Game 7. “If I had shaken hands, I wouldn’t have meant it,” said Irvin.
70. Despite his greatness, Rocket Richard never won a scoring title. The closest he came was finishing one point behind teammate Bernie Geoffrion, 75 points to 74.
71. In its 72-year history 16 cups were presented at the Montreal Forum.
72. The 1989 Calgary Flames were the only visiting team to win the Cup on Forum ice.
73. During the 1971 Finals and in the midst of a five-game benching, Henri Richard called coach Al Macneil “the worst coach that I have ever known.” In Game 7 Richard returned to score twice including the Cup-winner.
74. The seeds of the NHLPA were planted at the 1956 all-star game in Montreal, spearheaded by Ken Lindsay and Doug Harvey.
75. Canadiens forward Bernie “Boom-Boom” Geoffrion is credited with inventing the slapshot in the 1950s.
76. Maurice Richard has the most hat tricks in team history with 26.
77. Guy Lapointe’s 28 goals in the 74-75 season are the most in Canadiens history by a defenceman.
78. The first goalie ever selected first overall in the NHL Draft was the Canadiens Michel Plasse in 1968.
79. Ken Dryden was drafted by the Boston Bruins, 14th overall in the 1964 Amateur Draft. The Canadiens acquired him for three players, none of whom ever played a single game in the NHL.
80. When Guy Lafleur first joined the team he was asked to wear to Jean Beliveau’s number but refused, saying the pressure would be too much to live up to.
81. While GM of the Winnipeg Jets in 1979, former Canadien John Ferguson tried to sign former teammate Henri Richard for the Jets playoff run following an old-timers game. Richard, who had retired in 1975, declined.
82. Guy Lafleur was the first rookie in the modern era to record three hat tricks in one season.
83. Between 1971 and 1973 the Canadiens went a club-record 185 consecutive games without being shutout.
84. Doug Jarvis has the club record for most consecutive games played at 560.
85. Maurice Richard and Bert Olmstead share the club record for most points in a single game with eight.
86. Jacques Plante owns the club records for most games played (556) and wins (312) by a Canadiens goaltender.
87. In 1986, 20-year-old Canadiens goalie Patrick Roy became the youngest player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy.
88. The Montreal Canadiens NHL record of 32 consecutive winning seasons ended in 1983-84 when they finished 35-40-5.
89. During the 1988-89 season, Patrick Roy went undefeated at the Forum posting a 25-0-4 mark.
90. The Canadiens team motto is: To you from failing hands we throw the torch. Be yours to hold it high.
91. In 1945, Rocket Richard made NHL history by becoming the first player to score 50 goals in one season, reaching the mark on the final night of the season.
92. In 2002 Jose Theodore became the first Canadiens goalie to win the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP.
93. Goaltender Carey Price was selected 5th overall by Montreal in the 2005 Entry Draft. The Canadiens gained their draft position via a lottery following the lockout.
94. Jacques Plante won the Stanley Cup five consecutive years from 1956-60 and his name was spelled differently every time on the Cup.
95. Larry Robinson set a club record for most points in a season by a Canadiens defenceman with 85 (19-66) in 1976-77.
96. The Royal Canadian Mint is releasing over 10 million one-dollar coins commemorating the Canadiens’ 100th anniversary.
97. During the 2008-09 season, the Canadiens will host 12 Centennial Jersey Nights, with players wearing past jerseys.
98. When the Edmonton Oilers broke the record for the longest undefeated streak to start a season in 1984-85, they surpassed the 1943-44 Canadiens start of 11-0-4.
99. A movie is slated for release on the storied hockey club’s 100th birthday next year. “Pour toujours, les Canadiens” (The Canadiens Forever) has begun filming in earnest and will include members of the Canadiens past and present.
100. Canadiens coach Toe Blake was fined a then astronomical $2,000 for punching referee Dalton McArthur during the 1961 playoffs.