The Montreal Canadiens, affectionately known as the “Habs,” are a hockey institution with a legacy that transcends sport. As the most successful team in NHL history, their iconic logo and passionate fanbase are recognized worldwide. However, beyond the familiar red, white, and blue, there lies a treasure trove of lesser-known facts that even die-hard fans might find surprising.

Let’s delve into 15 intriguing details that illuminate the rich tapestry of the Montreal Canadiens’ history.

15 Little-Known Facts:

  1. “Les Habitants”: The nickname “Habs” is derived from “Les Habitants,” a term used to describe the early French settlers of New France.
  2. Original Six Franchise: The Canadiens are one of the “Original Six” NHL teams, a group that also includes the Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, and New York Rangers.
  3. Most Championships: The Canadiens hold the record for the most Stanley Cup championships, with 24 wins to their name.
  4. The “CH” Logo Mystery: The exact meaning of the “CH” logo remains a subject of debate, with theories ranging from “Club de Hockey” to “Canadiens de Montréal.”
  5. First Non-White Player: Herb Carnegie, a Black hockey player, was denied the opportunity to play for the Canadiens in the 1940s due to racial discrimination.
  6. The Rocket Richard Riot: In 1955, Maurice “Rocket” Richard’s suspension sparked a riot in Montreal, highlighting the passionate nature of the fanbase.
  7. Howie Morenz’s Tragic End: Howie Morenz, a Canadiens legend, tragically died in 1937 from complications following a broken leg suffered during a game.
  8. The Forum’s Ghosts: The Montreal Forum, the team’s former arena, was rumoured to be haunted by the ghosts of former players and fans.
  9. The “Punch Line”: In the 1970s, the Canadiens’ top line of Guy Lafleur, Steve Shutt, and Jacques Lemaire was nicknamed the “Punch Line” due to their offensive prowess.
  10. Ken Dryden’s Unconventional Path: Ken Dryden, a Hall of Fame goaltender, only played six full NHL seasons before retiring to pursue a law career and later entering politics.

  1. The “Flying Frenchmen”: In the 1950s, the Canadiens’ fast-paced, skilled style of play earned them the nickname “The Flying Frenchmen.”
  2. Number Retirement Tradition: The Canadiens have a long-standing tradition of retiring jersey numbers, with 15 numbers currently hanging from the rafters.
  3. Most Consecutive Wins: The Canadiens hold the NHL record for the most consecutive wins, with 19 straight victories during the 2016-17 season.
  4. The “Curse of St. Patrick”: For years, fans believed the team was cursed after trading away Patrick Roy, a legendary goaltender, in 1995.
  5. Intense Rivalry: The Canadiens share an intense rivalry with the Toronto Maple Leafs, one of the fiercest and oldest rivalries in professional sports.

Conclusion:

The Montreal Canadiens are more than just a hockey team; they are a cultural icon with a rich history filled with triumphs, tragedies, and a few fascinating anecdotes. Their enduring legacy and passionate fanbase solidify their position as one of the most beloved franchises in the NHL. Whether you’re a lifelong Habs fan or a newcomer to the sport, these little-known facts offer a glimpse into the team’s extraordinary journey.

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