The definitive history of the Montreal Canadiens – to coincide with their Centenary in 2009.
Before there were slapshots, Foster Hewitt, or even an NHL, there were the Canadiens. Founded on December 4, 1909, the team won its first Stanley Cup in 1916. Since then, the Canadiens have won 23 more championships, making them the most successful hockey team in the world. The team has survived two wars, the Great Depression, NHL expansion, and countless other upheavals, thanks largely to the loyalty of fans and an extraordinary cast of players, coaches, owners, and managers.
The Montreal Canadiens captures the full glory of this saga. It weaves the personalities, triumphs, heartaches, and hysteria into a compelling narrative with a surprise on every page. It sheds new light on old questions – how the team colours were chosen, how the Canadiens came to be known as the Habitants – and goes behind the scenes of tumultuous recent events still awaiting thorough examination: why Scotty Bowman was passed over as general manager after Sam Pollock resigned; why Pollock’s successor, Irving Grunman, failed; why Serge Savard was dumped as GM so hastily despite his record.
Colourful and controversial, The Montreal Canadiens is the history of a team that has been making news for 100 years – and continues to do so with the return of legendary player Bob Gainey as general manager, determined to bring the Stanley Cup back to Montreal.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: The Montreal Canadiens|
|Release Date: 10-20-2009|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Doubleday Canada|
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|Parent title||The Montreal Canadiens|
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The Montreal Canadiens
By Bob Gainey
“You can’t go back, but you can go there again.” These are the words that pushed me from decision-making to decision on a beautiful spring day in May 2003. As I turned my car into the long driveway at our home on Stony Lake, forty kilometres northeast of Peterborough, I knew I would be the next general manager of the Club de Hockey Canadien.
A few days later, on June 3, 2003, a press conference was held at the Bell Centre, home of the Canadiens, to introduce me in my new role.
The questions from the herd of journalists came at slap-shot speed. Cameras clicked and flashed even faster. Many of the questions I didn’t have answers for . . . yet. Would coach Claude Julien be returning? What would I do with player contracts? Who were the prospects in the system? How did I explain the dismal season the Habs had just completed, missing the playoffs?
There was one answer I did have, to a question which came both subtly and directly: Why would I agree to take this position? The team was a disaster. The fans were enraged. The media were on the warpath. The future looked dismal. Why put myself in this unenviable position?
The answer was easy and, to me, crystal clear; In Montreal, the Canadiens matter! In Quebec, the Canadiens matter! In Canada, the Canadiens matter!
All of that only made the general manager’s job more challenging, a point captured by Terry Mosher, also known as Aislin, celebrated editorial cartoonist of the Montreal Gazette. In the next day’s paper, Mosher depicted me standing behind the podium at the press conference being asked, “Do think you can wal