The Montreal Canadiens celebrated the 110th anniversary of the franchise on Tuesday at no cost.
Before the team’s game against the New York Islanders, each player wore warm jerseys for one of the team’s many legends (goaltender Carey Price wore Jacques Plante’s sweater, for example) and the franchise invited some of those legends to participate in festive events as well.
Eleven of the team’s former captains took the ice to bleu, blanc et rouge for a pregame ceremony that celebrated the franchise – which is older than the NHL itself – and its outstanding success. But it was Saku Koivu, who played for the Habs for 13 seasons and served as captain for nine of them, who received the loudest applause from the Bell Center crowd.
“I find it amazing,” Koivu told reporters before the game about Montreal’s passion for the hockey team. “I always said that this is not the easiest place to play but I hope every NHL player will experience playing in Montreal for a day or a week and they will feel the excitement, they will feel the difference, what it is here. you can create the volume anywhere else. “
In addition to Koivu, former Montreal captains Jan Kournoyer, Serge Savard, Bob Gayn, Cheryl Helius, Guy Carboneau, Kirk Muller, Mike Kenney, Pierre Turgon, Vincennes were present.
Henri Richard, who coached the team from 1971-75, and Max Pacioretty (captain from 2015-18) – who currently plays for the Golden Knights Vegas – were similarly celebrated but could not attend the ceremony.
The Canadiens were founded on December 4, 1909 as part of the National Hockey Federation – eight years before the NHL was born.
Trapping a losing streak of eight games, the Habs beat the New York Islanders 4-2 on Tuesday.