All-Star Game’s rich/sorry history in Montreal

Canadiens’ Henri Richard (right) in the 1956 All-Star Game at the Forum, his first of 10, against Detroit goalie Terry Sawchuk and Rangers defenceman Bill Gadsby.
David Bier Studios, Montreal Gazette files

The NHL All-Star Game returns to Montreal next season, officially the 12th time the contest will have been played in the city. That number swells to 16 including four benefit games held between 1908-39, even if the first preceded the birth of the NHL.

The most famous surely is the 1937 game to benefit the family of the late Howie Morenz, who died of a coronary embolism a little more than a month after having broken his leg on Forum ice.

Through the years there have been some excellent games, though the last two, when the match was much more about show-biz than hockey, were one-sided follies that hardly resembled the sport they were meant to showcase.

Veteran hockey writer Red Fisher says let’s make the game meaningful once more, by pitting the Stanley Cup champion against a squad of stars culled from the league’s other teams. And Dave Stubbs reviews some of the highlights – and lowlights – of All-Star Games played in Montreal.


  1. Peter Young says:

    I should have noted Reardon retired after a season in which he was named to the first all-star team.

    Three Canadiens who should have been in the Hall of Fame long ago: Claude Provost, Ralph Backstrom and Jean-Claude Tremblay.

  2. Peter Young says:

    Thanks, Dave, for a great round-up of the all-star games played in Montreal.

    The story says of the first all-star game on October 13, 1947: “Four Canadiens were named to the first all-star team as starters: goaler Bill Durnan, defenceman Émile (Butch) Bouchard, and forwards Maurice Richard and Ken Reardon.”

    Ken Reardon was a defenceman, not a forward, throughout his brief career. He played only seven seasons in all, but was selected to the Hall of Fame. He played two seasons in the early Forties, went off to war for the next three, then came back for five more seasons. He was named to the first or second all-star teams as a defenceman all five of those seasons (twice to the first team and three times to the second team). He retired before he reached the age of 30. Later he held important front office positions with the Canadiens. He was one of our all-time greats–very tough, fearless and one of the reasons Bill Durnan took home all those Vezina trophies.

  3. mar-lin says:

    ok guys things are starting to heat up on the trade front. RUMORS i’ve been reading are jokinen,dumont,boyle and possibly campbell. Now i realize that most of this is just hearsay but this is like buying a 6/49 ticket. Dreaming of the potential blockbuster trades the habs could make is so much fun IMO. Anyone of these players could really change how far we’ll go in the playoffs. I’m addicted to the rumor sites like a kid to chocolate! Anyway I just thought it was worth mentioning.



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