Canadiens will retire Guy Lapointe’s No. 5

The Canadiens have called a news conference for Thursday morning at which time they will unveil details concerning the retirement of Hall of Famer Guy Lapointe’s No. 5 during the 2014-15 season.

As part of the Canadiens’ Big Three on defence during the 1970s — along with Larry Robinson and Serge Savard — Lapointe won six Stanley Cups and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993, seven years after Savard and two years before Robinson. Lapointe still holds the record for most goals by a Canadiens defenceman in a season with 28 in 1974-75 and ranks second in career goals by a Habs defenceman with 166, trailing Robinson’s 197. Savard scored 100 goals with the Canadiens.

In Ken Dryden’s classic book, The Game, here’s how he described Lapointe:

“In the early and mid-1970s, except for Bobby Orr, Guy Lapointe was the best defenceman in the NHL,” the Canadiens’ Hall of Fame goaltender wrote. “He was strong and powerful, an explosive skater with a hard, low shot, but what made him unique was the emotion he could bring to a game. During flat, lifeless stretches, uncalculated, he would suddenly erupt with enormous impatient fury, racing around the ice, daring and inspired on offence and defence, giving the game a new mood; turning it our way. It is a rare ability, and even as (Denis) Potvin and Robinson matured in mid-decade to push him onto second all-star teams and beyond, it was a skill that even they couldn’t match.”

Lapointe’s daughter Stephanie, who had started an online petition last year to get her father’s number retired, wrote on Twitter after the Habs made the announcement: “I am beyond proud of my dad! Finally he is being awarded this honour!”

Lapointe will become the 18th Canadiens player to have his number retired. The No. 5 has already been retired in honour of Bernard (Boom Boom) Geoffrion, but this won’t mark the first time the Habs will retire one number in honour of two players.

Here’s the complete list of Habs retired numbers:

1. Jacques Plante
2. Doug Harvey
3. Emile (Butch) Bouchard
4. Jean Beliveau
5. Bernard Geoffrion (Guy Lapointe)
7. Howie Morenz
9. Maurice Richard
10. Guy Lafleur
12. Dickie Moore and Yvan Cournoyer
16. Henri Richard and Elmer Lach
18. Serge Savard
19. Larry Robinson
23. Bob Gainey
29. Ken Dryden
33. Patrick Roy

(Gazette file photo)

Habs will finally retire Lapointe’s No. 5, by Gazette Sports Editor Stu Cowan

Why Markov wants – and will get – three years and $18 million, The Hockey News

Habs’ off-season game plan, TSN.ca

Canadiens’ salary-cap chart, capgeek.com

Bulldogs sign defenceman Makowski to one-year contract, hamiltonbulldogs.com

Habs listed at 20-1 odds to win Cup next season, Stu on Sports blog

When will Carbonneau’s defensive greatness be recognized, The Hockey News

Kings prove that size matters in today’s NHL, Stu on Sports blog

 

504 Comments

  1. Hobie says:

    I’m trying to muster up something good to get a discussion going but really need the draft and free agent day to get here to do so! Can’t wait until all the action unfolds!

    One player I’ve always been intrigued with is Radim Vrbata from the Coyotes. I’ve picked him up in the late rounds of my hockey pool and the guy always gets goals and points. Goals and points in a hockey pool is one thing and playing for the Canadiens is another but the guy is certainly consistent.

    He’s a couple years younger than Gionta, he’s 6’1″ and he always scores between 20-30 goals. I hope the Habs take a look at him when the UFA market opens.

    • Habfan17 says:

      Yes, he may make a good bridge player for a couple of seasons until some of the prospects are ready. Playing in Phoeniz is not like playing for the Habs as you pointed out. Still, he could come at a decent cap hit and could replace Gionta on the 2nd line.

      I also like Mason Raymond for left wing. He would probably come in at around $1 million and a couple of years. He would provide speed and secondary scoring to help take some of the pressure from Patches.

      Habfan17

      • scamorza says:

        you know I liked Raymond too, wasn’t sure why Canucks gave up on him except for the scare of career ending injury? Laffs picked him up for next to nothing and he had a good year .

        come to Dorion suits where you get no….”hassoles” _ Yvon Lambert

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          Just that Mason was a smaller, quicker player, when the Canucks felt that they had a surplus of those types of guys. He kept not quite panning out, not delivering, not rising to the challenge, and the Canucks felt it was time to move on. Very roughly, like the Canadiens felt with Andrei Kostitsyn or Yannick Weber. Definite potential there, but enough kicks at the can, let’s see who else can do the job.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        I think Raymond will get more than a million this time. He can score you 15 goals and is lightening fast.

        He took a cheap deal cause he was having a rough go out of Van City.

        Even if you could get Raymond at 2 mill to 2.5 a season he is worth it for depth and is decent on the PP.

        Much better than Briere at 4 mill

  2. franco says:

    Over ten years a season ticket holder with two tickets in an average location, who buys alcohol, concession items, the odd sweater etc, pay per view for away games could spend in excess of…..drum role please.

    Based on two $200.00 tickets each.

    $150,000.00….no wonder people get upset.

    That same $150,000.00 could be invested and you could have over $200.000.00. Hockey and the emotions are a drain on your financial and emotional well being.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Reminds me of that famous quote from footballer George Best, when asked how he could possibly be broke. He said:

      “I spent half of my money on booze and women. The rest I just squandered.”

      —–
      Moving. Forward.

  3. HabinBurlington says:

    So the ever classy Andrew Ference has won the NHL’s King Clancy Award, a player who best exemplifies leadership on and off the ice. Obviously his praising of the Hab Fans as #1 in his heart has paid off.

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=723074&navid=DL|EDM|home

    I do get that Ference has had quite a presence off the ice in Edmonton and Boston, he is a different athlete, really pushing for the environment etc…. But that image of him giving the Hab fans the finger and then the BS story afterwards is still stuck in my craw.

    But what was the leadership on the ice? Did the Oilers improve on the ice and I just didn’t see it?

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=723074&navid=DL|EDM|home

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      They finished 3rd from last. That’s a threefold improvement.

      —–
      Moving. Forward.

    • franco says:

      Perhaps the some fans deserved the finger. It was good for a laugh at the time, remember that ‘crazy, emotional sporting events do not have to be politically correct.

      Lets not santitize the things too much.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Ference is a bum. I laughed when he was named captain. Didn’t seem to make any impact.

      The oilers are a mess. They need to move some of their core for solid vets if they want to improve. I don’t see it happening though. They are a gong show

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Sour, ridiculous news this morning.

  4. HabinBurlington says:

    Wonder if this marketing idea would work for the Islanders, place the owner Charles Wang along with present GM Garth Snow in a box and do the same until season tickets sales rise! There may be a delay in the purchasing, but I think a point in time would arise when sales would skyrocket!

    http://deadspin.com/minor-league-hockey-team-buries-owner-gm-alive-to-sell-1592982559

    • franco says:

      Islanders are doing fine, last time I looked Snow and Wang were still millionaires. They are moving to Broklyn and have a good team on the way up. Watch and see them rise and everyone be surprised.

      In the current NHL teams get their so called losses back when they divide up the bounty at the end. So much money does not end up on the balance sheet and losses can be written off.

      Players are depreciated just like furniture and this helps the bottom line. Wang is not like you or I. Also when Wang sells he will recieive the apreciation the NHL has created for his team.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Yup the Islanders are doing better than fine indeed. Oh okay, I didn’t realize we weren’t including the hockey part.

        • franco says:

          Burl, they are doing it the slow way for sure. But remember haste makes waste, they have to many good players ready to produce not to be a serious contender.

          This is not wishful thinking it is reality. Edmonton and New York are the future, hope you appreciate a well thought out point of view, with all emotions set aside, just the hard cold facts.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I don’t doubt Edmonton and New York have good young talent, but both teams continue to make moves, the Islanders in particular, which are not setting themselves up for imminent success.

            Just the last few transactions on their own by Snow were terrible. His trading of Moulson for Vanek, losing a first round pick, then trading a draft pick for Boyle who he couldn’t sign. Sorry if i don’t see these as positive building moves. Perhaps I missed something though.

  5. Old Bald Bird says:

    Whether Guy deserves to have his number retired and whether Habs have too many retired numbers are two separate discussions. Within the present policy, IMO Guy deserves to be included with the other retirees. Whether all of these numbers should be retired or just honoured in some way is a worthwhile discussion to have. However, it really would be hard to draw the line between being ‘forever retired’ and being ‘significantly honoured’. We’d probably mostly agree on the big 3 of Richard, Beliveau and Lafleur, but where do you go from there?

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Great post Bird. I think you go on to Harvey, Robinson, Sevard………

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I don’t quite understand why it is a big deal that the new players will need to wear a double digit number and make it their own. Is Gretzky’s 99 not a well respected number which everyone knows what it means? Lemieux’s 66 the same!

      PK Subban has made 76 a household number among Hab fans, Crosby is doing that to 87.

      The outrage that new players need to embody a new different number is perplexing to me.

      I love the fact the Habs have these retired numbers, and hopefully the current players will see the numbers above them and strive to one day make their number have a place in those rafters. There is still plenty of numbers between 1 and 99 not retired by the Habs.

      Agree with you Bird, the present policy is set, and Lapointe is deserving of that honour.

    • franco says:

      I think they should retire ‘teams’ then redo the logo.

      The 50’s teams would be hanging from the rafters.

      The 60’s teams would be hanging from the rafters.

      The 70’s teams would be hanging from the rafters.

      And the 2000 teams would be hanging from somewhere else.

      Just think of the financial boon that would be for the Canadiens with all those old sweaters that could be sold.

    • Cal says:

      It’s good to remember these greats were not alone on the ice and had other great players supporting them.
      These players deserve recognition for their contribution.

  6. Habfan10912 says:

    Good morning all! Guy’s daughter, Stephanie led a campaign for her Dad’s number to get retired. She certainly played some part in moving this forward. Good on her. Our own HiS has taken a similar role in getting Toe Blake number/name retired as well.

    Many posters have suggested that this is way overdue. I agree. Doesn’t it beg the question as to why it hasn’t happen. Is it simply out of sight out of mind as the years since Toe have now flown by and those that had seen him play/coach have now parished?

  7. Phil C says:

    There are some really great players being dangled as trade bait this year, but the Habs would need to give up significant assets in return to get them. As much as I would like a Kessler or Letang on the team, I feel the Habs are still not deep enough in picks and prospects to make such a trade.

    Letang is intriguing because he is young and signed long term and I believe his health issues are behind him. A one-two punch of Subban and Letang one the ice for every shift for the next 8 years is very intriguing, it could help make the team a perennial contender like the Blackhawks and Sharks. I’m just not sure the Habs have what they would need in return without giving up too much.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Morning Phil. Yeah, I agree the lack of depth really makes making such a trade too risky in my opinion. Letang is tempting though, eh?

    • franco says:

      Phil, just one small point…..I would say ‘according to the rumor mill and bored talking radio and television heads, these rumors, mostly unfounded and unsustantiated are out there for the sake of discussion and wishful thinking, because ‘dead air’ does not sell sponsor spots.

      So it no manager has actually said, that I can see, we are moving so and so for any dreg of a player you may have, then I would it in the special spot called ‘wishful, hopeful. and delustional thinking.

      wjc

  8. DipsyDoodler says:

    I know this is going to be unpopular, but I don’t think the team should be called Les Canadiens.

    I realize its our tradition but why can’t we be named after some sort of fierce animal? Or a meteorological phenomenon?

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

  9. Bash says:

    From Hockeyfutures:

    David Makowski, Defence, Denver (6’1″ 205 lbs): The 24-year-old senior plays in all situations for the Pioneers. On offence he has a hard slapshot, and makes smart heads up passes. He is strong defensively as well and is willing to throw some big hits when given the opportunity. However it is his poise, positioning and experience in his own zone that makes him most effective. He’s battled some concussion issues in the past and that may be a red flag but has been healthy all this season.

    “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

  10. Tis the Season

    Nikita Nikitin

    My favourite Expo was Gary Carter.

    Shane Oliver
    @sholi2000
    http://www.sholi2000.com
    A Little fun during the Intermission
    Brandon Predators End Season Video

  11. DipsyDoodler says:

    The Montreal Canadiens have a long-standing tradition of retiring especially successful players’ numbers.

    They hang an oversized copy of the player’s numbered jersey on the ceiling of their home arena, and no longer use that number for active players.

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

  12. Habfan17 says:

    The Canadians signed David Makowski yesterday to a 1 year AHL contract. He is a 6’1″ 205 lb right handed defenceman. He has put up decent numbers and appears to have some sandpaper.
    42 games, 24 points, 48 pims.

    I am wondering if they signed him in anticipation that Pateryn will stick in Montreal next season, or in anticipation of a trade.

    Currently, the Habs have many right handed defencemen, Dietz, Ellis, Pateryn, Thrower, Didier, Sullivan and Nygren. Nygren won’t be playing in Hamilton so he is a moot point. They only have Bennnett, Drewiski, Tinordi, and Beaulieu on the left side.

    Maybe some food for thought!!

    http://hamiltonbulldogs.com/pressbox/news/?article_id=780

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=116533

    Habfan17

    • 24 Cups says:

      Realistically, Montreal only has Pateryn of the right side and maybe Thrower a few years down the road.

      As for the left, it’s strictly Tinordi and Beaulieu.

      Everybody else is basically cannon fodder.

      24 Cups

      • Habfan17 says:

        You may be correct, I still find it funny they sign another right handed defenceman. I am still thinking that Nygren will be a very good one! Maybe Detroit would want him!

        Habfan17

        • Captain aHab says:

          I really hope they don’t sell low on Nygren before actually trying him out at the NHL level.

          —————-
          Prepare to be boarded!!

          • Habfan17 says:

            I hope not, they already gave away McDonough. Trading Kristo and Collberg may also bite them in the butt! The Habs used to be deep on right wing prospects, not so much anymore!

            Habfan17

    • Chris says:

      Just a technical point: Makowski was not signed by the Montreal Canadiens. He was signed to a one-way AHL contract with the Hamilton Bulldogs, meaning that he cannot be called up to the NHL. For that to happen, an NHL team would have to buy his contract from the Bulldogs, something that any of the 30 NHL teams would be allowed to do.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I’ve been wondering about the abundance of second-tier RD prospects for a couple of years now. It seems the strategy from the Canadiens and Trevor Timmins has been that since we have two blue-chippers on D who are lefties, let’s load up on right-hand longshots, if one or two of these pan out we’ll be in business.

      As you’ve listed, that’s a lot of righties we have swarming at Hamilton, and as Chris has pointed out before, probably too many to develop, so we should draw on this pool to strengthen the forwards for the Bulldogs.

      And if a few of the d-men take that next step and progress well this season, and we have more ammo to deal with in trade talks, that’s a good position to deal with.

  13. rhino514 says:

    The Hockey News article has really brought to life the fact that Markov is going to cost the habs quite a bit of money.
    I thought there would be a bit of loyalty on Marky´s side as he played only 20 games over 2 years while the habs gave him megabucks. So I realize there is no such thing as loyalty anymore.

    As has been pointed out, he just isn´t the same player by the time the playoffs roll around. And the playoffs, I think we can all agree, are what counts. We want to see the team be solid enough to threaten for the Cup, the way this year´s team managed to do.
    Problem is by next year´s playoffs, Marky could well be yet another half step slower.
    He is also at an age where performance can decline precipitously. There is no guarantee that next october will see the same Markov we saw this year. If we are fairly lucky, he has one more good year left in him, and if we are very lucky, perhaps two.
    The biggest problem on this team is the lack of a top-notch top four, and we need his minutes, even though they are not great minutes anymore. It´s the veteran poise in crucial minutes which we cannot replace, even if from a purely skills point of view, he is not that irreplaceable anymore.
    His importance on the PP, the main reason I suggested why we should never get rid of Markov in recent years, is also diminishing, as Subban takes on more and more leadership in this aspect. The PP finished I believe thirteenth, unthinkable with both Subban and Markov on the unit.
    Most players try to cash in on their last multi-year deal which is understandable, but giving Markov more than 10 million for 2 years at this point in time, hurts the team. It could be the difference, this year, between going out or trading for a top notch top six forward, or having to settle for a top six gamble with some holes in his game, who may or may not come through.
    It also underscores how McDonagh will forever haunt us, forcing us to overpay for minutes which the classy veteran can no longer replace.
    This can all be somewhat mitigated if one of Beaulieu, Tinordi, or Emelin asserts himself next season, but poise and decision making take years to hone in the case of the kids, and Emelin hasn´t been quite the same since The Hit.

    • Habfan17 says:

      Good morning Rhino! Love the post. Well articulated and expresses my concerns as well. I am not sure that for the money it appears it will take to sign Markov, he is worth it. I am not one of those who think the team will slide backwards with him gone. There will be some growing pains, but teams go through those all the time. I think there is enough depth and leadership to get them through it.

      The Habs could sign Tom Gilbert, who can play the 2nd pairing right hand spot and he will cost less and would probably accept a 2 year term. That would help alleviate the loss of Markov and fill a hole, allowing Emelin to move back to the left side where he plays better.

      Yes, Some GM will throw big money and possibly term to Markov, especially if they feel they are one piece away from going the distance. That does not mean he is worth it or that the Habs should do the same. Our Habs are not one piece away!
      Habfan17

    • Captain aHab says:

      If they give him what he wants AND a NTC/NMC, then it’ll be completely ridiculous. If we’re gonna pay through the nose, then retain the ability to trade him at the next deadline if a kid shows lots of promise/evolution.

      —————-
      Prepare to be boarded!!

    • Bash says:

      Agreed

      “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

  14. BJ says:

    Do the missing numbers on the ice that are displayed in the heights of the “Cathedral” contribute to the mystique of the Habs? I would say yes. It carries you to a time beyond present reality when all the stories we have heard about those greats is gospel.

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      Definitely.

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      BJ, re Toe Blake. Do you agree He should there too ?

      • BJ says:

        I never saw him play. He was such a big part of the team both as a player and coach. We are all very nostalgic about the Habs, so its a difficult call. From what I have read he was certainly as good as Moore, Geoffrion, Savard and now Lapointe. So why not?

        • Habitant in Surrey says:

          I think He was a better coach than Scotty Bowman. That alone should be reason to honor Him in My opinion. 8 of Our Stanley Cups. He was the Coach of one-third of Our 24 Stanley Cups. Plus, of course, His quality as a Player.

          Really puzzling the Habs have not held a special night to honor Him.

          Well, I’m going to do My best to fix that :)

          • BJ says:

            I would support it. He has that mystique factor. I met him a number of times. I have a few good shots of him. He would visit the dressing room in the 80’s and he would look around quietly and then leave towards the Alexi Nihon Plaza. He unfortunately was stricken with alzheimers and was not always coherent when you spoke with him. Isn’t getting late in your corner of the world? I have to get out of bed and put the Ipad away and get going soon.

  15. Habitant in Surrey says:

    So… after Toe’s number ‘6’ is retired, the only number to be not ‘retired’ will be number 8 between 1 to 10

    …next ?, retire Dickie Duff’s number 8 ??? :)

    • BJ says:

      Jackie Leclair, Bill Hicke.

      • Habitant in Surrey says:

        :) You have an elephantine memory BJ

        Don’t remember Jackie Leclair, but Billy Hicke arrived as a rookie and lived in My then NDG apartment building (as did Terry Harper and John Ferguson), and would shinny with Me and My Friends on the outdoor rink across the street.

        I guess I was 13 or 14 about then.

        Yeah, I guess I should start a campaign for Billy rather than Dickie :)

        • BJ says:

          Lucky guy, that was all our dream and fantasy as youngsters. It can’t get any better than that cold winter air on an outdoor rink with a real Habs player on the ice with you. Great stuff.

          • Habitant in Surrey says:

            It seemed like He circled the ice in a few strides. He was incredibly fast.

            John would come to My door to give Me His tickets for the Forum. A seat behind one of those columns, but wow was I popular among My friends :)

            When John moved, and no more tickets to bring a friend to the game with Me, not as popular :)

          • BJ says:

            From all the players I’ve ever met John Ferguson was the most generous and genuine. He was true to his word.

  16. Un Canadien errant says:

    Dale Weise, from RDS’ website.

    http://www.rds.ca/hockey/canadiens/je-suis-fou-de-joie-1.1160278

    « Je suis fou de joie, a-t-il exprimé dans une entrevue à RDS mardi. Le simple fait de revenir à Montréal ferait mon bonheur, mais d’obtenir un contrat de deux ans, c’est encore mieux. Je viens de passer à travers quatre saisons avec autant d’ententes d’un an, alors cette nouvelle stabilité est bien appréciée! J’ai déjà hâte de recommencer, je suis prêt. »

    Translated: “I’m overjoyed. Simply returning to Montréal would have been plenty, but getting a two-year deal, that’s even better. I just played four seasons on one-year deals, so this new stability is much appreciated! I can’t wait to get back at it, I’m ready.”

    « Les séries à Montréal, c’était malade. Tous ces drapeaux sur les voitures… Ma femme et moi ne pouvions pas faire deux mètres sur le trottoir sans se faire arrêter sur la rue. Chaque match au Centre Bell était débile. C’est indescriptible, un rêve devenu réalité. »

    “The playoffs in Montréal are crazy. All the flags on the cars… My wife and I couldn’t take two steps on the sidewalk without getting stopped. Every game at the Bell Centre was wild. It’s indescribable, a dream come true.”

    « Si Carey ne s’était pas blessé, il aurait facilement été le joueur par excellence des séries et on pourrait être en train de célébrer une conquête de la coupe Stanley au lieu d’un nouveau contrat. Je crois que ce parcours en séries aura un énorme impact sur l’avenir de cette équipe. C’est une expérience qui ne peut être que bénéfique. »

    “If Carey hadn’t been injured, he easily would have been the MVP in the playoffs and we could be celebrating a Stanley Cup win instead of a new contract. I think this playoff run will have an enormous impact on the team’s future. It’s an experience that can only be beneficial.”

    So very positive news for Habs fans. A lot of pundits think Montréal is not a likely destination for players if they have to choose, since they’d rather avoid the ‘fishbowl’ that it is, the constant scrutiny from the media and fans. We all remember Carey Price’s ‘hobbit in a hole’ comments from last season.

    Dale Weise, however, has a different take. He loves the attention, the pressure, the noise at the New Forum. He’s played in New York and Vancouver, and could be forgiven for wanting a lower profile in his next port of call. Instead, he thrives on the adulation, and wants more.

    Something that’s important to consider is that his father is a rabid Canadiens fan, always was, much before Dale ever slipped on the bleu-blanc-rouge. Dale grew up wishing, wanting to be a Canadien.

    I often mention that it’s important to have homegrown players, partly because they’ll tend to have this emotional attachment to the Habs. Now, some players can be overwhelmed by the pressure of playing for their childhood favourite team, in front of family and friends. Stéphane Richer struggled with it. Benoit Pouliot may not have had the right personality to deal with it. Guillaume Latendresse went the other way, and maybe enjoyed the attention and perks a little too much. Generally though, instead of importing mercenaries who only care about getting paid on time, who don’t feel passionate about the Canadiens, let’s get homeboys who do care about this team. Or Manitoba boys, same thing.

    The other point is that I’m not the only crazy out there who thinks the Canadiens got jobbed when they lost Carey Price. Or rather, when he was taken from us. I’d be foaming at the mouth when TSN and HNIC were constructing this ‘team of destiny’ narrative for the Rangers, how it was a team that pulled together in the face of tragedy, how they had a nonpareil goalie who would take them to the next level. I’d scream at my TV that the results were queered, there was no destiny, no excellence there.

    If Travis Moen had kypreosed Henrik Lundqvist’s ACL in Game 1, and the Canadiens had coasted to a four or five game series win, none of this stuff they were spouting would have applied, would have been dreamed up. Now the Canadiens would have been the team of destiny, the little engine that could. The narrative would have been about the Cinderella teams in Habs history, in ’71, ’86, ’93. How when the Canadiens were on a roll, when the Ghosts were about, nothing you would do could stop it.

    So yeah, thanks Dalesy, glad to know I’m not the only one.

    ———————————————————————–
    My sources are unreliable, but their info is fascinating.–Woody Paige

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      Love Ya Norm ! …You’re as crazy as I am :)

    • rhino514 says:

      Yes, it kills me when all the posters came back on the site the day after our elimination saying the habs still need to get bigger and are nowehere close to a Cup.
      No doubt in my mind they win the Rangers series with Price, and as I said before, three overtime games in the Final; if you believe as I do that we are a goal better than the Rags when healthy, some of those games never get to overtime. Definitely think, that at the very least, it would have been a long series.
      Now all we hear is how the Kings won because they are big.
      It would have been great to bury that theory once and for all by beating them. How ingrained is this belief? Beating the big and oafish Bruins, the best team in the league, was not enough to dispell it.

    • plum says:

      Yes, it’s awesome to have players who are passionate about playing for the Habs. And, like Dale Weise, they don’t necessarily have to be from Quebec. Just look at PK Subban, he grew up in Toronto as a Canadiens fan.

  17. howiemorenz7 says:

    I liked Guy. But Larry and Serge were *miles* ahead of him. I disagree with this one.

    Maroons Suck. #7 foreva.

  18. Un Canadien errant says:

    This is another instance of HIO being split into two camps on an issue and talking at cross-purposes to each other.

    One side says there are too many jerseys retired, they don’t like seeing linebacker or offensive linemen numbers on player sweaters.

    The other side says “Are you crazy, Guy Lapointe was a great player!”

    And we go around and around, with the former faction talking about hockey numbers, about different kinds of ways we can honour former greats, about the Toronto-method. Jean Béliveau being open and direct in offering to take his number out of mothballs, telling Vincent Lecavalier he could have it.

    The other camp is greatly offended that a player with multiple Stanley Cups, who was a major part of the 1976-79 dynasty, who was great with the puck, yet could play tough, is being slighted by those who would begrudge him this honour.

    Let’s get it straight: Everyone at HIO thinks Guy Lapointe was a great hockey player, and deserved to be honoured in such a manner or otherwise, it was long overdue. A subset of this group who think that Guy was awesome kind of thinks that maybe we shouldn’t be retiring numbers at all though, or maybe it should be restricted to a very select few.

    I’m part of the subset. Hall of Fame great Howie Morenz died playing for the team, his number doesn’t get used anymore.

    Neither does Maurice Richard’s ‘9’. L’idole d’un peuple. Symbol for a few generations of Quebecers. Catalyst for social change. He was larger than life. His jersey shouldn’t be worn by any other Canadiens.

    Jean Béliveau, almost two decades as the consummate star professional, and a decade as captain. Embodied class, was respected by foes and admired by all. Bridged the fifties, sixties and seventies generations. No one uses his jersey.

    All the other players can be remembered in different, other ways.

    Having said that, I don’t imagine we’re going back, the course is set, so I can live with it. I understand my rant will change nothing, so I can tilt at other windmills.

    Like how the Hockey Hall of Fame should be reserved for great players only. Then I remember. Dino Ciccarelli. That ship has sailed too.

    ———————————————————————–
    My sources are unreliable, but their info is fascinating.–Woody Paige

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      I believe the only unwearable numbers to never be worn again are Richard’s, Beliveau’s, Morenz’ and Lafleur’s as well

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        I really, really struggle with Guy Lafleur. Man, what a player, a competitor. I didn’t see Maurice Richard play, and I barely, faintly remember the very end of Jean Béliveau’s career, so for me, no player was ever loved by fans as much as Guy.

        The last few seasons though, the retirement, the grumbling and blaming of other for his downfall, the unretirement, playing for the Nordiques…

        If he’d eased off into retirement like Joe Sakic or Steve Yzerman did, I’d be okay with his number being retired. As it stands, I feel comfortable with the three I listed.

        • Habitant in Surrey says:

          Sorry Norm, You would be in the small minority on that one. I saw all except Morenz. I thought no future Habs’ Player would exceed the passion felt for Richard or Beliveau, but warts and all, Guy Lafleur was like fireworks in the sky, spectacular and unforgettable to His generation.

          All 4 are core to Our emotions for the Montreal Canadiens.

          • BJ says:

            I obviously never saw Morenz play (although some mornings feel as if I was at opening game at the Jubilee Arena when the Canadiens won their first game of the 1909-10 season vs Cobalt) but I did have the chance to speak for a couple of hours with an ex teammate of Howie Morenz. Paul Marcel Raymond was a rookie who played on the same team. He told me that Morenz was revered by the players. His speed and charisma were extraordinary. I could see in his eyes and face all the admiration and respect he carried for Morenz as he spoke about him.

          • Habitant in Surrey says:

            That’s the problem with time,isn’t it BJ ?

            I am a passionate Habs Fan. Have been for 60+ years now, but Morenz to Me is only someone I read about. I can’t ‘feel’ what He must have been like as a Player, or relate with those who idolized Him.

            I guess, at some point, future Montreal Canadiens’ Fans will think or ‘feel’ the same about Richard, Beliveau or Lafleur.

            Seems incomprehensible now, but it will, someday, cruelly come to pass.

          • Chris says:

            Aurele Joliat elicited that passion too, but he was easily forgotten because he played before your generation were fans. His number was retired in 1984, but the team “lost” that retirement.

            I don’t think Jean Beliveau had any problem with sharing his jersey number in the rafters with Joliat, but I somehow think that many of the Habs brass did. Joliat and Morenz personified the early Montreal Canadiens and basically helped create the fan-base in the first place.

        • BJ says:

          The Rocket I saw play for many years. He was electrifying, Lafleur also had that quality but a notch down. The Rocket was loved and adored as the defender of the underdog French Canadian vs the “maudit anglais”. it was something neither Beliveau nor Lafleur had to carry the burden for.

          • Habitant in Surrey says:

            Isn’t it strange how Maurice ‘The Rocket’ Richard was as much beloved and idolized by the square-heads as the frogs back in the day ?:)

            His passion burned-deep in You as a Montreal Canadiens Fan no matter what Your first-language was.

          • BJ says:

            I think the fact that he was a blue collar worker and rose above all classes made him so special. The working class which most of us are/were could identify with him. We could finally identify feeling free from the ones looking down at the workers class and he transcended and ascended beyond the repression felt at the time and he took us all with him.

          • Habitant in Surrey says:

            Yes.

        • franco says:

          Being honest is definitely frowned upon. Speak in Cliche’s.

          Sugar coat everything, popularity is the main thing.

    • Chris says:

      See my post below on the Hockey Hall of Fame. Dino Ciccarelli was at least as deserving as some of the 25-30% of Original 6 players in any given season that manged to find their way into the Hall of Fame.

  19. Un Canadien errant says:

    I loved, loved Guy Lapointe as a player, he had the more exciting style compared to the sedate ‘Sénateur’ Serge Savard. I’d tell that to my dad and he’d repeat that Serge Savard was just as spectacular and offensively-oriented as a young player, but became more defensive after the broken leg he suffered colliding with a goal post, before the advent of E-Z release goalposts, which facilitate kreideration of goalies nowadays.

    One thing I kind of thought was unfair was that of the Big Three, Guy would play on his own. Well not really, he got Bill Nyrop or Brian Engblom as a partner, someone like that, while Larry Robinson and Serge Savard got to play together. I just felt bad for him for being the Big Three who was the third wheel.

    The cool thing back then is that no one wore helmets, except Jacques Lemaire and Réjean Houle and the newer players, but Guy Lapointe was a very emotive player, you could see his facial expressions while he played. I can’t imagine how much better we’d have seen him mug and grimace with the HD TV’s we have now, and how many more fans he’d have, to see him working so hard, caring so much when he stickhandled or fought for the puck.

    So yes, he should be honoured with his jersey retirement, kind of a no-brainer, the number 5 is already out of circulation and hanging from the rafters. It doesn’t diminish Bernard Geoffrion’s honour that Guy be credited with #5 as well.

    ———————————————————————–
    My sources are unreliable, but their info is fascinating.–Woody Paige

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …obviously …You are a younger hockey nerd pre-dating the youthful Serge Savard, who before serious leg injuries was as exciting to watch as P.K.

      …You wouldn’t know that …because You are a neophyte :)

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        1965 birthdate, so by the time I was old enough to appreciate hockey, I’d missed his best years. Still loved him though, how confident were we when he was on the ice, such a big, imposing figure. His puckhandling, the spinoramas, the way he’d wade into a pile and grab a big, big boy who would cool down immediately.

        • Habitant in Surrey says:

          …just kidding Norm :)

          …yeah, I remember vividly when Serge entered as a rookie, He was spectacular …really a shame His injuries changed His game out of necessity

  20. AH says:

    Congrats to Guy Lapointe and family! Well deserved.

    I loved his response when he was reading an article one time about the Habs/ Leafs “rivalry”…

    “Rivalry!,what rivalry, who do they think we are, the Red Wings?!”

    LOL! So true.

  21. Habitant in Surrey says:

    To those ruminating about putting a Player in the rafters whether They have won a Stanley Cup, or not.

    I know in today’s NHL the odds of winning a Stanley Cup is much lower than it was in the dayz of Richard and Lafleur.

    The younger Montreal Canadiens’ Fan may never witness a Habs Stanley Cup in Their life-times. That’s not a probability, but it is a possibility.

    Some argue that this younger generation of Fans will need to see Their favoured Habs recognized whether They were part of a winning Stanley Cup Team, or not.

    In My opinion, that would cheapen the significance of the honour.

  22. Habitant in Surrey says:

    I believe in pennants in the rafters for extraordinary Montreal Canadiens, and not necessarily the ‘retirement/unavailability’ of specific numbers for contemporary Players on Our Team. I would enjoy seeing Galchenyuk, Patch or Gallegher wearing a ‘5’, ‘6’, ‘7’, or ‘8’ someday. I personally don’t aesthetically enjoy seeing a ’92’ or ’57’ on the back of a Player.

    Guy Lapointe’s daughter’s petition for Her Father I long-ago signed and supported …it ‘retires’ a number already ‘retired’ (Boom Boom’s)…and, I am very pleased that the third member the Savard-Robinson-Lapointe triumvirate are now as-one in the rafters, where He belongs.

    So, I am relieved to see this new headline on this thread. Though I hope someday the Canadiens can ‘retire’ a number on a banner without making it permanently unavailable for future Habs.

    That being said, there is still a huge omission from such honor, that is difficult to comprehend, and that is the current ‘omission’ of one of the greatest Montreal Canadiens, …Hector ‘Toe’ Blake …Our great former Coach during Our Golden Age, and Our former Team Captain and scoring leader.

    As I note in My appeal below, it is the totality of Toe’s contributions to the Montreal Canadiens heritage as champions that is unique among all former greats within Our galaxy of Team Heroes, as a great Player and a great Coach.

    I hope We will follow-up Guy’s well-deserved acknowledgement to be among Our Greats in the Rafters of the Bell Centre, with a pennant and an honoured game day ceremony for Toe Blake.

    I hope We will all take the time to write, e-mail, Twitter and Facebook Geoff Molson and Kevin Gilmore that this omission should be made right as soon as possible.

    Again, fellow Habs Fans, thank You for listening :)

    Sincerely,

    H.I.S.

  23. Chuck Kept Calm and Carey'd On ® says:

    If not Toe’s #6, then at the very least a banner with a fedora on it. :-)

    Also, George Vezina’s #1 needs to be up there.

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      The fedora on the banner I also envision :)

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Speaking of fedoras, yes, the “Saturday Night Special” evening wear games I posted about below should be ‘retro’ themed, to honour the fifties and sixties teams and crowds, so definitely, the gentlemen must wear hats, tweed caps or fedoras, like they used to in the olden days.

  24. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …like a medieval knight (call Me Sir Shootsalot :) ) I have been crusading for Our Montreal Canadiens to retire Toe Blake’s number 6 …and add His banner in the rafters next to Our other former Greats

    …some of You may believe Toe was only a Great Coach, and as a Player, did not quite rate such an honor …and/or, do not want yet another low-number retired and unavailable to contemporary Players

    …maybe unaware Toe Blake also was a great hockey Player, won an NHL scoring championship, the Hart Trophy and a Lady Byng, led Our Habs in scoring in 6 seasons of His Hall Of Fame playing career

    …Hector ‘Toe’ Blake was an key component with The Rocket and Elmer Lach on ‘The Punch Line’, which was the most feared scoring line of it’s day

    …most younger Fans understandably remember Toe Blake mainly as the genius Coach of the Montreal Canadiens at the cusp of Our Golden Era …the Golden Era that most of Us, whether We know it or not, were inspired to follow Our Habs as if it was ‘a religion’ unto It’s own

    …Toe Blake’s name is on 11 rings of the Stanley Cup; …8 as Our Coach, …2 as a Player for the Montreal Canadiens …and one as a Montreal Maroon

    …Toe Blake was the ‘heart and soul’ motivator Whom inspired and ‘showed the way’ to Our great Players of the time, both as a Player and Captain, …and as Our Coach

    …His Legacy is greatly taken for granted, I strongly believe, by the fact that Toe Blake’s number 6 is not represented yet in the rafters of the Bell Centre

    …the totality of Toe Blake’s legacy, as a Player and Our Coach, to the History and exceptional success of the Montreal Canadiens becoming the most famous brand in the hockey world is way past the overdue stage

    …I request all Montreal Canadiens Fans to join with Ian Cobb and I to right a wrong

    …We would like to encourage all Montreal Canadiens Fans whom agree with the objective to make Their opinions known to Geoff Molson and Montreal Canadiens executive board, that a special game night to honor Toe Blake’s number 6 with a banner in the Bell Centre is long-overdue

    …if this is something You would like to make right as I and Ian do, I provide the following mail contacts to send Your requests to ‘Retire Number 6 !!!’

    Geoff Molson: President and Owner

    Kevin Gilmore: Vice President of Operations

    Send your testimonial to:

    c/o The Montreal Canadiens

    1909, avenue des Canadiens-de-Montréal
    Montreal, QC, CANADA
    H3C 5L2

    …merci beaucoup :)

    _________________________________________________________
    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY
    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

    Campaign to Retire Toe Blake’s Number 6 !!!

  25. Chuck Kept Calm and Carey'd On ® says:

    Awesome news for Lapointe; I’ll be wearing one of his gamers to work tomorrow with extra pride!

    As for the discussion of honouring versus retiring numbers, I prefer the way the Habs do it: make it truly special by officially removing it from circulation.

    Does having Cody Franson skate around in their #4 truly honour Hap Day or Red Kelly?

  26. Un Canadien errant says:

    Re-posted from previous thread.

    @ HammerHab

    The Canucks are kind of caught between two chairs, in that they had a horrible year and the inclination might be to blow the team up, but there’s an argument to be made that the poor showing was caused by a coach who didn’t work out too well. However, since they already have a number of good veterans signed, the Sedin brothers first and foremost, and there are numerous problematic No Trade Clauses gumming up the works, the competing idea would be to do what the Flames tried to do around Jarome Iginla and Miikka Kiprussof, a retool rather than a rebuild.

    The fanbase and the talking heads think that with Ryan Kesler confirming he’d prefer to be traded, the path to take is now set, he will be the first domino to fall, and at least he and another player, probably a defenceman, will be dealt to kickstart the rebuild this summer, and they’ll try to trade vets as the season progresses and the deadline approaches.

    The thing is, if they trade Ryan Kesler, they want like every other team, and especially one on the rebuild, to get younger, and bigger to copy the Kings. So getting Tomas Plekanec back is going in the wrong direction for them. They don’t need his skillset, they have that already. Especially if they lose Ryan Kesler, they don’t want to get even smaller at centre.

    As far as Dustin Tokarski, their situation in goal is not helped with another young goalie trying to break into the NHL. They already have Eddie Lack and Jakob Marskstrom, and Joacim Eriksson in the AHL to play that role. If they get a goalie, they’d rather need a veteran to steady the waters and mentor. And there’s a significant faction of Vancouver fans that would rather sink or swim with their goalies as they learn the game, that think it would be counter-productive to bring in a veteran who may get you four or five meaningless wins that will only worsen your draft position next summer.

    So ignoring the fact that Ryan Kesler apparently hasn’t included any Canadian teams on his list that he’d accept a trade to, and that the Canucks want what the Ducks got for Bobby Ryan, which is a roster player, a good prospect and a first-rounder for their prize tradebait centre, Tomas Plekanec and Dustin Tokarski don’t fit the bill in terms of value, or in terms of the types of players the Canucks want back (bigger scoring forwards, a rightie puck-mover on defence).

    Ryan Kesler is not unhappy in Vancouver, so they’re not ‘forced’ to trade him soon. If no one is serious, if they’re getting lowballed, they’ll hold on to him and wait in-season, when teams underperform and injuries strike, and all of a sudden interested teams talking trade aren’t so coy. The Canucks won’t want to draw this out as happened with Roberto Luongo, but then again it’s not so much of a problem with a forward, he’ll still get his minutes and his points, so it’s not a huge story like it was when Roberto would sit and Corey Schneider would start. A scenario whereby Tomas Plekanec and Dustin Tokarski are ‘the best offer they get so they take it’ is not realistic, Jim Benning isn’t like Garth Snow, holding a depreciating Thomas Vanek as the trade deadline ticks down.

    Be aware I’m not discounting Tomas’ value in trades, I think there will be a lot of teams trying to beef up at centre, and they’ll be willing to sacrifice youngsters to get a good veteran. The Ducks are a great example, they’re in a win-now mindset, they want to win while Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry are still in their prime, they don’t want to waste their window. They’re in the market for a centre, as are the Penguins, so this may drive up the bidding for a guy like Tomas if the Canadiens want to flip him.

    ———————————————————————–
    My sources are unreliable, but their info is fascinating.–Woody Paige

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  27. Loop_Garoo says:

    Ok, I know, Hockey site, but have to say it once….

    Hup! Holland!

    • UKRAINIANhab says:

      RvP is having a heck of a tournament…

      Tighten up that back line and go get the World Cup.

      • PK says:

        Prefer Holland over a South American side.
        Good game against Spain.
        That first Dutch goal against the Spanish was a thing of beauty.
        Kinda like a PK pass to Bourque.

        >>>> Les Canadiens sont là
        _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

        “Une équipe de hockey sur glace de l’île de Mont-Royal va gagner la Coupe de Lord Stanley à 24 reprises dans le 20e siècle et trois fois au cours du 21e siècle.”

        – Nostradamus, 1552

  28. UKRAINIANhab says:

    Just my opinion, but put me in the group that is against so many retired jersey numbers! Can we not honour Guy Lapointe instead? Have the players wear #5 against the Leafs opening night, or something like that. This takes nothing away from how good he was either… Also, the Hall Of Fame needs to take note as well. A name like Brendan Shannahan comes to mind, Brendan was a GREAT player but he was nowhere close to players like Richard, Orr, Gretzky etc.

    Lastly, ADIOS Spain…Looks like Ukraine will top the euro qualifying group ahead of you as well! :)

  29. Timo says:

    I really hope Habs retire #55…

  30. CH Marshall says:

    LOL Leafs Honorees… Lapointe has more Stanley Cup rings on one hand than any of those honorees. His jersey absolutely deserves to be retired

    • dr. schmutzdeker says:

      Absolutely…Lapointe could do it all. Solid D’man, along with being a serious offensive threat (a good skater/puckhandler with a very good shot), not to mention being a physical force when required and a very good fighter if necessary who did not backdown from anyone.

  31. Chris says:

    Tome Alert2: TL;DR Version – Jersey retirements are not just for elite players…they are for the fans. Give the younger fans something to cheer about!

    Wading into the jersey retirement conversation:

    I’m of two minds on this. Do the retired numbers reflect only the elite players, or do they honour the players that personified the franchise?

    When I look through the currently retired numbers, the elite player criteria is obvious. Never mind the generational stars like Morenz, Richard, Beliveau, Lafleur and Roy…those guys were clearly some of the top players of all-time. They are all instantly identifiable with the Montreal Canadiens in the minds of the fans.

    But the problematic teams for me are the teams from the 1970’s and the 1950’s.

    From the 1970’s dynasty, we now have Lafleur, Cournoyer, Robinson, Savard, Lapointe, Gainey and Dryden’s numbers all retired. It should be noted that Cournoyer did span into the 1960’s, and Gainey and Robinson into the 1980’s.

    From the 1950’s dynasty, we how have both Richards, Moore, Beliveau, Geoffrion, Harvey, and Plante all represented in the rafters. As before Henri Richard, Moore, and Beliveau spanned across the 1960’s, while Maurice Richard spanned into the 1940’s.

    I’m going to catch all sorts of heat for that statement, and I accept all of it, but I struggle with having 1/3rd of a team honoured with jersery retirement. No question they are all great players, Hockey Hall of Fame players that rank among the best in the history of the sport. I can accept it easier for the 1950’s team, because about half of those guys spanned into the 1960’s, a second, less heralded dynasty. But I can’t quite support the number of retired jerseys from the 1970’s.

    The reason I bring this up is that there has always been this insistence that the players needed to be elite players in the history of the sport to deserve having their numbers retired or induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame. I’ve addressed the Hall of Fame below, so let’s focus on jersey retirement.

    Another dynasty was the mid-1980’s Oilers, who have retired the numbers of Anderson, Gretzky, Fuhr, Kurri, Messier, Coffey and Al Hamilton (dating back to their WHA days). All great players, and I don’t want to disrespect any of them as they are all Hall of Famers, but Anderson and Fuhr simply don’t immediately come to mind as faces of that franchise: it was Gretzky, Kurri, Messier and Coffey that personified those teams.

    Ryan Smyth does not approach the career production of Glenn Anderson. Talent wise, he couldn’t hold his jock strap. But for my money, he is far more definitively linked to the Oilers franchise than Anderson is.

    In Montreal, it is tougher. The team has about 70 years of wondrous times with two dark periods: the 1930’s and the present age from 1993 onwards.

    Now, the argument is that if you didn’t win any Stanley Cups, you can’t get your jersey retired in Montreal. “We don’t honour losers.” To this I can only think of the passage from Tolkien’s “The Two Towers” – “Kings made tombs more splendid than houses of the living and counted old names in the rolls of their descent dearer than the names of sons. Childless lords sat in aged halls musing on heraldry;

    The last 20 years DID happen, as much as some of we older fans who can actually remember Stanley Cup victories regret them at times. There is a generation of Montreal Canadiens fans whose heroes deserve to be honoured to respect those fans’ continued support of the team. Players like Saku Koivu, Andrei Markov, Alexei Kovalev (had he played longer), Vincent Damphousse, and more recently Carey Price and P.K. Subban should not be held to the Stanley Cup standard, because this is a much more difficult goal to achieve.

    Instead, they should be judged on their importance to the fan base. Koivu was the face of the Montreal Canadiens for a decade, and he was absolutely beloved among the younger fans. Price and Subban are well on their way to that level.

    The contradiction of some of the most cynical people on this website when it comes to evaluating hockey with statistics, instead of our eyes and our guts, also being the most staunchly in favour of “Stanley Cup victories” as an unassailable criterion for jersey retirement is not lost on me.

    It is not an argument that I suspect will win people over, but put me down firmly on the side of the younger people who would not mind seeing a jersey retirement for one of THEIR heroes, whether it be a Koivu or Price, regardless of how many rings they have on their fingers at that event.

    I am all for the history of the franchise. From a very young age, i was fascinated by this side of the Montreal Canadiens, something to which my bookshelves can now attest.

    But franchises are relevant because of their fans. If Montreal does not win another Stanley Cup for another 20 years (heaven forbid, but it is easily possible), it won’t mean that there are no players worth honouring in a 40 year run of the franchise. It is just crotchety to deny younger fans their own history.

    • punkster says:

      I saved Tchaikovsky for this one:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OxNfOyWH0w

      Release the Subbang!!!

    • CJ says:

      Hi Chris. Good post, per usual.

      I’m going to tread way out into centre field…..

      IMO, fans, like the game, will continue to evolve. Looking at the Yankees, once upon a time, men (almost exclusively) attended games, in fedora hats, coats and ties. They scored games and focused intently on the on field product. Hockey was very similar. I’m 35, but have been raised to revere the past. Most younger people, my age and younger, live in the now. They want to be entertained with lights shows, lasers, club style music, jumbo scoreboard, bongo cam, kiss cam, you get the picture…..

      As professional sports franchises change on the field or ice, they also change how they market their product. IMO, there will be less emphasis placed on number retirement and more emphasis placed on making the game an event. When I go to games, many people aren’t even watching the play. They are on their phones, looking around, talking, etc. As I’m sure you can imagine, if this happens in a hockey hotbed like Montreal, let me tell you, a place like Phoenix or Florida is magnified to the tenth degree.

      Anyone logging into an online hockey community message board on June 18th is a diehard fanatic, so it’s not this community I’m focusing on. But, how many of the next generation are going to revere Richard or Beliveau? Heck, how many young kids are going to get a book on the history of the franchise as their “big” Christmas gift and run to their room to read it? I did, and couldn’t be happier. I used to trace the pictures and read the stories every night.

      In closing, I know I’ve ventured pretty far offline, but IMO, the world of professional sports, the sporting experience and fans, will be so much different in 10-20 years, nobody, aside from the tried and tested old guard, of which I’ll be a member, will even be looking into the rafters.

      Just my two cents…. CJ

      • Chris says:

        Working everyday with 17-21 year olds, I see people who are just as passionate about hockey as I was at that age 20 years ago, and probably equivalent to the passion felt by fans 40 or 60 years ago.

        Yes, the game needs to be more of an event. This is actually less of an innovation than you think…the CBC People’s History of Hockey is worth a watch if you haven’t already seen it. Hockey was marketed as an event back in the 1920’s.

        I absolutely think that younger fans will get just as much out of a jersey retirement ceremony as you or I do when we saw Patrick Roy, Bob Gainey, or Larry Robinson honoured, or as older fans do when they see people like Lafleur, Lapointe or Savard honoured.

        These are our heroes…that hasn’t changed. I have nephews and nieces that can tell me all the Montreal Canadiens players and what number they wear and all sorts of trivia about them. Just the same way that I could tell my uncles and aunts about the Habs of the early-mid 1980’s at the same age.

        The reason you see so many people not watching the game at the Bell Centre now is that so many of those seats are now owned by companies who use them as perks for visitors, or people who sell their tickets off to friends and family to defray the massive costs of the tickets now.

        In short, there are far more suits and ties at games than hockey jerseys. For the older crowd, that is probably the more traditional garb for a Habs game anyways, but for younger people and families, those tickets have basically spiralled out of reach.

        Sports arenas used to be the domain of the blue-collar workers, not the white-collar executives. That doesn’t mean the fans are not out there, it just means they can’t afford Bell Centre games in the numbers they once did.

        • CJ says:

          I agree, to a point. Sure there are examples, but, humbly, I’d suggest that there’s a decline.

          I think your comments regarding suits versus jerseys holds some weight – particularity in the boxes and club seats, but overall there are many more jerseys at games then suits. I’ve been to 21 of the current NHL arenas and I find this measurement to hold true across my sample size. In fact, the balance shifts more dramatically in almost every other venue.

          Lastly, I do agree with your point regarding ticket prices. I’m basically at the very end of my rope. I’m in a partnership for a pair of seats in the lower level reds. It’s expensive. No question I doubt my continued commitment going forward, yet each year I cut a check, at least to this point…..

          CJ

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          Just as an aside, the practice of wearing a team jersey to games is a relatively recent phenomenon. In the seventies and earlier, very few fans, perhaps an oddball or two, would wear a Canadiens jersey to a game.

          In fact, one of the marks of distinction of the Canadiens franchise was that the fans would get dressed up for the games, much the same way that some of my Western lout friends marvel at how people dress up to go out to the club in Montréal. Anyway, you’d see men in their finest suits and women in their evening dresses, with opera glasses, on a Saturday night. There’s untold “La Soirée du Hockey” and NFB footage of this.

          And that’s a tradition that should be revived. Since I know Geoff Molson reads HIO and my posts assiduously, I’ll prevail upon him to declare one or two Saturday games next season as games where everyone should wear their best formalwear to the game. Make it a buzzworthy event, something women will love to attend, team up with menswear store and rental places to get synergies. Offer discounts or gifts for those fans who participate.

          This should probably be held for games against Original Six teams, add even more cachet to a Blackhawk or a Red Wing game.

          Or, we could be strategic. These evenings should occur when we play the Bruins and the Leafs, such that these games become a hot ticket not so much because you can scalp it to a bozo from Scarborough, but because it’s the ‘it’ thing to do, one of the great events of the winter. Your wife or girlfriend would assassinate you with her stare if you told her you were planning to sell your tickets and not take her to the game. It might decrease the number of enemy fans in our own barn by half or more.

      • frontenac1 says:

        Hey CJ! Ever notice that whenever there is good scrap,people put down their phones and don’t go to the bathroom.?

    • Loop_Garoo says:

      I would have no problem with the retirement of Koivu’s number. Although he never quiet reached the promise that we were hoping for in terms of goals/points, he came close, and if I am not mistaken is the Habs longest serving captain, reason enough right there. His battle with cancer and community contribution seals the deal for me.

  32. ACGM says:

    I’m waiting for October to see what we have for a team.

  33. CJ says:

    I haven’t seen his name batted around here, but the one player who I’m hearing might be in available, that I would be willing to mortgage some of our future to acquire is Eric Staal.

    Just my two cents, but I think you’d have to be crazy to mortgage any futures on a guy like Jason Spezza, who’s a year removed from becoming a UFA. If someone wanted to make a bold move for a big, number one centre, I’d rather pay more and target Staal, more so than Kessler, Spezza, Thorton of any of the other names in play.

    • Chris says:

      Staal would be a great addition, but that would DEFINITELY require Galchenyuk as a starter, and then you add more assets from there to get it done. Zero chance they settle for anything less, given that they are rebuilding.

      Staal worries me a bit because he hasn’t surpassed 30 goals in 3 seasons. As a big power forward about to hit 30, Staal still has some years left in him, but he could easily hit the Lecavalier slide any year now, and never quite be the dominant player that most of us picture when we think of him.

      • CJ says:

        It’s true, production could be a concern going forward. He’s still heads and tails above the other number one centres being batted about recently.

        Speaking of decline in production, do you hold a similar concern with a much older Markov? His (Markov) point per game production has dropped significantly from where it was five years ago. It would seem that the reservation you hold regarding Staal is not entirely different than the reservation I hold for Markov, especially in three plus seasons.

        • Chris says:

          I definitely hold that reservation for Markov…but I’m not giving up Galchenyuk to get him. :)

          • CJ says:

            True. Apples to hammers comparing the quality of players, I was trying to leverage a point which is to say that essentially any free agent or acquisition otherwise carries a degree of risk.

            I’m not pointing a finger at you Chris, however it is funny how folks, admittedly myself included, turn the switch on one day and off the next. Some see no issue/risk in extending Markov, yet can find fault with just about any player outside our organization.

            In any event, I’ll get off my soapbox now.

          • Chris says:

            CJ: I agree whole-heartedly. It drives me a little bonkers how much we over-value people in Habs jerseys and under-value everybody else. But that is the nature of being a fan in every sport, so you just have to roll with it sometimes.

    • UKRAINIANhab says:

      Doesn’t he have a ridiculous contract? Staal. Wouldn’t move Galchenyuk for him.

      Idk why everyone throws around Keslers name because A. He isn’t good any more and B. He really does not want to play in Canada!

  34. Lafleurguy says:

    HHHOF.
    Hockey Hair Hall of Fame.
    If Peter Sellers were a Beatles member, he would have used Pointu’s haircut.

  35. CJ says:

    Good evening folks.

    I’m a big Yankees fan (boo, hiss….I get it). In August, Joe Torre will have his number 6 retired, becoming the 18th number to be immortalized in the Bronx. Derek Jeter is a shoo in to become the 19th.

    So far as I’m concerned, I enjoy seeing the numbers retired. In both cases, Yankees and Canadiens alike, both franchises have enjoyed unparalleled success. By extension, a number of players are recognized for their contributions. I’m not for retiring a number for the sake of simply retiring the number, sorry Saku Koivu, but I am pleased with today’s announcement.

    I’ve travelled to a number of NHL arenas, over 20 in total. I can’t begin to tell you how funny I think it is to see other franchises celebrate regular season success, division titles or conference championships. Again, and it’s just my opinion, but I believe that retired numbers and championship banners, along with the flags of our great Nations are the only thing that should be honoured and hung from above.

    To each their own I suppose. Having multiple retired numbers make the Yankees and Canadiens unique, which, love them or loathe them, folks simply must agree that they are the most celebrated franchises in their respective sport.

    Just my two cents….. CJ

  36. Chris says:

    Tome Alert: TL;DR Version – The HHOF is harder to get into these days, not easier as is the common perception.

    Something that has always irked me a little is the perception that the Hockey Hall of Fame is being watered down in recent years. In some respects, I think this is largely fueled by nostalgia, because if you look back at the history of the game, the HHOF has actually become a much more exclusive club.

    In 1957-58, 109 different players played at least 20 games of the 70 game NHL season. Of those 109 players:

    – 30 (or just over 25%) would end up in the Hockey Hall of Fame
    – 2 additional players (Al Arbour of Detroit and Bob Pulford of Toronto) would later go on to HHOF Builders careers
    – 5 of the 8 goalies (Plante, Worsley, Hall, Sawchuk, and Lumley) that saw action that season would end up in the HHOF

    It wasn’t just the players either: 4 of 6 coaches ended up in the HHOF (albeit mostly from playing careers), as did 4 of the 6 general managers.

    To put that into context, 651 NHL players last season played the same percentage of games that I used for the 1957-58 season. To see the same percentage of Hall of Famers as the 1957-58 season, 179 of today’s players would have to end up inducted into the Hall of Fame. That number should be taken with a massive grain of salt, because it is far more common to see teams use players for 1/5 of a season than it was in the 1950’s. But if we simply scale the number of teams by an average of 18 regulars (comparable to the number of regulars in 1957-58), you get about 148 players. Still a massive number, and not at all feasible.

    Some contextual arguments that should be made:

    The league was only 6 teams in those days, so the talent was concentrated. However, the pool from which those players was drawn was far smaller than today, especially with the growth of the game in the US and the influx of European players. In other words…there were fewer jobs in 1957-58, but the number of players fighting for those jobs was also much smaller.

    Career lengths are comparable in today’s NHL for the better players as in 1957-58. (This was not true in the 1980’s.)

    The number of elite players hasn’t grown proportionately to the number of teams, but it has certainly grown so one would expect to see more than the 30 HHOF players of 1957-58 in today’s NHL based on the expanded talent pool. Let’s double it to account for growth in the game over almost 50 seasons.

    So what players that played in the league last year could you see in the HHOF. First, let’s look at the veterans (32+ players) whose careers are either ending or getting near that stage:

    Certainty (7):
    Martin Brodeur, Teemu Selanne, Jaromir Jagr, Jarome Iginla, Joe Thornton, Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Lundqvist

    Strong Bubble or Hard to See Not Getting In Eventually: (3)
    Marian Hossa (will soon be a certainty), Martin St. Louis, Daniel Alfredsson

    Weak Bubble: (20)

    Saku Koivu (only if his international career is considered)
    Patrik Elias (only if the New Jersey penalty to his stats is factored in)
    Henrik Zetterberg (couple more dominant years needed)
    Sergei Gonchar (numbers are there, but no major awards)
    Dan Boyle (same as Gonchar)
    Kimmo Timonen (doubtful)
    Roberto Luongo (doubtful)
    Patrick Marleau (playoff baggage makes him questionable despite HHOF numbers)
    Vincent Lecavalier (might have run out of gas 1-2 years too early)
    Brad Richards (too many off years, hard to see him getting in)
    Henrik Sedin (needs 2-3 more dominant years, doubtful)
    Daniel Sedin (needs 2-3 more dominant years, doubtful)
    Niklas Kronwall (not likely)
    Dany Heatley (not happening)
    Justin Williams (not enough career points)
    Patrick Sharp (maybe with another 3 dominant seasons he’ll get some attention)
    Jason Spezza (unlikely)
    Ray Whitney (numbers are good, but not great enough)
    Shane Doan (tough call)
    Todd Bertuzzi (the Moore incident pretty much dooms him)

    Now what about some of the younger players. Here, I am extrapolating. Injuries will obviously derail some of these guys, as will Lecavalier-esque career arcs. I am obviously also leaving out some players, especially recent draft-picks that have yet to establish themselves as HHOF possibilities:

    Bet the House That They Make It: (12)

    Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Jonathan Toews, Shea Weber, Ryan Suter, Drew Doughty
    Patrick Kane, Ryan Getzlaf, Anze Kopitar, John Tavares, Steven Stamkos

    Players That Make You Go Hmm…(Need a few more years of sustained excellence): (5)

    Patrice Bergeron, Jeff Carter, Zach Parise, Duncan Keith, Corey Perry (and it pains me to write that)

    On the Right Track, but Many More Big Seasons and Some Silverware Would be a Good Idea: (17)

    Carey Price, P.K. Subban, Alex Pietrangelo, Nathan MacKinnon, Tyler Seguin, Jonathan Quick, Marian Gaborik (doubtful), Phil Kessel, Claude Giroux, Taylor Hall, Nicklas Backstrom (doubtful), Matt Duchene, Victor Hedman, Erik Karlsson, Ryan McDonagh, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Tuuka Rask

    So…to see what would be a roughly comparable number of guys get into the HHOF as in the 1950’s, EVERYBODY on the list above would have to make it (or be replaced by one of the younger players I didn’t mention). Since that list will just be shredded by people, so that maybe 1/2 to 1/3 of them are deemed “worthy”, I think this laborious point is made…it is significantly harder to be recognized as HHOF-worthy for today’s players than it was in the days of yore.

  37. frontenac1 says:

    Viva Pointu! Saludos!

  38. jols says:

    I always just assumed Guy Lapointe’s #5 was retired long ago. In his heyday I was just a kid but from what I remember he was awesome. One of the big 3 on D that was so dominant. His stats certainly indicate that he deserves this accolade.

  39. PK says:

    Congrats to Lapointe.
    A great role model for some of our current young D.
    More numbers to be retired from that 70’s team?

    >>>> Les Canadiens sont là
    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    “Une équipe de hockey sur glace de l’île de Mont-Royal va gagner la Coupe de Lord Stanley à 24 reprises dans le 20e siècle et trois fois au cours du 21e siècle.”

    – Nostradamus, 1552

    • Chris says:

      Isn’t 1/3 of the team already excessive?

      • PK says:

        Six retired numbers from that late 70’s Habs dynasty with the seventh coming up as noted above.
        The question that you should ask is whether or not Habs numbers should be retired.
        If yes, then I think that those seven jerseys deserve to be retired.
        If the answer is no then obviously one is excessive.
        I would argue that Shutt is probably one of the best left wingers that has played for the Habs (and yes, Gainey’s 23 is retired already) … #22 should be retired?

        Since that era, by the way, only Roy’s number has made it to the rafters.

        Future numbers may include 76 and 31 but these players have yet to win a Cup.

        >>>> Les Canadiens sont là
        _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

        “Une équipe de hockey sur glace de l’île de Mont-Royal va gagner la Coupe de Lord Stanley à 24 reprises dans le 20e siècle et trois fois au cours du 21e siècle.”

        – Nostradamus, 1552

        • Chris says:

          Shutt may deserve it, but one could certainly argue for Lemaire’s importance to that team as well, as their #1 centre. So there’s 2 more guys you could easily make an argument for, both Hockey Hall of Fame members and both integral contributors (top-line players) to one of the greatest teams in history.

          Lemaire, like Toe Blake, is one of those guys who somehow flies way under the radar in these discussions. He’s the 7th leading scorer in team history, and he was the defensive anchor on that line.

          • PK says:

            You are right, Chris.
            I remember Lemaire’s play. He really was the glue that held that first line together. Lafleur and Shutt got a lot of the goals but he was a really good centre. Lots of assists but also many goals during some of his seasons.
            I vaguely remember his goal against John Davidson in the SCF’s of 1979 … days (week or two) after he had given that drop pass to Lafleur in the now famous Lafleur goal against Boston … eventually, knocking out the Bruins and Cherry in Game Seven
            of the semi-finals.

            All these great Habs numbers can’t be retired but fun to discuss while we meander through the off-season.

            >>>> Les Canadiens sont là
            _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

            “Une équipe de hockey sur glace de l’île de Mont-Royal va gagner la Coupe de Lord Stanley à 24 reprises dans le 20e siècle et trois fois au cours du 21e siècle.”

            – Nostradamus, 1552

  40. L Elle says:

    I’ve been waiting a long time for this announcement.

    :) :) :)

  41. habsr4ever says:

    I love seeing another GUY raised to the rafters. He deserves it without question. Congrats Mr. Lapointe.
    Really concerned we are going to sign Gionta. For the life of me I can’t believe Bergy is going to sign him and wants to sign him so bad. Geez – concentrate on PK cuz there is going to be a huge offer sheet coming in July. Sign Markov or trade his rights – let’s go here already. The 25th is coming soon. Gionta’s deal better be no more than 2.5 Mil. Even that I cringe. Boy if Brian Boyle is available come July 1 (we can start talking to him on the 25th) I would love to see him and Prust together again. If we have to over pay to get this beast – do it. I would rather pay him $3 Million per than signing Gionta for similar amount. Sure Boyle is a 3rd or 4th liner but man does he bring it in the playoffs and is a solid on the pk…..not sure what it will take to nab him but I am sure prusty is talking to him for us…..it would free up Plekanec’s workload a ton so he can concentrate more on O….AND have some gas left for the playoffs.
    We need Boyle or Ott. And a top 6 forward – I have heard we are after PArenteau again….but I would rather get somebody for “free” on July 1st – like a Moulson or Vrbata.
    going to be an interesting.

  42. Cal says:

    For those who are saying the laffs have it right when just about anyone can wear an “honoured number”, I must disagree. Of course the Habs have more honorees. Their history is the greatest in the NHL. Honouring these individual players is a recognition of the organization’s success and a direct way of thanking the player for what he brought to it. Some of these stars shine more than the Bobby Rousseaus and Pierre Bouchards who did the jersey proud. The Canadiens make the right choice in seeing to it these numbers remain revered and become legendary.
    As an aside, I liked Gino Odjick when he was a Hab. I disliked that he was wearing Ken Dryden’s number.

    • Habfan17 says:

      The Habs management at the time could have used better judgement handing out the numbers. In the end, having someone else where a specific number, does not diminish the memories or accomplishments of those that wore it before. Some mean more. I don’t think anyone should ever were number 9 again. But if Subban wanted to wear number 2 because Harvey was one of his heroes, would that ruin or dishonour the memory of Doug Harvey? I’ll bet half the fans wouldn’t know who Harvey was if his jersey wasn’t hanging from the rafters and that is what is important.

      I for one, am tired of seeing numbers like 67, 55 71, and 81! Would it be so bad if Price wanted to wear 33 or 29? No way!

      I respect your opinion, I just don’t think it harms the accomplishments and memories, or dishonours those special players that wore the numbers before! The leafs in my opinion do have it right!

      Habfan17

    • scamorza says:

      Just about what I was going to say we just have more numbers to retire

      come to Dorion suits where you get no….”hassoles” _ Yvon Lambert

  43. Ian Cobb says:

    Question!
    Do you want to make our SUMMIT on the Guy Lapoint night.???
    Only if it is a Saturday night game though, it generally is.

  44. Cal says:

    Pointu! Felicitations!!

    Toe, please.

  45. Ton says:

    Congrats to Guy……well deserved and happy birthday to Macca. Keep on rocking!

  46. Arnou Ruelle says:

    Its good that the Canadiens Organization decided to retire Guy Lapointe’s jersey. What I hope that this team could do is also retire the #6 jersey of Hector “Toe” Blake.

  47. MikeHabs says:

    Happy that they are finally retiring his number. His daughter has been pushing for this for quite some time now. Nice to see it done.

    Also here is an examination of Trevor Timmins’ drafting: http://www.allaboutthehabs.ca/an-examination-of-trevor-timmins-drafting/

  48. Hobie says:

    Guy Lapointe has the 2nd most points for a defenceman in the Canadiens 100+ year history. Ummm ya, his number should be retired.

    • B says:

      Doug Harvey is 3rd and Markov is only 5 points back of Harvey (with 125 less games played).

      –Go Habs Go!–

      • Ian Cobb says:

        A big difference of games per year though!

        • Chris says:

          Andrei Markov – 442 points in 765 games
          Doug Harvey – 447 points in 890 games

          The games per year is irrelevant…Markov got there far quicker.

          The better argument is that Harvey was probably the best defensive defenceman of his generation on top of generating all that offence. So he and Markov are worlds apart, and I say that as a strong Markov supporter.

  49. Adidess says:

    Contract negotiations getting serious between Gionta and the Canadiens, as per his agent? Am I the only one who wants to ask why?

    We want to improve on the season, so let’s get rid of Parros and Murray, but re-sign everybody else? Yep, that makes sense.

    • RetroMikey says:

      We should have traded Gionta, Markov and Plekanec to name a few in a blockbuster trade before the trade deadline or during the season but we lingered on to these players for so long hoping we could make it to the Cup final, a gamblee by Bergevin.
      We don’t need Markov, Gionta (they are old!) and Plekanec at least we can get something in the summer for him.
      As for Guy Lapointe, finally they have sense to retire his jersey but why did they not do it when Geoffrion had his number 5 retired years ago?
      A blunder for the club which they overlooked in my opinion.
      Yup, big decisions for the club in the summer and we must sign at least 3 big players if we are to move forward.

      “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

    • frontenac1 says:

      Agree with letting those two Enforcers go because they are too old. But we will need Two More Enforcers amigo. Jay Rosehill and Gadzic would be nice. Saludos!

      • scamorza says:

        Front ok on Gadzinc but Rosehill? He wasn’t even good enough for the Laffs. might as well suggest Thornton who some poor soul (aka moi) suggested with such conviction earlier and got crucified . guess I just haven’t reached the pantheon level comme vous. Reaching that level and not burning the steaks on the Barbie is my goal, well at least for tonight

  50. I’d like to see Alex Galchenyuk score 50 goals next season then the following season his first game he wears #9, imagine the excitement it would create. Alex flying around the ACC wearing 9, making every player on the ice think of one thing Maurice!

    How about Max Pacioretty wearing number 4?

    I love all my heroes and their numbers, but the jersey retirement gig is over. The Hall of Fame is honor enough for these guys.

    I wonder what Jean Beliveau would say? Probably would enjoy someone else wearing HIS number. I know I would.

    I absolutely love the number 29. It’s all a remember from my pre teen years……that Mask his burnt into my memory.

    Funny story, years ago (07) I wrote a friend of mine, I said when your boy gets to Hamilton tell him to wear 29 it’ll fire all the fans up. When I saw him step onto the ice in Winnipeg wearing #29, I couldn’t stop smiling. I thought to myself, he didn’t do it for me did he?

    He didn’t, I asked Jerry after the game (we were hanging outside the dressing room) and he said they had 29 ready for Carey because all the other goalie numbers were used.

    I have Carey’s game worn jersey here, I take it to Montreal for the Summit, it’s funny when fans walk up to me and ask me why I have 29 on the back. People didn’t really follow the dogs so they had no idea he wore #29. As far as I know I have the only one in existence, the others were cut up into hockey cards, so I treasure that jersey.

    Anyway, I don’t remember much from the 2000’s, but I’ll never forget that night.

    Shane Oliver
    @sholi2000
    http://www.sholi2000.com
    A Little fun during the Intermission
    Brandon Predators End Season Video

  51. Thomas Le Fan says:

    On his birthday, since his band were the Montreal Canadiens of music, I salute Paul McCartney! Happy Burpday, Paul! We’re retiring your number too.

    Hockey isn’t everything … it’s the only thing … except for beer and guitars!

  52. 24 Cups says:

    This will put me in the minority but I’m against this number retirement. A retired number should be a true sign of excellence. It has nothing to do with Lapointe but he was never in the same class as some of the other players. That’s why the team has the Ring of Honour.

    I worry what other choices might be coming down the line in future years. I don’t want the Hab rafters to start resembling the HHOF which is overloaded with too many good players, not elite players.

    24 Cups

    • JUST ME says:

      I respectfully disagree. You can make a point if you compare him to the greats within the greats like Richard,Beliveau or Lafleur but within the d-men like Robinson or Savard he sure deserves to be on the same level of excellence .Did not have a spectacular style as his 2 compadres of the big 3 but was just as much important in the domination of the team he played with.
      I think that the door will close behind him and that we will not see any jersey risen to the rafters for a long long time, if any.

    • Sportfan says:

      But he’s part of the big 3 right, and he had good enough numbers to be a top d-man on the team.

      Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
      http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

    • HabFab says:

      Agreed Steve…it is very rare that TO gets something right but here they do. And like others was worried yesterday, until they released the ages of the victims… bad day in slowville!

    • piper says:

      I have to disagree. Guy could do it all. He could skate with the best, had a hard accurate shot from the point and if they wanted to get rough Guy could more than handle himself in that department. How many defensemen can you name that could do all that?
      Oh yea, and he was a big part of 6 cups.

    • Cal says:

      Sorry, Steve. Pointu deserves his due. He is truly a Hab great and honouring another member of the 70s team does not denigrate the other retirees one bit. In fact, he helps to enhance the group.
      It was definitely a long time coming.

      • L Elle says:

        Exactly Cal. As well, only Bobby Orr and Brad Park beat him out for the Norris, back in the day.

        Scotty Bowman, with that HOF team, still relied on Lapointe in every tentative situation. Some of his records still stand. If he’s not worthy to have his jersey retired, I don’t know who is.

  53. Sportfan says:

    Congrats to Guy Lapointe!

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  54. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Congrats to Guy! Hopefully there will be a 31, 76, 27 and 11 in the future.

  55. Dunboyne Mike says:

    This isn’t bad (“Legends of Hockey”, 10 mins):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNERHHO1GSw

  56. sprague cleghorn says:

    Enfin. Wait to go, Pointu.

    Now we just have to get a banner up there for Toe.

    … ‘ow could we forget that?

  57. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Count me as one who is against retiring all these numbers. Honour them? Sure. Put them up in the rafters with the name on the back? Absolutely. But having everyone wearing football lineman numbers because 18 numbers have been retired, to me, is just wrong headed.

    Hockey isn’t everything … it’s the only thing … except for beer and guitars!

    • Chris says:

      I agree with you. I honestly think the Leafs “honoured numbers” is a better way to go.

      It was weird cheering for the Guelph Storm this season…all the jersey numbers were less than 30.

      • Thomas Le Fan says:

        Regarding the Leafs’ system, even a blind squirrel finds an acorn now and then. ;)

        Hockey isn’t everything … it’s the only thing … except for beer and guitars!

    • Habfan17 says:

      I am also In the group that prefer the way the Leafs do it. I do say. let the team determine who would get to wear certain numbers. I would prefer that Rocket’s number 9 be retired permanently though.

      Habfan17

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      On the other hand, being different that way sets us apart in the NHL in a way which — even if we don’t currently deserve it — we enjoy as fans. We cherish a tradition full of those kinds of reminders of the powerhouse days and the legendary players, and what we all hope will happen again some day.

      Yes, the Leafs’ system is good. But it’s cool that we have our own way, and it’s not likely that even a half-dozen new numbers will earn rafter-status any time soon. Double digits — yes, football numbers! — will be sufficient in the lifetime of everyone posting here.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Sorry…can’t see anyone else skating around with number 9.

  58. Dunboyne Mike says:

    About time!!

    We are thrilled!!

  59. jctremblay says:

    Lapointe was so good for so long…just amazing at how consistently he played great..along with Savard of course and later on, Mr. Robinson. This team needs to find 2 more just like him to help Subban in the years to come…:)

  60. thebonscott says:

    David Makowski — Denver — The senior defenseman had a great season with 10 goals and 24 points. He finished with 93 points in 142 career games, but was an all-situations defenseman for the Pioneers. His puck-moving skills are sound and he has a bomb from the point. At 6-1, 205, his size is fine. One concern may be his skating, but it’s only a moderate one. Makowski would be due a one-year deal, which is a fairly low-risk investment for a team looking for defensive help. Odds are, he’d need some time in the AHL, but his puck-moving skills and smarts give him a shot at the NHL.

    From us hockey.

    • Chris says:

      It is interesting that he was signed by Hamilton, and not Montreal. Obviously the Habs will keep a close eye on him and try to lock him up if he fits in as a professional.

      I’m surprised a guy with offensive numbers like that would not be able to find an NHL team that would roll the dice on him…he’s been a free agent for a couple of months now, so I wonder what the knock on him was. Those are very impressive offensive totals for the NCAA.

    • Habfan17 says:

      I posted below two links to his stats and the Bulldogs announcement.

      Habfan17

  61. 1010 says:

    Watching Fernando Torres lean over and lend a hand to help up an emotion stricken Chilean player, laying in front of his own keeper, in the remaining seconds of the Spanish teams claim as world champions, reminds me of the humble, class act in defeat, named puke face Lucic, as he went through the line shaking hands after game seven in Boston.

    GO HABS…

  62. DipsyDoodler says:

    Chilean fans were singing the Ole song with a twist: Ole Ole Ole Ole, Chile, Chile.

    Spain out of the world cup.

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

    • Chris says:

      End of a very successful run…the Spanish team of the past 6-8 years were one of the best in history, but all things must end. Would have liked to see them go out with a bit more fight, but I am still thankful for having had the chance to watch that team play the past few years.

      I know a lot of fans find the tiki-taka boring, but the technical skill and fitness those players had to have to play that style was jaw-dropping.

      • 1010 says:

        Not a personal fan of their team but must agree that I would have liked to have seen such a great team go out battling to the end. It almost ended with a whimper.

        GO HABS…

      • BJ says:

        I’m not much of an expert in soccer but I’m amazed at how quickly and precisely the Spanish can pass the ball. They make it look like a pinball machine.

        • Chris says:

          It helped having Xavi and Iniesta in their midfield, two of the best passers of all time.

          I play a lot of soccer, and the way they played was just so impressive. You always see a team with one or two guys that can zip passes through tight confines. Seeing a team with 10 guys that could do it was unreal. Their only weakness was in the air, as they were a very small team, but you had to get the ball from them to exploit that weakness.

    • BJ says:

      It sounds like Ole Ole CH CH!

  63. Habfan17 says:

    The Hamilton Bulldogs have signed a defenceman! 24 year old David Makowski! 6’1″ 205 lbs He is a righty!

    http://hamiltonbulldogs.com/pressbox/news/?article_id=780

    More info on him

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=116533

    Habfan17

  64. Luke says:

    Further to the NFL Washingtons discussion in the previous thread, here’s some Deadspin:

    http://www.atlredline.com/how-the-u-s-patent-office-just-killed-the-redskins-1592585427/+marchman

    • 24 Cups says:

      The Washington franchise has a unique opportunity to finally correct an embarrassing injustice. Changing the name of the team for all the right reasons can only be a win-win situation.

      24 Cups

  65. Luke says:

    C’Mon Chile!

    It seems the Good Luck Fancy Coffee is still working! I Had one this morning.

    Mind you, I’d rather have Good Luck Cheese Smothered Razor Clams and Pisco Sours.

    (edit): WooHoo! Razor Clams for everyone!

  66. Habfan17 says:

    I am very happy for Pointu! Guy was a great player, tough too!
    I remember seeing him throw O’Reilly to the ice during a bench clearing brawl.

    Soon players will have to take numbers in the triple digits with the amount of retired numbers in Montreal!

    On another note, the Bulldogs sign a defenceman!
    http://hamiltonbulldogs.com/pressbox/news/?article_id=780

    Habfan17

    • piper says:

      I remember Tiger Williams bit off a bit more than he could chew when he decided to go with Pointu. Guy never picked his spots, he fought some of the toughest guys in the league.

  67. habsfan0 says:

    Among the “Top 10″ numbers not currently retired in Habs lore are #6 and #8.
    Ralph Backstrom and Dick Duff,anybody?

    Backstrom was the key component in the Habs being able to draft #1 and securing Guy Lafleur.
    For that alone,he should have his number retired.

  68. Say Ash says:

    Who else wore 5?

  69. Hobie says:

    NEWS: #HamOnt @BulldogsAHL sign defenceman @David_Makowski to one-year contract. See more at: http://hamiltonbulldogs.com/pressbox/news/?article_id=780

    • CJ says:

      What’s interesting is the potential future of the Bulldogs defence –

      Pateryn and Bennett (former teammates at Michigan)
      Dietz and Thrower (former teammates in Saskatoon)
      Makowski and Josiah Didier (former teammates in Denver)

      I am really liking Didier and what he can bring to this group. Each pairing has a terrific compliment of size and skill, possessing both offensive and defensive skills and abilities.

  70. JUST ME says:

    Well deserved recognition for Pointu. Was legitimately a member of the big three and an all-star.

    I will never forget that he once beat the crap out of the late Keith Magnuson like i have never ever seen someone get clobbered before and/or since.

    Known as a relentless practical joker off ice, hockey was a serious endeavour for him . Part of the reasons why we call that team les glorieux.

  71. HabsKid says:

    Awesome news! Well deserved!

  72. DadidolizedDougHarvey says:

    Most good. Great defenseman!

  73. habs-fan-84 says:

    “He was strong and powerful, an explosive skater with a hard, low shot, but what made him unique was the emotion he could bring to a game. During flat, lifeless stretches, uncalculated, he would suddenly erupt with enormous impatient fury, racing around the ice, daring and inspired on offence and defence, giving the game a new mood”

    Sounds like Subban ;)

    In all seriousness though, congrats too Guy!

  74. habsfan0 says:

    It’s about time.
    Even Gilles Tremblay,who also wore #5(as well as #21)would be thrilled.


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