When Bob Gainey took over as the Vice President, and General Manager of the Montreal Canadiens, the goal was to reshape the team into one that could contend for the Stanley Cup by the time this centennial season rolled around.
No one thought the Habs had what it took to compete with the league’s best last season, and though they shocked the hockey world by finishing atop the Eastern Conference, it was clear that lack of experience would ultimately hinder their ability to truly contend for hockey’s greatest award.
After a few changes in personnel were made, the Canadiens appear ready to fulfill their destiny as a Stanley Cup contender, vying for their 25th in their 100th year.
It was somewhat surprising to hear that in this historical year for the franchise, only one jersey would head to the rafters of the Bell Centre. An iconic figure—the artist behind the Canadiens’ last tastes of glory—Patrick Roy immortalized.
The date was set…November 22nd, 2008.
Only one problem: Martin Brodeur was on pace to eclipse Roy as the game’s most successful goaltender, before Roy’s date with the ghosts, and legends of the Montreal Canadiens. In fact, Brodeur was seven wins away, and after playing 50 odd games consecutively, he awkwardly fell on his elbow against the Atlanta Thrashers; an injury that will keep him on the sidelines for 3-4 months after surgery to repair a torn distal bicep.
And so it goes…one player’s misfortune, becomes one legend’s destiny. When famous Bell Centre announcer Michel Lacroix, speaks of Roy’s accolades throughout his hall of fame career, he won’t have to say “Second most wins recorded by a goaltender, of all time”. Roy is destined to be remembered in Montreal as the greatest winner at his position to ever play the game.
What else does destiny have in store for these Canadiens?