Oh, brother: Clarifying siblings of the Canadiens

One of my favourite people with the Canadiens is Carl Lavigne, the team’s manager of history and archives. We share a love of the game that was played long ago, and often we share notes on our research.

We ran an item Thursday, furnished by Carl in a Canadiens press release, on the brother acts of the club, linked to this week’s arrival of Sergei Kostitsyn, alongside his brother, Andrei. See that post here.

A few comments appeared with the post, questioning Carl’s research, so on Friday he sent along the following to clarify things. Add another pair of brothers…

Thanks to some feedback from your website and other sources, I was able to review the brother pairing information and check all information with the NHL. I’d think that our records are now accurate.

First, in response to the gentleman who wrote the following on your site:

My apologies Mr Stubbs, but the Habs historian referenced missed some Habs siblings in his list. In a post at my site from June 20 of this year, I detailed not only the 15 Habs siblings, but all other Canadiens relations within the Habs and other NHL teams.

I checked the list he posted (using the link he provided) and have the following comments:

Keith and Bill McCreary both played with the Canadiens, however not together. Keith played a total of 10 games over two seasons (1 playoff game in 1961-62 and 9 regular season games in 1964-65) while Bill played 14 games in 1962-63. So they’re off the list.

The brother combo that was overlooked, by me as well as the NHL, was that of the Bourcier brothers. Conrad and Jean-Louis Bourcier played 5 games together in 1935-36

Another person (Sports Lab) had the Pronovost brothers. Problem is, Claude was the brother of Marcel and Jean (and not André), both of whom never played with the Canadiens.

Our release dealt only with brother pairings who played together, not those (like the Turgeons and Rousseaus who never played together).

So when all is said and done, the Canadiens have in fact 14 brother combinations in team history who played together.

Thanks to you, Carl. Here now is the definitive list of the brothers who have played together for the Canadiens:

Georges & Pierre Vézina (1911-12)

Odie & Sprague Cleghorn (1921-22 / 1924-25)

Billy & Robert Boucher (1923-24)

Aurèle & René Joliat (1924-25)

Pit & Hector Lépine (1925-26)

Sylvio & Georges Mantha (1928-29 / 1935-36)

Conrad & Jean-Louis Bourcier (1935-36)

Ken & Terry Reardon (1941-42)

Maurice & Henri Richard (1955-56 / 1959-60)

Frank & Pete Mahovlich (1970-71 / 1973-74)

Larry & Moe Robinson (1979-80)

Claude & Jocelyn Lemieux (1988-89 / 1989-90)

Stephan & Patrick Lebeau (1990-91)

Andrei & Sergei Kostitsyn (2007-08)



  1. Mr.Hazard says:


    Ex nihilo nihil fit

  2. Robert L says:

    My apologies again, to both Mr Stubbs and Mr Lavigne.

    My intent was not to be “questioning Carl’s research”, but to point out what I believed to be ommisions. I admit I did not get the brothers who “played together” part – went right by me, that one!

    It ends up we all learned a few extra details, which is cool.

    Dave, is Carl related to Michel Lavigne ( I believe that is his name ), another Habs historian who is involved in the Montreal hockey Walk Of Fame that is being proposed?

    I know that you have made past mention of other Habs fans who have great collections in previous posts. Features on them, their dedication, involvement, recollections, would be both delicious and intriguing. As Carl is the Canadiens manager of history and archives (talk about your dream job!), his would be an exhilerating place to start. Any chance?

    Thanks for addressing my initial query.

  3. Dave Stubbs says:

    No apology necessary, Robert. It’s the passion for the Canadiens – present, past and future – that makes their fans special. And I’m delighted that my friend Carl likes to spend a little of his day at our site.

    Dave Stubbs

    Habs Inside/Out
    Sports Feature Writer, Montreal Gazette


  4. Naila Jinnah says:

    Very cool! I think it’s awesome that a little site like this can make the Habs and the NHL review their records. We should make that “our” claim to fame! 😀

  5. Robert L says:

    Thanks for the reply Mr Lavigne.

    I understand what you are referring to when you speak of the digging required to research stories and facts properly. The best part is the reward of the end work and the kind thoughts of appreciative readers.

    Dave and the boys have made HIO into one very interesting Habs hub for news and stories past and present. Hopefully, one day soon, the present will be as glorious as the team’s past.

    I’ll say it again, I would sure enjoy it if Dave were to do a profile and you and your work with the Canadiens.

    I thought about the name being Vigneault at work today, and sensed it would be corrected by the time I arrived home. It’s so close in letters to Vigneault, I’m getting myself checked for dyslexia!

  6. von says:

    Hey Dave, I was just wondering if you could maybe find/point out about something I noticed the other night watching the Habs and what Mike B noticed as well.

    Why is it that the Kostitsyn brothers do not have their first name initial on their jerseys?

    It can’t be because of the length of their name because I’ve seen guys with way longer names than that on a jersey. So what’s the deal?

    Interesting that there is nothing in the NHL rule book in regards to players with the same last name.

    “In addition, each player and goalkeeper shall wear his surname in full, in block letters three inches (3″) high, across the back of his sweater at shoulder height.”

  7. Dave Stubbs says:

    Good point. I’ll ask the Canadiens. I’ve often wondered why in Montreal they don’t have accents over letter that require them. After all, his name is BÉGIN, not BEGIN.

    Dave Stubbs

    Habs Inside/Out
    Sports Feature Writer, Montreal Gazette


  8. Girth says:

    I’ve seen some variations of the spelling of Kostisyn… For example, it’s spelled with an “A” on the NHL.com site.

    Also… Thanks for all the work on the site.

  9. nHL80 says:

    Now that there are 2 Kostitsyns on the team, we get to hear Yvon Pedneault say “KOT-SITSINE!” twice as much on RDS.

    Is Pedneault right about the pronunciation and everyone else is just wrong? I mean, Pierre clearly pronounces it “KOS-TITSYN” every game as well as every other commentator on TV. And Pierre sits next to Yvon almost every game! I find it truly baffling that no one at RDS would bother to correct Yvon especially now that both Kostitsyns are playing.

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