Twenty-four former Canadiens make list of 100 Greatest NHL Players

The complete list of the 100 Greatest NHL Players was announced Friday night in Los Angeles to kick off the all-star weekend and 24 former Canadiens players were on it. That’s the same number of Stanley Cups that have been won by the franchise.

The 24 former Canadiens on the 100 Greatest NHL Players list are:

George Vézina

Howie Morenz

Bill Durnan

Toe Blake

Elmer Lach

Maurice Richard

Doug Harvey

Jean Béliveau

Bernard Geoffrion

Dickie Moore

Jacques Plante

Henri Richard

Yvan Cournoyer

Serge Savard

Tony Esposito

Jacques Lemaire

Ken Dryden

Guy Lafleur

Frank Mahovlich

Larry Robinson

Bob Gainey

Chris Chelios

Patrick Roy

Denis Savard

(Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Three Canadiens at All-Star Game

Three members of the Canadiens are in Los Angeles for the all-star weekend: coach Michel Therrien, goalie Carey Price and defenceman Shea Weber.

Therrien will coach the Atlantic Division team with Price and Weber on it in Sunday’s All-Star Game three-on-three tournament (3:30 p.m, CBC, SN, NBC, TVA Sports).

Price and Weber will both take part in Saturday’s All-Star Skills Competition (7 p.m., CBC, SN, TVA Sports). Weber will be looking to win the Hardest Shot Competition for the third straight year. Last season Weber won with a shot of 108.1 mph. The previous year he won with a shot of 108.5 mph.

The rest of the Canadiens are off until Monday, when they will practise at 2 p.m. in Brossard. The Canadiens will play the Buffalo Sabres Tuesday night at the Bell Centre (7:30 p.m., SNE, RDS, TSN Radio 690). 

• List of 100 Greatest NHL Players,

• 24 Canadiens on list of 100 Greatest NHL Players,


  1. HabsCHfan says:

    Luc Robitaille made the top 100 list but not Dale Hawerchuk or Doug Gilmour…hmmm

  2. johnyk says:

    Orr was the greatest, absolutely. He won every major trophy except the Vezina. Only player to do that.


  3. Sprague and Odie says:

    Had Serge Savard not broken his leg two different times – Orr would not have dominated his great years unrivalled. Savard, my friends was something to behold. He won the Conn Smythe in ’69.

    He learned the spinorama from watching Doug Harvey.

    I was told that there was an award ceremony in Boston to honour Don Cherry – I thought about that for a brief moment and I replied: “For what? Too many men on the ice?”

  4. boing007 says:

    Turned off NBC’s All Star coverage and switched over to the CBC. Like it better. Great picture.

    Richard R

  5. PK says:

    Hey MB,
    Why are there no Habs forwards in the All-star game, bud?
    Probably not enough top end offensive talent, no?

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    “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

    • dwrozeboom says:

      ^ trolling
      I like the All Star weekend. It’s nice to see another side of the players.
      Commentary from Subban, Burns and Crosby was great. Mike Smith nailing the 5 hole was great!

      • Mavid says:

        I enjoy it too..nice to see the players enjoying themselves..that Smith shot was amazing…Carey skating around with that sweet little daughter of his..

        º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º

        Weed Wacker -and now Flamethrower Grandma Smurf

      • PK says:

        Good to see a couple of Habs players enjoying the festivities, and the coach. Would be nice to have a forward or two in the mix.

        _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

        “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

    • johnnylarue says:

      Was Patches still stone-cold slumpin’ when the voting wrapped up?

    • boing007 says:

      Because Max had a wonky ankle and Galchenyuk re-injured his knee.

      Richard R

  6. 3 points for a win says:

    I don’t understand this 100 anniversary thing. The NHL was founded on Nov 26, 1917 so technically they are in the 99th year. It would make more sense to have this centennial anniversary at next years all star game.

  7. LeaveTheCoachAlone says:

    Did the announcer just refer to Shea Weber and Carey Price of Tampa Bay.


  8. Habby_Haberton says:

    Sportsnet mandate is clearly to talk about Matthews as much as possible.

    • johnnylarue says:

      And that’s just part of what makes him such a dominant player.

    • Mavid says:

      yea my mistake it was Jim Hughton who referred to him as my boy..a couple of times now..its a bit much..

      º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º

      Weed Wacker -and now Flamethrower Grandma Smurf

    • johnyk says:

      No doubt they lobbied hard to get him in the top 100.


  9. Mavid says:

    Scott..whatever his name is..just referred to Mathews as “my boy” more than once..

    º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º

    Weed Wacker -and now Flamethrower Grandma Smurf

  10. Carey Price Ladies and Gentlemen!

    PK Subban is going to be awesome on TV after his career is over.

    Shane Oliver
    59 Wins to Tie Plante
    Shane&Son Dec 2016

  11. PK says:

    Subban should still be a Hab.

    Yes, I know that is so 2016.

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    “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

  12. Habby_Haberton says:

    The all star game is so boring and awkward. They should turn it into a mini tournament or rig it so that winning teams gain a point in the standings so there is some level of competition.

    Also I think Snoop may be using the marijuana drugs.

  13. Mavid says:

    Karlsson looks like a peanut standing between Weber and Hedman

    º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º

    Weed Wacker -and now Flamethrower Grandma Smurf

  14. krob1000 says:

    um snoop…it’s a family show

  15. Arnold 56-79 says:

    Come on now. It’s a stretch saying “24 Mobtreal Canadiens” are on the list.

    Esposito played about 12 games as a backup and.was a non-entity as a Hab. Mahovlich will always be recognized as a Leaf. Over a decade with them, and four Cups. Just four years with the Habs. Even the two Cups are half as many as with Toronto. Chelios spent about thirty percent of his career in Montreal. One Cup and a Norris, but he will be more recognized as a Hawk or Wing. As a native of Chicago it was a big deal when he went home. And as a Wing he was treated with respect as a long time veteran on the emerging dynasty. Denis Savard? Weird that both sides of that trade are designated as Habs. Savard was a minor figure for the 1993 Cup team and only put in a few years of disappointing production at the end of his career.

    That logic works both ways. Might as well call Savard a Jet, Moore a Leaf/Blue, Morenz a Hawk, Roy an Avalanche, Lafleur a Ranger/Nordique, Robinson a King, Plante a Leaf/Blue/Bruin, Harvey a Ranger/Blue, and so on. Of the above names, Chelios is the only one to have played at least five years on the Habs. And in his case his longevity qualifies that number into a low percentage career wise. Also, the most glaring omission is Guy Lapointe. He probably deserves it more than Savard. No silverware probably was a factor. But he scored over twenty goals once, was a hard rock defender and consistent year after year both ways. Joliat also deserved recognition. He and Morenz pretty much created the ‘Firewagon hockey’ identity of the franchise. But each original six franchise can also point to omissions.

  16. Chelios24 says:

    Had he been healthier throughout his terrific career, Mario Lemieux would be the greatest NHL player of all-time. He gets shortchanged. Glad to see Jacques Lemaire on this list.

    • 24 Cups says:

      I have often wondered about that although Orr’s career was also cut short. If both guys play a full healthy 20 years I think Orr still comes out ahead.


      • Chelios24 says:

        Orr was obviously great (in the top 3 all-time) but at least half the teams in the NHL during most of his era were garbage due to expansion and it not yet being infused with Russians, European and many American players, etc…

  17. Max says:

    I hate this All Star Game nonsense.What a waste of a potentially good late January hockey weekend.Scrap this rubbish and let’s only have real hockey and award the Stanley Cup in May.

  18. Timo says:

    I see one glaring omission on this list

    • FenceSurfer says:

      Dom Delouise, Daffy Duck, David Duchovny, Daisy Duke, Donald Duck, Dirk Diggler.

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      Yep, no Davey. A travesty, I tell ya!

      It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so. – Mark Twain

    • PK says:

      DD is resting up for the Habs playoffs push.
      He should not bother with the NHL All-star shenanigans, Timo.
      However, we do understand your pain.

      _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

      “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

  19. FenceSurfer says:

    24 cups=24 beers in a case.

    Keep pounding ’em down Hab fans, we’re not out of the woods yet.

  20. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    That is a tough list to compile. Not crazy about Tony Esposito or even Lemaire on that list. Just off the top of my head, I think Iginla, Thorton, Hawerchuk and…yes…Neely…could have made that list.
    Ilya Kovalchuk would have guaranteed made that list if he didn’t leave. His numbers are sick.

  21. AliHaba says:

    The Top 100 are chosen. There are some players left out who should be there and maybe some there that shouldn’t be. There will always be controversy. Being a bit of a hockey historian myself, I decided to go a step further and list my next 30 who could or should make it. I have listed them according to the year they broke into the league. You may scoff at some of them but check their career stats and trophy winnings and you’ll see they all have merit.

    1922-23 Aurel Joliat Fwd
    1926-27 George Hainsworth G
    1927-28 Dit Clapper D
    1931-32 Ott Heller D
    1938-39 Frank Brimsek G
    1948-49 Allan Stanley D
    1955-56 Norm Ullman F
    1955-56 Pierre Pilote D
    1960-61 Rod Gilbert F
    1965-66 Pete Mahovlich F
    1969-70 Butch Goring F
    1971-72 Rick Martin F
    1971-72 Rick MacLeish F
    1973-74 Lanny McDonald F
    1976-77 Bernie Federko F
    1978-79 Rod Langway D
    1978-79 Bobby Smith F
    1979-80 Mark Howe D
    1980-81 Steve Larmer F
    1980-81 Glenn Anderson F
    1981-82 Dale Hawerchuk F
    1982-83 Mats Naslund F
    1983-84 Doug Gilmour F
    1993-94 Markus Naslund F
    1995-96 Jarome Iginla F
    1997-98 Marion Hossa F
    1997-98 Joe Thornton F
    1998-99 Martin St. Louis F
    2000-01 Brad Richards F
    2006-07 Evgeni Malkin F

    • BriPro says:

      I wouldn’t argue most of your additions.
      However, for me, there are two who never quite earned the respect or acknowledgement they deserved.
      One, not so blatant because his recognition cam to the forefront and that’s Guy Lapointe.
      The bigger head-scratcher for me is J.C. Tremblay.
      #3 was the most dependable stay-at-home D during his time. I think he was just a victim of poor timing, especially when you’ve got Bobby Orr as a rival, as dominant as he was.
      I would have added those two to my list.

      • AliHaba says:

        I agree with you. For some reason I thought Pointu was on the Top 100 list. I would have had him on my list for sure. Tremblay also. And then there’s Jacques Laperriere.

    • Stewpot says:

      Gotta say I’m a bit surprised that Kane made it ahead of Malkin and St. Louis. Give him a few more years, maybe.

      If a man speaks in a forest where no woman can hear him, is he still wrong?

  22. The Eradicator says:

    I just caught a snippet of the ceremony on TVA Sports, barely a minute, as they were introducing the stars of the 70s, and they made two jarring factual errors, things they could have caught if they’d done some research, or read their Almanac like I used to do.

    –They said that Yvan Cournoyer took over as captain from Jean Béliveau, while we all know that Yvan was named Captain when Henri Richard retired.

    –They said that Bob Gainey won five Stanley Cups during his career, “including five in a row between 1976 and 1980.”

    I understand that the interns who put this together are Millennials hopped up on Red Bull and their sense of what their own special place in the world will be, and that they didn’t live through that period of the NHL, but for the NHL/TVA to make these mistakes shows how far reporting and TV sports have fallen. If this job needed to be done, it should have been done right, with editorial oversight, with a J. Jonah Jameson to send shoddy work back and dole out boots to the rear.

    I impotently rail against Gary Bettman and his decision to hand over the broadcasting of his league to the worst bidders in Sportsnet and TVA. When Radio-Canada was running things, that kind of crap wouldn’t have slipped by Lionel Duval or Claude Quenneville.

    ¡Viva Frontenac siempre y para siempre!

    • Habs4LifeInTO says:

      Thanks for catching that. I agree with your comments. These are facts and facts should be checked. Sounds like media types are going off the top of their heads instead of double checking everything. It’s the discipline that’s seems to be slipping. Or maybe it’s that “rush everything” mentality so common today. Information overload these days has everyone’s head spinning…

      24 cups and counting….

      • The Eradicator says:

        It sounded like copy that a host read over a montage of clips featuring the players. It was prepared ahead of time, this wasn’t a Pierre Houde or Scott Oake riffing off the top of their head and getting a couple of things wrong. They went through the trouble of writing this material, and got two huge clunkers in in less than a couple of minutes.

        I don’t know if Sportsnet did the work, and then handed off their copy to TVA, I don’t know who made the mistakes, but it’s pretty disappointing.

  23. adamkennelly says:

    was mentioned that Az wanted MAC plus 2 draft picks for Hanzal…are they out of their faking minds?

    maybe Hanzal and Duclair for that – maybe.

    I’d focus on one of the studs from the Avs – can’t miss pick ups.

  24. RightNyder says:

    Repost: Nearly a quarter of the top 100 were Canadiens, a nod to the team’s glorious past. (Should have been an actual 25 per cent, I think Guy Lapointe should have slotted in there).
    Hopefully, the next 100 years feature a title or two. I won’t hold my breath.
    My own top 25, for shytes and giggles:
    1. Orr 2. Howe 3. Gretzky 4. Lemieux 5. Rocket 6. Beliveau 7. Hull 8. Lafleur 9. Harvey 10. Roy 11. Messier 12. Bourque 13. Lidstrom 14. Bossy 15. Crosby 16. Potvin 17. Plante 18. Morenz 19. Esposito 20. Jagr 21. Hasek 22. Sawchuk 23. Ovechkin 24. Shore 25. (tie) Robinson/Lupien.

    • New says:

      Gilles had one of the better tie collections in the League. Nice to see it recognized.

      • RightNyder says:

        When I was a kid, mes parents bought me a book (big yellow thing, someone help me out…) that contained editorial-style cartoons/comics of the ’70s Habs.
        My favourite one was one of a variety of players and their fondest wishes in thought-bubble form.
        Lupien’s hockey dream? “The third star, Gilles Lupien…”

        EDIT: This was the book:
        Anyone else have that?

  25. Commandant says:

    Canadiens Prepare for Busy Trade Deadline

    The Montreal Canadiens are a unique team this year. The Habs separated themselves early in the season, but since the beginning of December the team has slowed down. Montreal still sits first place in the Atlantic Division, but clearly still needs to improve to be successful in the playoffs. The Habs still need some additional scoring, and with the upcoming expansion draft, teams will be preparing for it now. The bonus is that more players should be available during the trade deadline this year, which the Habs should take advantage of if they want to have a successful playoff run.

    Go Habs Go!

  26. 24 Cups says:

    It’s a real stretch to have Tony Esposito on this list but it does get us to the magical 24. After all, the number 24 only pertains to those that have elite status in our society.


  27. ClutchNGrab says:

    24/100. That’s pretty good!

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