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Montreal Canadiens

Despite the Fresh Faces, Habs’ Heritage Restored

Montreal Canadiens After each ceremony that is hosted by the Montreal Canadiens, the same comment is made time and time again. It’s stated that only two places know how to truly run a proper ceremony; Buckingham Palace and the Bell Centre. In Montreal, we is an all encompassing term. It represents the players, the organization and the fans. There are few professional sporting teams where the term “we” represents the fans, however in Montreal I firmly believe it does. And with the rollover of so many familiar names in this off season, it was an unspoken concern of many on whether or not the tradition of the Montreal Canadiens would be lost. With two young goaltenders in net, a large group of young, unproven players coupled with a number of fresh faces, the tradition that the Habs have represented for the past ten plus years was suddenly gone. Fan favorites in Komisarek & Begin were gone. Despite rallies at the Bell Centre by thousands of fans, Alex Kovalev was not resigned. And team captain for the past decade was let go without hesitation. On opening night when the bleu, blanc et rouge hit the ice it was a new experience and it seemingly represented a new era for the Habs organization. Then when our leader, our anchor on the point and thought-to-be Captain went down with a bad injury on opening night, the Markov-less Habs were even tougher to recognize.

As wins & losses began to pile up and the team floated through mediocrity in the first half of the season, it is tough to know much of the team at this point. One thing is known and that is the team is not going anywhere without Markov on the point. And goaltending controversy aside, the Habs team this season remains a bit of an unknown. Will they make a late season push and solidify a playoff position? Will they remain at 500% and fight for a playoff birth? Or will they tank and lock in some good tee times in April and May?

This is known though and it comes with a huge sigh of relief. Despite the fresh faces and the new names on the back of the jersey, the heritage that is the Montreal Canadiens remains. The Koivu, Komisarek and Kovalev’s of our team have long since left and are now replaced by a Gionta, a Cammallari and a Scotty Gomez. In half a season, the new faces are finally being recognized as a Hab first and their name second. The CH emblem on the front of the jersey is always bigger than the name on the back of the jersey and it was certainly my concern initially on whether or not this fresh group of players would fit in with the tradition that comes with our team. And despite a mediocre season thus far, it is comforting to know that our heritage remains. The “Koivu tap” is a thing of the past, but nowadays we have Paul Mara to thank each home game for giving the two youngsters a tap on the pads as he is the last Habs player to hit the ice. The next step we need is our team Captain being named sooner, rather than later.

The only piece of the puzzle that doesn’t seem to fit these days is that of the man behind the bench.

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Discussion

3 comments for “Despite the Fresh Faces, Habs’ Heritage Restored”

  1. Isn’t it amazing how quickly you get used to your new team? The Sharks turned over about 1/3 their players from last year and when I see one of them on another team I go “Oh yea, that’s what happened to him.”

    Posted by sharksfanNo Gravatar | January 30, 2010, 10:27 am
  2. I’m sorry but Gainey should have never fired Carbo, they should have left Price developp in the minors, now he’ll never be the next one. And instead of always finish 8th9th with the 15th round pick, they should just finish last for a couple of years…. pitt, washington, chicago…..

    Posted by b.chandlerNo Gravatar | February 2, 2010, 11:22 am
  3. I forgot, and as for the “heritage”, c’mon since 1980 where they stop having the first two french speaking choice, they didn’t do nothing, a big tradition is easy to accomplish when you have first choice on then best hockey players in the world…quote from the HHOF.com
    “Prior to 1970, the Montreal Canadiens were granted a unique concession on the day of the amateur draft. They were allowed to draft the top two French-speaking prospects each year. With that concession ended in 1970, the Buffalo Sabres were able to draft Gilbert Perreault. There was no longer a provision for Montreal to select draft choices by way of culture. First choice in the draft went to the last-place team in the expansion (Western) division. Montreal had enjoyed a fine season, including a Stanley Cup celebration, so would be selecting late in the talent pool selections. The Canadiens were looking for a Francophone star to replace Jean Beliveau, who was making noise about retirement.”

    Posted by b.chandlerNo Gravatar | February 2, 2010, 11:25 am

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