Canadiens Historical Websitehttp://www.canadiens.comRSS Feed from the Canadien's centinnial websiteen-caTue, 29 Jul 2014 18:53:54 -0400Tue, 29 Jul 2014 18:53:54 -040030Copyright/rss/Canadiens Historical Websitehttp://ourhistory.canadiens.com/static/admin/images/logo.pnghttp://ourhistory.canadiens.com163122 <![CDATA[The Bear Essentials]]> http://ourhistory.canadiens.com/article/The-Bear-Essentials http://ourhistory.canadiens.com/article/The-Bear-Essentials Mon, 26 May 2014 00:00:00 -0400
Standing 5-foot-10 and tipping the scales at a modest 170 pounds back in the day, Bonin didn’t inspire fear on the ice but as Tony Schneider would attest, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.

Schneider was the Western Hockey League bruiser who went up against Bonin and left the battlefield with a broken nose and fractured jaw. Bonin didn’t have a mean bone in his body, but he was extremely strong and absolutely fearless.  

He picked up the moniker l’Ours de Joliette after taking to the ring in an attempt to pin a wrestling bear when a traveling carnival came to town. Though the $1,000 prize was a more-than-adequate incentive, Bonin failed to go the distance and walked away with nothing but a new nickname. To say the least Bonin, who was known to eat glass on occasion for the entertainment of his teammates, usually made life interesting.  

While he picked up a very respectable 272 points in 454 games, Bonin’s greatest career moments were owed to Maurice Richard, or more precisely, to “The Rocket’s” absence. Borrowing the injured Richard’s new gloves in 1959, he seemed to magically inherit his captain’s nose for the net. Bonin scored 10 times in 11 games and capped the season with the Stanley Cup.  

Asked to comment on his incredible playoff run, Bonin jokingly declared, “If I’d known how it was going to turn out, I’d have borrowed Rocket’s jock as well.”

See also
One of a kind
Joy and pain
Stuck on you
Attention to detail
Welcome to the Rock
Hull's not-so secret admirer]]>
Players
<![CDATA[Playing Through Traffic]]> http://ourhistory.canadiens.com/article/Playing-Through-Traffic http://ourhistory.canadiens.com/article/Playing-Through-Traffic Mon, 12 May 2014 00:00:00 -0400
The idea of hitting the ice alongside hockey legends like Guy Lafleur, Larry Robinson and Bob Gainey would be intimidating enough for any young Habs player. But as Ludwig headed to the rink to make his Canadiens debut in September 1982, he had a few other things to worry about first.

“I was taking part in my first NHL training camp with the Canadiens and I was already really nervous,” recalled Ludwig. “Then, while I was driving to the Forum for my first-ever preseason game, I got in a car accident around the corner from the rink.

“The other guy ran a red light and T-boned me and I was thrown clear through the passenger side window,” he described. “Next thing I know, I’m lying right in the middle of Atwater street.”

Ambulances arrived on the scene to find the 21-year-old Habs defenseman picking pieces of glass out of his freshly-pressed suit. A shot-blocking specialist throughout his career, Ludwig wasn’t about to let a few bumps and bruises keep him from his teammates. The paramedics urged Ludwig to come with them to the hospital for more testing, but the rookie blue-liner convinced them to drop him off down the block for an important detour first.

“I finally made it to the Forum and the first person I ran into was Gaetan Lefebvre,” explained Ludwig, who went on to play eight seasons in Montreal. “He looked at me standing there, covered in blood, and was just like, ‘What the heck happened to you?’ After explaining the situation to him, he hustled me into the dressing room to get ready.”

Arriving at his stall at 6:00 p.m. for the 7:00 p.m. game, Ludwig hurried to suit up before anyone noticed his tardiness. Unfortunately for the rookie defenseman, someone else was strolling through the hallway at the exact same time.

“Bob Berry was the coach at the time and he saw me come rushing in. He just looked down at his watch then back up at me,” recalled Ludwig with a chuckle. “I thought I was going to be benched, for sure. Bob just laughed and said, ‘Better hurry up, kid – warmup is about to start.’ That was definitely an interesting welcome to the NHL!”]]>
Players
<![CDATA[Helmets Are A Player’s Best Friend]]> http://ourhistory.canadiens.com/article/Helmets-Are-A-Player-s-Best-Frie http://ourhistory.canadiens.com/article/Helmets-Are-A-Player-s-Best-Frie Mon, 28 Apr 2014 00:00:00 -0400
“The team’s veterans had a habit of giving all the rookies terrible haircuts,” explained Gilles Tremblay, who played his first full season with the Habs in 1961-62. “When my turn came, all they left on my head was a tiny tuft of hair, about the size of a loonie.”

From the safety of the club’s dressing room, this probably didn’t seem all that bad. On the other hand, the thought of sporting his new coif on the ice before of thousands of fans proved to be more humiliation than the young forward was prepared to take.

“After realizing I could barely look at myself in the mirror anymore, I decided I would have to wear a helmet the next time I played,” revealed Tremblay. “This was back in a time where players very rarely wore helmets.”

A few days later, the New York Rangers – and ex-Canadiens defenseman Doug Harvey – were in town to play the Habs at the Forum. Having just been traded to his new team that summer, Harvey was still well known among the Montreal players. Needless to say, it didn’t take long for someone to spill the beans on Tremblay’s secret shame.

“One of the guys let him know that the real reason I was wearing a helmet was to hide my haircut from the fans,” recalled Tremblay.

The information certainly didn’t fall on deaf ears, and the six-time Norris Trophy winner decided to have a little fun at the rookie’s expense.

“During the game, every time Harvey and I were battling in the corners, it seemed like he was trying a lot harder to knock the helmet off my head than he was to get the puck,” laughed Tremblay, who thankfully managed to get over the embarrassing experience and go on to win two Stanley Cups with the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge in 1965-66 and 1967-68.

Either way, over the course of his nine seasons with the club, chances are Tremblay had more than his share of opportunities to wield the clippers himself, generously helping induct a fresh slew of rookies in to the Montreal Canadiens family.

See also
Dude, where's my car?
Flower Power
Tom and Dickie
The Welcome Wagon
A Sticky Situation
The old switcheroo]]>
Players
<![CDATA[Salt in the wounds]]> http://ourhistory.canadiens.com/article/Salt-In-The-Wounds http://ourhistory.canadiens.com/article/Salt-In-The-Wounds Mon, 14 Apr 2014 00:00:00 -0400
In preparation for their pending weekend of male bonding, Larose asked veteran hunter Laperriere to pick him up some ammo. After arriving at their final destination, the guys quickly set about bagging some fowl for dinner, a feat which proved pretty easy for all the finely-tuned athletes. All except one, of course.

“Every time Larose shot at a pheasant, the bird just kept soaring away unscathed,” recalled Laperriere with a grin. “He started thinking his gun had to be broken or something.”

So Laperriere grabbed the rifle and reloaded to prove it was the user – not the weapon – that was malfunctioning.

The point was made. Two shots, two direct hits, two birds. While the rest of the gang managed to haul in enough pheasant on which to feast, Larose came back empty-handed and confused. Taking his place beside the campfire later that night, the dejected winger settled in to eat the fruits of his teammates’ labor.

“The guys all tried comforting him, telling him they would take him out hunting again. Only next time, it would be for something a little more his speed… like elephants,” laughed Laperriere.

Meanwhile, the All-Star Canadiens defenseman decided to throw a bone to his perplexed teammate, tipping him off to the reason he couldn’t seem to land a shot all day.

“I decided to play a little prank on him so instead of packing his ammo with gunpowder, I used salt,” recounted Laperriere. “Larose finally figured it out – but not until I suggested using his bullets to season his dinner!”

***
SEE ALSO
Size does matter
Dressed for success
Up against the wall
Helmets are a player's best friend
Dude, where's my car?
Flower Power
Tom and Dickie]]>
Players
<![CDATA[Watch What You Eat]]> http://ourhistory.canadiens.com/article/Watch-What-You-Eat http://ourhistory.canadiens.com/article/Watch-What-You-Eat Mon, 31 Mar 2014 00:00:00 -0400
One afternoon in 1968, DesRoches was tagging along with the Habs as they rode their team bus back to the Forum after a press conference at the Molson brewery. This was the moment Montreal defenseman Jacques Laperrière chose to offer DesRoches a seemingly innocent gift that was ultimately destined to give him the fright of his life.

“I used to have these special candies that would turn the mouth of whoever ate them completely blue,” recalled Laperrière. “I gave him one during the ride, expecting him to eat it right on the spot.”

But that’s not what happened. Instead, DesRoches put the sweet in his pocket for later and Laperrière soon forgot about his little prank entirely. That is, until he received a phone call about a month later that served as a very loud reminder of the incident. As Laperrière put the receiver to his ear, he was greeted by DesRoches. “’I’m calling the cops on you, you @#$%&*!’ he screamed at me,” recounted Laperrière.

After a few minutes of verbal abuse, DesRoches finally calmed down enough to explain what had gotten him so enraged in the first place.

“He was out shopping with his wife when he finally ate the candy. A few minutes later, he noticed his wife staring at him with an absolutely terrified expression on her face,” explained Laperrière.

Convinced that he was on the brink of death, she herded him into a taxi and off they rushed to the hospital. The ER doctors, much like DesRoches’ wife, were of the opinion that having one’s mouth suddenly turn completely blue for no apparent reason wasn’t the best indicator of good health, and had him begin a battery of tests to determine the gravity of his condition.

“They made poor DesRoches get an electrocardiogram and a whole slew of other painful tests,” admitted the guilty party.

Finally, the test results came back. All of DesRoches’ vital signs were perfect, and the only part of him to end up getting damaged from the ordeal was his ego when he realized that it was Laperrière and his infamous candy were the culprits responsible.

SEE ALSO
Up against the wall
Helmets are a player's best friend
Dude, where's my car?
Flower Power
Tom and Dickie
The Welcome Wagon
A Sticky Situation]]>
Players
<![CDATA[Size does Matter]]> http://ourhistory.canadiens.com/article/Size-Does-Matter http://ourhistory.canadiens.com/article/Size-Does-Matter Mon, 17 Mar 2014 00:00:00 -0400
After being drafted by the Canadiens in the first round in June 1971, Larry Robinson headed to training camp that fall determined to earn his spot with the big club.  

“I showed up to my first camp to go through that battery of medicals and tests and I was maybe 193 pounds soaking wet,” recalled the  6-foot-4 Hall-of-Famer. “They told me I only needed to bring my skates with me and the team would give me everything else. So I sat down and started getting ready for my first-ever practice with the Montreal Canadiens.

“I put on my shin pads and they were tiny – there was a space of about three or four inches between my shin pad and my ankle,” he continued. “I was already terrified enough just being in the dressing room with those guys so I kept my mouth shut and went out onto the ice with the small pads.”  

Robinson’s first strides on Forum ice went off without a hitch – before “Big Bird” laid a crushing check on veteran Claude Larose in an intra-squad scrimmage.

“Luckily, nothing came of that hit,” laughed Robinson, who went on to suit up for a team-record 1,202 games throughout his 17-year career on the Habs blue line. “I didn’t take any shots to the shins or anything like that. When we were all back in the room after the practice, Guy Lapointe looked over at me laughing from his spot and asked, ‘Larry, what’s the deal?’ He saw how short my pads were and went to see equipment manager Eddy Palchak to get me a pair a little more my size.”  

With the problem now solved, the 20-year-old did a little detective work to find out just who had christened the pint-sized pads before him.

“I was taking off my gear and I took a look at the shin pads Eddy had given me originally,” continued Robinson. “It turned out they had the No. 9 marked on the inside. Imagine that; it was the first pro camp of my life, and I was out there skating around in ‘Rocket’ Richard’s game-used equipment!”

***
SEE ALSO
Dressed for success
Up against the wall
Helmets are a player's best friend
Dude, where's my car?
Flower Power
Tom and Dickie
The Welcome Wagon
A Sticky Situation]]>
Players
<![CDATA[Joy and pain]]> http://ourhistory.canadiens.com/article/Joy-And-Pain http://ourhistory.canadiens.com/article/Joy-And-Pain Mon, 03 Mar 2014 00:00:00 -0500
None of those injuries was more worth the sacrifice than the one Lach suffered during the 1953 Stanley Cup Finals against the Bruins. With the Canadiens leading the series 3-1, the fifth game, scoreless after 60 minutes, went into overtime. Only 82 seconds into the extra frame, a Bruins miscue handed Lach and the Habs the Cup on a silver platter.

“The puck appeared on my stick and I just shot it”, Lach recalled. “I couldn’t shoot it very hard. In fact, Toe Blake always said ‘Your shot wouldn’t break a paper bag’, but I shot it and it went in the net and that was it.”

Well, not quite. After scoring the biggest goal of his career, Lach jetted toward the middle of the ice where long-time linemate Maurice “Rocket” Richard was barrelling toward him with his arms outstretched.

The resulting high-impact, airborne embrace was as bone crushing a hit as any handed out in the heat of play. Lach skated away from the voluntary collision with his third Stanley Cup victory and the seventh broken nose of his career.

“I guess I was too aggressive and my nose was in the way,” Lach chuckled. “I hit my nose on his head. It didn’t feel too bad because we’d just won the Stanley Cup, and that was more important.”

The photo that captured the collision remains one of the most famous shots in team history. But for Lach, he need only look in the mirror to see a reminder of that memorable night at the Forum.

See also
Stuck on you
Attention to detail
Welcome to the Rock
Hull's not-so secret admirer
The Man With One Red Shoe
Is there a doctor in the house?
A White Welcome
Boss' Orders
Birds of a Feather
Howe could you?]]>
Players
<![CDATA[10 seconds in the NHL]]> http://ourhistory.canadiens.com/article/10-Seconds-In-The-NHL http://ourhistory.canadiens.com/article/10-Seconds-In-The-NHL Mon, 24 Feb 2014 00:00:00 -0500
After spending the better part of the 1967-68 season in the CPHL as a member of the Houston Apollos, Monahan finally made the trip to Montreal to hit the ice for the first time in a Habs jersey. Finding himself in a locker room packed with legends like Béliveau, Cournoyer and Henri Richard, it didn’t take long for the 20-year-old’s nerves to get the better of him.

On Jan. 13, 1968, the Bruins were paying a visit to the Forum to face off against the Habs. With the Montreal squad up by a score of 4-1 in the middle of the third period, Toe Blake called on Monahan to get into the play. For the young center, the chance to prove what he could do had finally arrived.

“I jumped out on the ice and headed towards Jean Béliveau to take his place by the faceoff circle. My legs were actually shaking. To this day, I’m still not sure if that was because of the stress or because of the 40 minutes I had just spent sitting, doing nothing on the bench.”

Monahan can remember every last detail from the events that transpired over the following 10 seconds.

“After the faceoff, I ended up behind our net. When I saw Eddie Shack from the Bruins barrelling at me with a full head of steam, I decided I’d get rid of the puck and shoot it around the boards, like a defenseman’s supposed to do.”

Monahan then squared himself up to receive the check, never realizing what was about to happen.

“The moment we collided, we both ended up falling to our knees. I’m not exactly sure what happened next, but when I got up, someone shot the puck up around the glass and it bounced off and hit me directly in the eye.”

The result was an unconscious Garry Monahan lying on the ice, knocked out cold after only 10 seconds in the NHL. “And that was my start in the National Hockey League,” laughed Monahan, who would go on to bounce back nicely from his rocky start.

“The worst thing about the whole story was that when I woke up the next morning with a huge, ugly black eye, it also happened to be the same day we were scheduled to do a photo shoot for our hockey card pictures.”

***
SEE ALSO
Train Games
Give it away now
Salt in the wounds
Size does matter
Dressed for success
Up against the wall
Helmets are a player's best friend
Dude, where's my car?]]>
Players
<![CDATA[The Welcome Wagon]]> http://ourhistory.canadiens.com/article/The-Welcome-Wagon http://ourhistory.canadiens.com/article/The-Welcome-Wagon Mon, 10 Feb 2014 00:00:00 -0500
While the visitors’ dressing room was a far cry from luxurious at the Forum, the only amenity opposing teams really needed to bring along with them to Montreal was a heavy-duty padlock – especially when Habs

All-Star and prankster extraordinaire Guy Lapointe was around. To hear Rod Langway tell it, visitors to la Belle Province had to have their guard up both on and off the ice.

“Anyone who has played with Guy knows enough to be looking over their shoulder at all times,” explained Langway, who patrolled the Habs’ blue line with Lapointe from 1978-79 to 1981-82. “The thing about Pointu, though, is that he would find a way to get you even if you were playing against him. Everyone was a target for him. No one was safe.”

Once the visiting team had left for their hotel after a game-day skate, Pointu got to work.  Like a stealthy lion hunting his prey, Lapointe would skulk into the opposing team’s dressing room undetected, setting his plan into action.  Armed with a few key weapons – scissors, tape and an eagle-eyed lookout man – Lapointe would find former teammates’ equipment and make a few custom “alterations”.

“I remember walking into the room once and I was about to start getting dressed and I saw that the laces on my pants had been cut,” recalled Langway, who played 11 seasons for the Capitals after his four-year stint in Montreal.  “My gloves were taped together with what must have been an entire roll of tape, but that wasn’t all – he’d gotten to my skate laces, too!”

While Langway’s Capitals teammates were ready to help the big defenseman find the culprit, there was no need to contact the authorities and open an investigation.

“The funny thing was, I didn’t even have to ask who did it,” shrugged Langway. “I just knew it couldn’t be anyone other than Pointu!”

See also
A Sticky Situation
The old switcheroo
Mikey Scissohands
The Bear Essentials
One of a kind
Joy and pain
Stuck on you
Attention to detail]]>
Players
<![CDATA[Sticking with it]]> http://ourhistory.canadiens.com/article/Sticking-With-It http://ourhistory.canadiens.com/article/Sticking-With-It Mon, 27 Jan 2014 00:00:00 -0500
“Doug would always be the first guy at the rink, so whenever you arrived, he’d have already been there for at least a half hour,” recalled Dykhuis, who played with Gilmour from 2001 to 2003 in Montreal. “One morning he had a gag he pulled on all of the younger guys.

“He used one of those old two-piece Easton sticks specialized to his pattern. He went up to the first guy in the room and just said, ‘Hey, I think my stick is crooked – can you check it out?’” recounted the 13-year NHL veteran. “This was Doug Gilmour – he’s the leader of the team – so of course we’re all jumping to help him out.”

What the then-Habs blue-liner didn’t know was that Gilmour had already spent plenty of his pre-practice time tinkering with his customized stick.

“I wanted to be helpful so I grabbed it and checked it out, but he told me I could only really see it if I tilted it up toward the light,” explained Dykhuis. “I didn’t even question it; if Doug tells me to do something, I’m doing it. So I tilt it up... and the stick is full of water! It just poured all over me, so I was soaking wet.”

Never one to rest on his laurels, Gilmour wasn’t about to stop at drenching just one gullible teammate. Once he had tricked his victim, the sneaky veteran would head to the shower, refill the shaft, and patiently wait for his next target to surface.

“He’d get guys one by one before they even made it into the dressing room, so they were in full suits,” added the now 38-year-old. “And you’re definitely not going to warn them because once you get wet, you want to make sure it happens to as many other guys as possible!

“Dougie didn’t pull pranks all that often so you didn’t expect it, but he was a really funny guy,” revealed Dykhuis. “He always knew when guys were feeling a bit too tense and he’d crack a joke or pull a stunt like that and it always loosened everyone right up.”]]>
Players