Greatest Montreal Canadiens Players of All-Time (Part IV)

Patrick Roy was one of the greatest goalies for the Montreal Canadiens. 

Goalie: Patrick Roy

Blame it on Ronald Corey.

He was the one who fired general manager Serge Savard and coach Jacques Demers four games into the 1995-96 season. They really wouldn’t have made the mistakes that their successors did. 

Corey then appointed Mario Tremblay as a coach and Rejean Houle as GM, even though Tremblay had never coached in his life. 

Six weeks into his coaching career, Tremblay left Patrick Roy in the net for nine goals against the Red Wings. Roy, who had a serious dislike for Tremblay even before he was hired to coach the Canadiens, requested a trade. 

Houle, the rookie general manager, was now put in the difficult position of having to trade one of the most well-liked players to ever represent the city of Montreal. The move he made with the Colorado Avalanche was one of the poorest decisions in NHL history. 

Roy, with his two Stanley Cups and 289 wins, as well as captain Mike Keane, was let go for Martin Rucinsky, Jocelyn Thibault, and Andrei Kovalenko. 

Even though Roy had already played in 551 games with the Canadiens, his career was far from over.

He would go on to enjoy eight seasons in Colorado and would improve his career record to 551-315-131. He had career goals- a .912 save percentage a .912 save percentage and against average of 2.54. In addition, he had 66 shutouts. 

From the time Roy left the Habs until he retired, the Canadiens would garner only two playoffs series. The Avalanche earned two Stanley Cups. 

Roy is always in debate as being the best goaltender to ever play the game of hockey. Therefore, he is worthy of being named Montreal’s all-time greatest netminder, regardless of how quickly his Canadiens career ended. 

Now, if only Ronald Corey hadn’t fired Savard and Demers…

 

Greatest Montreal Canadiens Players of All-Time (Part III)

Maurice Richard really made an impression on the ice.

Right Wing: Maurice Richard

When Maurice Richard came into the league in 1942-43, he scored five goals in 16 games before a broken leg finished his season. He had shown promise, but no one in the NHL at that time could have known what he would go on to do. 

When he came back to the ice the next season, The Rocket swiftly became the most thrilling player the NHL had witnessed in a very long time. His offensive skill set had never been observed before. Defenders didn’t know how to stop him.

Richard is famous as the first player in league history to score 50 goals in a season. He accomplished it in only 50 games and in only his second full NHL season. For his career, The Rocket scored 544 times in the regular season and an incredible 82 times in the playoffs. Both still are Canadiens’ records. 

Richard helped in bringing eight Stanley Cups to the city of Montreal, five straight from 1955-60. The Rocket played his last game in 1960 and was quickly voted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. 

Defense: Larry Robinson

Simply put, Larry Robinson was one of the best offensive defensemen to ever play hockey. 

A steal in the second round of the 1971 amateur draft (where the Habs also picked Guy Lafleur first overall), “Big Bird” would go on to play 17 amazing seasons with the Canadiens. 

After 1,202 career regular-season games played in Montreal, Robinson is perched near the top of all the Canadiens’ major offensive records. His 883 points put him fifth on the all-time list, while his 686 assists put him at fourth. 

Additionally, he was pretty good in his own end, completing his career a plus-730 (plus-700 with the Canadiens). 

Robinson earned two Norris Trophies, six Stanley Cups, and one Conn Smythe in his 17 seasons with the Canadiens. In 1992, he retired from playing hockey.