Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban has led his team in scoring for most of this abbreviated 2013 season. He is threatening to become the only Montreal Canadiens' defenseman to ever lead his team in scoring aside from Sprague Cleghorn. Sprague lead the Canadiens in scoring with 17 goals and 26 points in 24 games back during the 1921/22 NHL season. It has been a while.
Max Pacioretty currently leads the Canadiens in scoring by a point with one game remaining. Subban has the Leaf game tonight to make up the difference.
This potential feat has set me off in search of the greatest offensive defensemen in Montreal Canadiens' history. I offer many thanks to ourhistory.canadiens.com and hockeyreference.com for collected and compiled offensive statistics on Montreal Canadiens' defensemen. I am also trying to make this list dovetail with my list of the 50 Greatest Offensive Defensemen in NHL History. I apologize in advance if it doesn't all hang together.
This search has proven harder than I imagined. The Montreal Canadiens' organization despite their history of fire wagon hockey seems to have had a love-hate relationship with the offensive defenseman. Starting with Doug Harvey but continuing with the likes of Sheldon Souray, Marc-Andre Bergeron, Chris Chelios, Mathieu Schneider and J.C. Tremblay the offensive defensemen in Montreal has often found himself at the center of criticsim from team management and the fans. There are very few offensive defensemen who spent all or even most of their career as a Montreal Canadien. This made it very hard to put together a list of talented offensive defensemen who also had long careers with the Canadiens.
My original plan for a list of 25 ended when I was debating putting Tom Kurvers, Gaston Gingras, Jacques Laperriere and Rod Langway on it. Here then, is my admittedly flawed Top 20 Montreal Canadiens Offensive Defensemen list.
Note: Stats were accurate as of Sunday, April 28.