It was 32 years ago yesterday that Molson Canada bought the Montreal Canadiens for the second time. They purchased the team from the Bronfman family that they had sold it to seven years before.
That purchase lead to the forcing out of uber-GM Sam Pollock for corporate suit Irving Grundman. It marked the end of the last Montreal Canadiens' dynasty. The bumbling Grundman dismantled the championship team in short order.
The Canadiens, despite three Stanley Cups since that takeover, have never been the same. They have never even been the best team in the league since they won the cup in 1979 during Grundman's first season in charge.
A certain level of hockey ignorance can be expected with large corporations buying sports franchises, especially a corporation buying in to a sport they know nothing about. Molson buying in to the Montreal Canadiens seemed like a match made in heaven.
The appalling ignorance and arrogance the corporation showed at the time was astounding. Their personnel moves showed a lack of hockey knowledge one might expect with a group that had no previous exposure to or prior knowledge of hockey.
Yet in Canada, in the heart of the hockey homeland, this company made those moves that have lead the Canadiens through almost a quarter century of floundering. Fans of the team have to hope that this version of Molson ownership of the Montreal Canadiens will be more successful than the last version was.
Check out the CBC archived clip from Aug 4,1978.