In recent memory, there has never been any other season with so much leadup hype as the upcoming Montreal Canadiens season.
Canadiens fans and management are still waiting for new faces Alex Tanguay and Georges Laraque to don le bleu, blanc, et rogue for the first time in their careers. They are hoping they can make a difference in the Canadiens lineup in this historical year.
Include the Mats Sundin rumours that still have not stopped, and this offseason has been enticing, even anxious at times.
Now, with only a few weeks before rookie and training camps open, the realization of something great is dawning—NHL hockey is coming back, and it is coming back with a bang!
With so much potential, hopes, and dreams running on this centennial season, it makes the Canadiens fans more than anxious—it makes them expectant of something great, something extraordinary this season. Something equal to the playoff run of the 1993 Stanley Cup playoffs, or even of 1986.
For one of the most storied franchises in NHL and hockey history, they have been playing lower than many of their past teams have been, with only four trips to the second round in 15 years.
And this season, with so many expectations for success, will it finally happen? Will the ghosts of the Forum finally make their way through the Bell Centre doors and live in the rafters with the retired jerseys?
Morenz, Richard, Plante, Geoffrion, and others have gone from this world.
They are still with us—and hopefully they can help the current team on the ice in their biggest celebration yet.