The Greatest Montreal Canadiens Nicknames: Round of Ten
In the sense of celebrations the centenary of the Montreal Canadiens, we now head to the second round of the greatest Montreal Canadiens nicknames, the round of 10. As the voting will narrow, we will learn more on the players.
Bracket one: Saint Patrick (Patrick Roy) versus Knuckles (Chris Nilan)
Saint Patrick’s day isn’t celebrated before March each year, but there have been those two years in Montreal where the traditional Irish parade has been supplanted by the Stanley Cup celebrations on Sainte Catherine’s street.
Patrick Roy has reportedly been nicknamed Saint Patrick by the local media. A Saint Patrick for the Sainte Flanelle.
Roy has been known for various reasons, among them, his determination and unparallel sense of competition. A perfect example would be the 1994 first round playoffs, as Roy was at the Hospital for appendicitis. After missing the third game against the Boston Bruins, he found a way to return on the ice on antibiotics to post a 5-2 win with 39 saves.
Chris Nilan grew up a Boston Bruins and Bobby Orr fan. Drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in 1978, he has been part of the 1986 Stanley Cup crew.
He has been known as one of the top enforcers in history. In the 1979-80 season, playing in the AHL, he recorded an impressive 304 minutes of penalty in just 49 games. During the Stanley cup year, he recorded another overwhelming 141 minutes of penalty in just 18 playoff games.
When asked about his performance as a goal scorer, he would answer that playing with Bob Gainey and Guy Carbonneau made him a better player as he clinched a career high of 21 goals and 16 assists. (The Gazette, Jan 26 edition)
Bracket two: The Pocket Rocket (Henri Richard) versus The Thieving Giraffe (Ken Dryden)
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and the Pocket Rocket doesn’t come far behind big brother, the Rocket.
The Pocket Rocket, for his 5’7 and 160 pounds won eleven Stanley Cups as a player, the first player in history to ever win that many. He has one more than Captain Jean Beliveau, who was his predecessor as the Montreal Canadiens captain.
In 1966, he scored the Stanley Cup wining goal against the Detroit Red Wings. In 1971, he tied the game against the Chicago Blackhawks, and scored another wining goal for the Montreal Canadiens’ fifth Stanley Cup in seven years.
High of 6’4 and 210 pounds, Ken Dryden used to see himself as an “Elephant on wheels”.
Dryden was drafted by the Boston Bruins in 1964, he has been right traded to the Montreal Canadiens in return of Guy Allen and Paul Reid.
He brought the team to six Stanley Cups, the first at his rookie year, earning the Conn Smythe Trophy.
He won the Calder Trophy a year later, since he hasn’t played enough game in the league to be eligible at his rookie year.
He held an amazing record of only 57 losses, 46 shutouts in 397 games.
Bracket three: Captain Kirk (Kirk Muller) versus The Roadrunner (Yvan Cournoyer)
Kirk Christopher Muller held an amazing record of 94 points in just 49 games with the OHL Guelph Platers at the age of 18.
He was drafted second overall by the New York Rangers, right behind Mario Lemieux and was traded to the Montreal Canadiens in 1991 in return of Stephane Richer and Tom Chorske.
He recorded an impressive 94 points during the Stanley Cup year, in 1992-93.
More than 25 years after the TV Series with famous James Tiberius Kirk, Muller was named Captain of the Montreal Canadiens; succeeding to Guy Carbonneau.
“To boldly go where no man has gone before.”
Conn Smythe Trophy winner in 1973, Yvan Cournoyer recorded 25 points in 17 playoffs games, as the Montreal Canadiens were defeated by the Chicago Blackhawks.
Named Captain after the Pocket Rocket, he got 10 Stanley Cups with the team. Under coach Scotty Bowman, he played with Guy Lafleur and Steve Shutt.
He coached the Montreal Roadrunners (a team that has been part of Roller Hockey International) and was an assistant coach behind the Montreal Canadiens bench in 1996-97.
Bracket four: The Rocket (Maurice Richard) versus Boom Boom Geoffrion (Bernard Geoffrion)
Maurice Richard won the Stanley Cup every year as the team Captain (1956-1960), and formed the “Punch line” with Elmer Lach and Hector Blake.
Apart from his amazing scoring record, he was also famous for the Richard riot in 1955.
Implicated in a brawl during a game against the Boston Bruins, Richard reportedly punched a referee, which was his second attack on a stripes-dressed man in the season. He has been suspended for the remainder of the season, as well as for the playoffs.
NHL President Clarence Campbell attended the next home game, facing the Detroit Red Wings. As soon as he got in the building, fans started to throw all kinds of things at him, included a tear gas bomb next to his sit.
The Old Forum has been evacuated and a riot happened outside, on Sainte Catherine Street.
In 2005, a movie has been released., starring among others NHL players such as Sean Avery, Pascal Dupuis, Ian Laperriere, and Vincent Lecavalier.
Bernard Geoffrion claimed to be the inventor of the slapshot, which earned him his nickname.
During Maurice Richard’s suspension, he surpassed his records; resulting in a booing session from the Montreal fans.
In 1958, he collapsed during practice, and his pulse stopped for about 15 seconds before he was brought back to consciousness. He got out of the Hospital despite the doctors’ warnings, to play the Boston Bruins in the playoffs. He scored the first goal, assisted the second, and the scored the third in a 3-2 win.
In 1979, he coached the Montreal Canadiens for only 30 games.
He was married to the daughter of legend Howie Morenz.
He passed away the morning of his jersey retirement ceremony. His family attended the emotive ceremony, at the Bell Center, as the Canadiens hung his jersey in the rafters next to his father in law’s.
Bracket five: Big Bird (Larry Robinson) versus The Flower (Guy Lafleur)
Reportedly nicknamed “Big Bird” for his size (6’5) and his hair, Larry Robinson won six Stanley Cups with the Montreal Canadiens.
Growing up a Chicago Blackhawks and Bobby Hull fan, Robinson claimed he didn’t like the Montreal Canadiens because they won all the time.
His 1986 Stanley Cup coach, Jean Perron described him as real big brother for the team. “I want to keep him forever, I don’t even want to think of life without Larry Robinson.”
In 1976-77, he recorded an impressive +120 rating.
He has been named the League’s most outstanding defenceman twice, and was the most valuable player in the 1978 playoffs.
Guy Lafleur has been nicknamed the Flower by the Canadiens English speaking fans, and Le Demon Blond by the French speaking.
In 1978, he borrowed without telling (that could mean stole in other words, but he did return it) the Stanley Cup. He brought it to his hometown, Thurso for the neighbourhood to see it.
He is the all time leading scorer in the Montreal Canadiens history, has been the NHL scoring leader for three seasons.
He is also known for being straight forward, always telling what he thinks.
He once recorded a CD called "Lafleur", giving hockey instructions and singing on a Disco music.
He recently opened a restaurant called the “Bleu Blanc Rouge” in Rosemere Quebec.
Total Cost of Moves: $33.50
Notable Prospects Traded: OF Fernando Martinez, RHP Brad Holt, SS Ruben Tejada, 1B Nick Evans, OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis, RHP Jeurys Familia, RHP Dillon Gee
With the remaining $1.5 million, paint those green seats blue. Although green may be the most important color to the team's owners, the real die hard Mets fans know the team's colors are blue and orange.