Best Review - Top 9 Alltime Great Montreal Canadiens


he Montreal Canadiens of the National Hockey League have had many of the best players ever to have played professional hockey. You could probably list 100 of the best ever to play in the NHL and many of the 100 spots would be filled by players who played for the Habs. This is simply a short list of several fan favorites and although many who deserve to be listed on any list of great Canadiens are missing, I think these players are the best to have worn a Montreal Canadiens jersey. You can disagree if you want in the comments below.

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Top 1

Maurice Richard

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Any list of the best ever players who played for the Canadiens franchise begins and ends with Rocket Richard. Hands down, Maurice Richard is THE Montreal Canadiens icon and who almost all Habs fans picture when they think about the storied history of the Canadiens. A fierce competitor on the ice, Richard retired as the NHL's alltime goal scorer with numerous Stanley Cups. He was one of the main contributors to the Canadiens dynasty that ruled over hockey in the late 1950s, winning a still standing record of 5 straight Stanley Cups. A record unlikely to ever be broken.

Top 2

Jean Beliveau

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Beliveau took the captaincy when Maurice Richard retired and carried the Montreal Canadiens through the 1960s. He was the lynchpin of the Habs teams that won several Cups.

Top 3

Guy Lafleur

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During the late 1970s, Guy Lafleur became the face of the Habs teams that dominated the NHL, winning 4 straight Stanley Cups with Lafleur scoring massive amounts of goals.

Top 4

Newsy Lalonde

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One of the earliest stars of the NHL, Lalonde set records for most goals and set the standard that all Canadiens teams since his time have aspired.

Top 5

Georges Vezina

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You know you have achieved a level of greatness when the league names a trophy awarded annually to the best player at your position. Vezina was the best goaltender for years in the early days of the NHL.

Top 6

Jacques Plante

Plante was the last line of defence on the Montreal Canadiens teams that won 5 straight Cups in the 1950s and won several Vezina trophies for his above excellent goaltending. He was also the first goalie to regularly wear a goalie mask during game play.

Top 7

Howie Morenz

Known as "The Stratford Streak", Morenz typified the flying forward in the heyday of the old Original 6, as he sped down the wing outracing others to the puck and scoring. Sadly, he died shortly after breaking his leg during a game. His funeral was attended by thousands and his body lay in state at center ice.

Top 8

Patrick Roy

Patrick Roy won the Stanley Cup in his rookie season and became one of the best playoff goaltenders every opposing player hated seeing in net. His butterfly style revolutionized how a goalie plays the game to this day.

Top 9

Ken Dryden

The lanky goalie with the law degree, Dryden stole the Stanley Cup in his rookie season and was in the Habs goal for most of their regular season and playoff wins through the 1970s. He retired with the highest winning average ever for a Canadiens goaltender.

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Okay, before you bite my head off for neglecting your favorite oldtime Canadiens players or the order I have them in, I know that Larry Robinson, "Boom Boom" Geoffrion, Henri Richard and Serge Savard deserve to be included. Hopefully I can expand this list later, because I agree they should on any list of Habs greats.

As far as the order I have them in, Rocket Richard goes at the top of any list of great Montreal Canadiens players. Period. The rest may have a number beside their names, but that doesn't mean you or I should favor Guy Lafleur over Newsy Lalonde, or Patrick Roy over Ken Dryden. You can debate who goes where on the list til you are blue in the face. The point is they are on the list. Still, let me know in the comments who YOU think needs to be included so I can get this list expanded.

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