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Montreal Canadiens: Top 10 players of all time

The Montreal Canadiens have a very storied history and thus, their fans hold their team to a high standard.

Here we take a look at the top 10 players in Canadiens franchise history. 

10. Dickie Moore

Richard “Dickie” Moore won the league scoring title in 1958 and 1959, which were right in the middle of Montreal’s 1956-1960 dynasty.

Moore left a legacy as one of the toughest players in hockey history, a key contributor of six Habs Stanley Cups, and the best left winger that Maurice “Rocket” Richard ever played with as explained by Richard himself.

9. Henri Richard

The younger brother of Maurice Richard who, spoiler alert, will come up on this list as well, is lauded in Canadiens’ history. He won 11 Stanley Cups in 20 seasons with the Habs.

Henri Richard had 1,046 points in 1,259 career games played, twice led the league in assists, had two Cup winning goals, and was renowned as one of the best 2-way forwards in hockey history.

8. Ken Dryden

There is just one player in NHL history who won a Conn Smythe before winning Rookie of the Year and also to win a Stanley Cup before winning a regular season game.

That would be legendary goaltender Ken Dryden, who had a very short but celebrated career inclusive of five Vezina Trophies and six Stanley Cups, all with the Canadiens.

7. Howie Morenz

Morenz is the first player in Habs history to have his number, seven, retired by the franchise. 

He won three Stanley Cups with the Canadiens as part of 11 seasons on the team over two spells. The first went from 1923/24 to 1933/34, and the second was in the 1936/37 season, his last in the NHL.

Howie Morenz won three Hart Trophies and was inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1945 as one of hockey’s first true superstars.

6. Larry Robinson

The all-time plus-minus leader in NHL history at +722 happens to be Canadiens and NHL legend Larry Robinson.

Montreal made the playoffs in each of Robinson’s 17 seasons with the club during which he won two Norris Trophies and was a key part of six Canadiens Stanley Cups.

5. Guy Lafleur

With 1,246 points in 962 career games played, Guy Lafleur has the most career points of any other player to ever don the Habs sweater.

Part of two separate stints with Montreal in his storied career, Lafleur was the cornerstone of five Stanley Cups, has the six best offensive seasons in Montreal ranging from 117 to 136 points, won two Hart Trophies, three Art Ross Trophies, and a Conn Smythe Trophy. 

 4. Doug Harvey

An integral part of the Canadiens dynasty of five consecutive Stanley Cups as part of six total, Doug Harvey won six Norris Trophies and is considered one of the best defensemen in NHL history.

Harvey’s legacy includes being a trailblazer of offensive defensemen, a true power play quarterback, and impossible to beat in his own zone.

Harvey and the Canadiens’ power play was so dominant that the NHL changed the penalty rule from a full two minutes regardless of how many goals are scored to today’s rule of returning even strength upon the scoring during the two-minute power play.

3. Jacques Plante

One of the most celebrated goaltenders in hockey history is no other than the best goalie in Canadiens history, Jacques Plante.

Plante was an integral part of the Canadiens’ 1950’s dynasty. With six Stanley Cups and five Vezina Trophies, it is difficult to overlook Plante, especially considering how massively important goaltending is to winning teams.

2. Jean Beliveau

The longest tenured captain in the history of this storied franchise was Jean Beliveau, who wore the ‘C’ for 10 years.

He won a whopping 10 Stanley Cups, five of which were as Captain, and collected several personal accolades such as two Hart Trophies, the first ever Conn Smythe Trophy, 500+ career goals as a Canadien, third all-time franchise scorer, and the most points and goals scored in the playoffs in the history of the franchise.

1. Maurice Richard

Better known as ‘The Rocket’ (yes, the original Rocket Richard after which the league's top goalscorer trophy is named), Maurice Richard left an unbelievable legacy.

He was the first player in NHL history to have 50 goals in 50 games, helped the Canadiens to eight Stanley Cup Championships, and was the first player in NHL history to score 500 career goals.

Richard’s impact was felt beyond the ice as well as he was beloved in Montreal as a friend, valued contributor to the community, ambassador to the game of hockey, and key contributor to the growth of the game.

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