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Sports Dynasty
By Habs
Jan 31, 2004, 01:21

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On December 4, 1909, J, Ambrose O'Brien founded the Canadian Athletic Club, which offically became the Club de Hockey Canadian (CHC) in 1916-17.

Until the mid-1930's, the team - led by such outstanding players as Edouard "Newsy" Lalonde, Joe Malone, Aurele Joliat, Howie Morenz and goaltender Georges Vezina - made a name for itself as one of the best in the National Hockey League with four Stanley Cups (1916, 1924, 1930 and 1931).

But it was on October 29,
1942, that the Canadiens
destiny was sealed.
That was the day Maurice Richard
was signed. For 18 seasons, the "Rocket",

whom many people have called the
most spectacular forward of all time,
led his team to victory upon victory: eight Stanley Cups, including five consecutive from 1956 through 1960. It's an NHL record that still stands.

When Rocket hung his skates in 1960, Jean Beliveau took the torch from him, playing a decisive role in five more championships (1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, and 1971) before retiring in 1971.

With the new decade came hot new talent. Goalie Ken Dryden was outstanding in the nets, and Guy Lafleur
and his two side men, Steve Shutt and
Jacques Lemaire, had opposing
defencemen quaking in their skates.
Back at the blue line, the "BIG THREE"
(Serge Savard, Guy Lapointe, and Larry Robinson)
shut down the on-coming offense while providing
their own forwards with invaluable assistance.

In one amazing 11 year period, from 1969 to 1979, this unbeatable powerhouse left the rest of the League behind, winning a total of seven Stanley Cups (1969, 1971, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1978 and 1979).

In 1984, in the 3rd rounded of the NHL draft, Serge Savard picked Patrick Roy (he was 51st overall). The wisdom of their choice was quickly confirmed: the young goaltender proved to be the key player in the 1986 playoffs that resulted in yet another Stanley Cup.

By 1993, a more experienced Roy inspired
a young, highly motivated team under the
direction of head coach Jacques Demers to win a record 24th Stanley Cup.

© Copyright 2003 by MontrealCanadiens.ca

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