June 3, 2003 - Canadiens named Bob Gainey VP and General Manager of the Montreal Canadiens.
Gainey inherits the roster from the previous season under the Andre Savard regime consisting of 32 players that include Saku Koivu, Yanic Perrault, Richard Zednik, Jan Bulis, *Andrei Markov, Patrice Brisebois, Andreas Dackell, Donald Audette, Oleg Petrov, Joe Juneau, Craig Rivet, Randy McKay, Mike Ribeiro, Chad Kilger, Niklas Sundstrom, Mariusz Czerkawski, Patrick Traverse, Marcel Hossa, Stephane Quintal, Karl Dykhuis, Jason Ward, Francis Bouillon, Bill Lindsay, Mike Komisarek, Sylvain Blouin, Ron Hainsey, Gordie Dwyer, Francois Beauchemin, Sheldon Souray, Jose Theodore, Jeff Hackett, Mathieu Garon.
Players in the Canadiens organization who played in the AHL with the affiliate Hamilton Bulldogs in 2002-03 include Komisarek, Bouillon, Audette, Czerkawski, Garon, Hossa, Ward, Lindsay, Hainsey, Michael Ryder, Benoit Gratton, *Tomas Plekanec, Jozef Balej, Sylvain Blouin, Mike Ribeiro, and Eric Fichaud.
Other players in the organization drafted in 2001 and 2002 include Chris Higgins, Tomas Linhart, Michael Lambert, Andre Deveaux, Jonathan Ferland, Konstantin Korneyev, Alexander Perezhogin, Duncan Milroy, Matti Jarventie, Eric Himelfarb, Andrew Archer and Viktor Ujcik.
The Canadiens coach as Gainey takes over is Claude Julien. Julien was hired from the Hamilton Bulldogs but was under contract to the Edmonton Oilers, with whom the Canadiens shared the farm club. Montreal would compensate Edmonton with a draft pick in 2003.
From the 2002-03 rosters for Montreal and Hamilton and the two previous drafts, only two players remain with the organization in 2009 - Andrei Markov and Tomas Plekanec.
2003-04 final roster: 34 players
Mike Ribeiro, Michael Ryder, Saku Koivu, Richard Zednik, Sheldon Souray, Patrice Brisebois, Yanic Perrault, Jan Bulis, *Andrei Markov, Pierre Dagenais, Niklas Sundstrom, Francis Bouillon, Steve Begin, Joe Juneau, Andreas Dackell, Jason Ward, Craig Rivet, Stephane Quintal, Donald Audette, Jim Dowd, Chad Kilger, Mike Komisarek, Alex Kovalev, Darren Langdon, Marcel Hossa, Ron Hainsey, Benoit Gratton, Jozef Balej, *Tomas Plekanec, Chris Higgins, Gordie Dwyer, Karl Dykhuis, Jose Theodore, Mathieu Garon.
10 players not returning from the 2002-03 roster include Doug Gilmour (Traded to Toronto March 11 for 6th round choice in 2003 draft - Mark Flood), Oleg Petrov (traded to Nashville March 3, 2003), Randy McKay (retired), Mariusz Czerkawski (signed as FA by New York Islanders July 17, 2003) , Patrick Traverse (played in Hamilton 2003-04, signed with Dallas as a FA September 9, 2004), Karl Dykhuis (played in Hamilton 2003-04, signed as a FA by Amsterdam Netherlands January 3, 2005), Bill Lindsay (signed a FA with Florida August 25, 2003), Sylvain Blouin (played in Hamilton 2003-04, later traded to Vancouver), Francois Beauchemin (played in Hamilton 2003-04, claimed on waivers by Columbus September 15, 2004), and Jeff Hackett (Traded to San Jose by Montreal for Niklas Sundstrom and San Jose's 3rd round choice, later traded to Los Angeles, who selected Paul Baier in 2004 Entry Draft, January 23, 2003).
2003 - Draft: 10 players selected
Rd 1 # 10 - *Andrei Kostitsyn F - CSKA Moscow (Russia)
Rd 2 # 40 - Cory Urquhart F (-H) - Montreal Rocket (QMJHL)
Rd 2 # 61 - *Maxim Lapierre F - Montreal Rocket (QMJHL), pick acquired by previous regime.
Rd 3 # 79 - *Ryan O'Byrne D - Nanaimo Clippers (BCHL)
Rd 4 # 113 - Corey Locke C (-MH) - Ottawa 67's (OHL)
Rd 4 # 123 - Dany Stewart F (--) - Rimouski Oceanic (QMJHL), pick acquired by previous regime.
Rd 5 # 147 - Draft pick traded - signing compensation for coach Claude Julien on January 17, 2003.
Rd 6 # 177 - Christopher Heino-Lind G (--) - Hammarby (Sweden)
Rd 6 # 188 - Mark Flood D (--) - Peterborough Petes (OHL)
Rd 7 # 217 - Oskari Korpikari D (--) - Karpat (FNL), pick acquired by previous regime.
Rd 8 # 241 - Jimmy Bonneau F (-H) - Montreal Rocket (QMJHL)
Rd 9 # 271 - *Jaroslav Halak G - Bratislava Slovan (Slovak)
Free agency and season's transactions
July 4 - Canadiens sign G Jean Francois Damphousse (-H) as a FA.
July 4 - Canadiens signed F Pierre Dagenais (-MH) as a FA.
October 3 - Canadiens claim F Steve Begin (-MH) off waivers from Buffalo.
October 3 - Canadiens claim F Darren Langdon (-M) off waivers from Vancouver.
March 2 - Canadiens acquire F Alex Kovalev from New York Rangers for F Josef Balej (-MH) and 2004 2nd round pick (Bruce Graham).
March 4 - Canadiens acquire F Jim Dowd (-M) from Minnesota for 2004 4th round pick (Julien Sprungen).
March 9 - Canadiens trade F Sylvain Blouin (-MH) to Vancouver for D Rene Vydareny (--).
(*) denotes players currently on the Canadiens NHL roster.
(+H) denotes players currently on the Hamilton Bulldogs AHL roster.
(+HM) denotes players currently on the Hamilton roster who have played with Montreal.
(P) denotes prospects who have yet to sign a professional contract (NHL, AHL, or ECHL) with the organization.
(-M), (-H) and (-MH) denote players no longer in the organization who have played either in Montreal, Hamilton, or both.
(--) denotes a player who has never played in Montreal or Hamilton. The final group likely never signed a professional contract with the club and were simply not retained by the organization. A final tally of each category will follow these chronological yearly listings.