Which Montreal Canadien Wore It Best: #44

Andrew Berkshire

The number 44 has been worn by only five players for the Habs in over a 100 years of history, but only three make it to this list. Who wore it better?

Richer_medium

A Stanley Cup champion in his rookie season, along with fellow stellar rookies Guy Carbonneau, Claude Lemieux and Patrick Roy, Stephane Richer never failed to hit the 20 goal mark with the Canadiens when he played more than 50 games in a season. Speaking of the number 50, Richer was the last Canadien to hit the 50 goal mark in a season, something he managed to do twice. Once in 1987-88 and once in 1989-90. Richer was traded to the New Jersey Devils in 1991 for eventual Habs captain Kirk Muller. Both Muller and Richer would go on to win Stanley Cups on their new teams. In 1996 the Canadiens re-acquired RIcher from the Devils in exchange for Lyle Odelien. What makes Richer's accomplishments even more impressive is that he is a chronic sufferer of depression. Richer's openness about depression, often joining in with TSN host Michael Landsberg, has done a lot to create awareness in the sport.

Total Habs Stats

Games Played Goals Assists Points PIM
490 225 196 421 399

Souray_medium

Traded to Montreal from New Jersey in a package deal in exchange for Vladimir Malakhov in 2000, Souray found his true calling as an NHLer nearly 3 seasons later. After some major injuries and wrist surgery, it turned out that Sheldon Souray was a goal scoring machine. Highly visible defensive gaffs made the highlight reels, but Souray was actually an okay defenseman too, especially when paired with the extremely talented, young Andrei Markov. In 2003-04 Souray exploded for 15 goals in just 63 games, and two years later he scored 26 in 81. When faced with Souray and Markov both hitting unrestricted free agency at the same time in 2007, the priority for the Canadiens was Markov, and Souray left to be closer to his family by signing with the Oilers.

Total Habs Stats

Games Played Goals Assists Points PIM
324 62 98 160 556

Hamrlik_medium

The free agent replacement for Souray in the summer of 2007, Roman Hamrlik was a solid, underrated force on the Canadiens blueline for four straight years. Signed to anchor the second defense pairing behind Markov, Hamrlik spent the final two seasons of his Habs career covering for the injured Markov on the top pairing, punching above his weight for long periods. His final Habs season he was given a bit of a breather as young P.K. Subban emerged to handle the top pairing minutes, and James Wisniewski was acquired to play with Hamrlik as well. Last season the loss of Wisniewski and Hamrlik to free agency was felt brutally as Markov wasn't ready to start the season, and the team was left with no second defense pairing, forcing extra responsibility on rookies Raphael Diaz and Alexei Emelin.

Total Habs Stats

Games Played Goals Assists Points PIM
312 22 97 119 237
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