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Who Were These Masked Men?

In 98 years of history, the Montreal Canadiens have had 74 goaltenders play for the team since 1909. The group as a whole, tell a tale almost as storied as hockey itself.

Following their names and legends back in time, you can practically watch the evolution of the position grow into what it is today.

Time has forgotten many of these masked men, some of whom played but a game or even one period.

Time has forgotten many of these masked men, some of whom played but a game or even one period.

The Canadiens goaltenders over time include the man who name is lent to a trophy honouring the games best each season. Then there's that goalie who liked to knit between periods and who invented and helped perfect the goalie mask. One other had a terrible fear of flying that forced him to retire more than once. Several were honest to goodness comedians, who spoke to their goalposts but never to teammates before games.

Many of these legends went on to become the backbones of other team after the initial expansion in 1967. Some won Stanley Cups while other couldn't take the heat of the spotlight and crumbled.

In has often been said that the two toughest jobs in hockey are being the Canadiens coach and being their goalie.

I can understand that - If I could be either Guy Carbonneau or David Aebischer right now, I'd choose to be the puck instead!

Note - This post will be evolving through time - I've lots to add to it. I wanted to get this up, as I was speaking of it in an earlier blog. Enjoy the list - details will follow on a repost during the coming weekend.)

74-Jaroslav Halak 2006-07
73-David Aebischer 2005-07
72-Cristobal Huet 2005-07
71-Yann Danis 2005-2006
70-Olivier Michaud 2001-02
69-Stephane Fiset 2001-02
68-Eric Fichaud 2000-01
67-Mathieu Garon 2000-04
66-Jeff Hackett 1998- 2003
65-Andy Moog 1997-98
64-Tomas Vokoun 1996-97
63-Jose Theodore 1995-2006

62-Patrick Labrecque 1995-96
61-Jocelyn Thibault 1995-98
60-Pat Jablonski 1995-97
59-Les Kuntar 1993-94
58-Ron Tugnutt 1993-95
57-Roland Melanson 1991-92

56-Frederic Chabot 1990-99
55-Jean-Claude Bergeron 1990-91
54-Andre Racicot 1989-94
53-Randy Exelby 1988-89
52-Vincent Riendeau 1987-88
51-Brian Hayward 1986-90
50-Patrick Roy 1984-95

49-Doug Soetaert 1984-86
48-Steve Penney 1983-86
47-Mark Holden 1981-84
46-Rick Wamsley 1980-84
45-Denis Herron 1979-82
44-Richard Sevigny 1979-84
43-Michel Larocque 1974-81
42-Wayne Thomas 1972-74
41-Michel Plasse 1972-74
40-Denis DeJordy 1971-72
39-Ken Dryden 1971-79

38-Phil Myre 1969-72
37-Tony Esposito 1968-69
36-Gary Bauman 1966-67
35-Rogatien Vachon 1966-72

34-Gump Worsley 1963-70
33-Ernie Wakely 1962-69
32-Cesare Maniago 1962-63
31-Claude Cyr 1958-59
30-Claude Pronovost 1958-59
29-Don Aiken 1957-58
28-Len Broderick 1957-58
27-Bob Perrault 1955-56
26-Andre Binette 1954-55
25-Claude Evans 1954-55
24-Charlie Hodge 1954-67

23-Hal Murphy 1952-53
22-Jacques Plante 1952-63
21-Gerry McNeil 1947-57
20-Bill Durnan 1943-50

19-Paul Bibeault 1940-43
18-Bert Gardner 1940-42
17-Charlie Sands*** 1939-40
16-Mike Karakas 1939-40
15-Claude Bourque 1938-40
14-Paul Gauthier 1937-38
13-Abbie Cox 1935-36
12-Wilf Cude 1933-41

11-Mickey Murray 1929-30
10-Roy Worters 1929-30
9-George Hainsworth 1926-33

8-Herb Rheaume 1926-27
7-Frenchy Lacroix 1926-27
6-Sprague Cleghorn** 1921-22
5-Ernie Dubeau* 1913-14*
4-Georges Vezina 1910-26

3-Teddy Groulx 1909-10
2-Joseph Cattarinich 1909-10
1-M. Larochelle 1909-10

*Dubeau was a forward who subbed for Vezina while injured for two minutes. Vezina Rarely missed a game in his 16 seasons with the Canadiens.

** Cleghorn replaced Georges Vezina for a two minute penalty on Febuary 1,1922, in a 4-2 loss to Ottawa Senators.

*** Charlie Sands was not a goalie, he was a forward who subbed for the injured Wilf Cude in the 1939-40 season. That year was probably the worst in Canadiens history, and with a mere1,500 fans in the seats, the team was on the verge of folding. Dick Irvin, whose father took over as Canadiens coach the following season, tells it like this, in his book, "The Habs".

"Perhaps the lowest point in a season full of lows came in Chicago, on Febuary 22. With five minutes to play and the Blackhawks leading the Canadiens 5-1, Montreal goaltender Wilf Cude was hurt in a goal crease collision and had to leave the game. In those days teams carried only one goaltender. A Canadiens forward, Charlie Sands, volunteered to finish the game in the nets. The Blackhawks gleefully seized the opportunity and drilled the puck past Sands five times in the last five minutes. Final score, 10-1."

Not every goalie the Montreal Canadiens drafted would play for the team, or even the farm teams for that matter. Between 1963 and 2007, there are 40 goalies that I found throught the Amateur and Entry draft lists available online. I could not find much information on any signed goaltenders prior to 1969 online.

The listing below does not include goalies who've appeared in any games with the Habs, only those who didn't. If you click on the links of players selected between 1969 and 1984, you will see their junior pictures from draft day and their bios. Check out how stunned poor Ray martinyuk looks in 1970. From the 1985 on, I've used Hockey Database as the resource for information on their subsequent careers.

There are some famous names in the mix, a Hall Of Famer who never played in the NHL, a few coaches who were drafted by the Habs, and also one very well known hockey Dad.

Some of shots of young guys look like this famous goalie, so be sure to look around the linked sites for other cool shots.

1-Gary Doyle 1969 (RD5, 56 overall, Ottawa, OHA)
2-Ian Wilkie 1969 (RD7, 74 overall, Edmonton WCHL)
3-Ray Martinyuk 1970 (RD1, 5 overall, Flin Flon, WCHL)
4-Cal Hammond 1970 (RD4, 45 overall, Flin Flon, WCHL)
5-Michel Deguise 1971 (RD2, 24 overall, Sorel, QMJHL)+
6-Dave Elenbaas 1972 (RD4, 62 overall, Cornell U.)
7-Yves Archambeault 1972 (RD7, 110 overall, St. Jerome)+
8-Graham Parsons 1972 (RD8, 126 overall, Red Deer AJHL)
9-Ed Humphries 1973 (RD3, 37 overall, Saskatoon, WCHL)
10-Cap Raeder 1973 (RD12, 167 overall, New Hamphire, ECAC)*
11-Carl Jackson 1975 (RD12, 198 overall, Pennsylvania, ECAC)
12-Maurice Barrette 1976 (RD5, 90 overall, Quebec, QMJHL)+
13-Bruce Horsch 1976 (RD9, 125 overall, Michigan Tech, WCHA)
14-Robert Holland 1977 (RD4, 64 overall, Montreal QMJHL)+
15-Barry Borrett 1977 RD9, 152 overall, Cornwall, QMJHL)+
16-Mark Holden 1977 (RD10, 160 overall, Brown, ECAC)
17-Carey Walker 1977 (RD12, 174 overall, New Westminster, WCHL)**
18-Jean Belisle 1977 (RD14, 179 overall, Chicoutimi, QMJHL)+
19-Bob Daly 1977 (RD14, 180 overall, Ottawa OMJHL)
20-Kevin Constantine 1978 (RD9, 174 overall, RPI, ECAC)***
21-Rick Wilson 1978 (RD20, 232 overall, St. Lawrence ECAC)
22-Greg Moffat 1979 (RD6, 121 overall, New Hampshire, ECAC)
23-Scott Robinson 1980 (RD10, 208 overall, Denver, WCHA)
24-Lars Ericksson 1981(RD2, 32 overall, Gavle, Sweden)
25-Dan Burrows 1981(RD10, 208 overall, Belleville, Ont Jr. B)
26-Vladislav Tretiak 1983 (RD7, 138 overall, Moskow CSKA, USSR)****

27-Troy Crosby 1984 (RD12, 240 overall, Verdun, QMJHL)*****
28-Roger Beedon 1985 (RD9, 184 overall, Sarnia, OPJHL)
29-Eric Bohemier 1986 (RD10, 204 overall, Hull QMJHL)
30-Peter Fish 1988 (#25 Supplemental Draft)
31-Marc Lamothe 1992 (RD4, 92 overall, Kingston OHL)
32-Trent Cavicchi 1992 (RD10, 236 overall, Dartmouth Midgets N.S.)
33-Brian Larochelle 1993 (RD10, 255 overall, Phillips-Exeter Academy N.H.)
34-Evan Lindsay 1999 (RD4, 107 overall, Prince Albert, WHL)
35-Vadim Tarasov 1999 (RD7, 197 overall, Novokuznetsk, Russia)
36-Joni Puurula 2000 (RD8, 243 overall, Hermes FinD1)
37-Christopher Heino-Lindberg 2003 (RD6, 177 overall, Hammarby, Sweden)
38-Loic Lacasse 2004 (RD6, 181 overall, Baie Comeau QMJHL)
39-Carey Price 2005 (RD1, 5 overall, Tr-City)
40-Cedric Desjardins 2006 (Free agent)
41-Michael Leighton 2007 (Waivers, Philadelphia)

+ Archambeault, Deguise, Barrette, Belise, Holland and Borrett were all QMJHL goalie. Borrett played for the hometown Cornwall Royals, and the other 5 others played here in town against them. Deguise Barrette and Holland were all excellent prospects who in felt should have made it to the NHL given the right circumstances.

* Cap Raeder became the assistant coach to Barry Melrose in 1993 when the L.A. Kings faced the Canadiens in the Stanley Cup finals. Melrose was also a Habs draft pick.

** Carey Walker is the older brother of former Expo and MLB great Larry Walker.

*** Kevin Constantine became coach of the San Jose Sharks, Pittsburgh Penguins, and New Jersey Devils in the NHL.

**** Vladislav Tretiak wanted to join the Canadiens but was not permitted.

***** Troy Crosby is the father of NHL star Sidney Crosby.