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Who Are The 100 Greatest Habs Of All-Time?

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There will be many lists such as this seeing as the Canadiens embark on their centennial season. In fact, if I am not mistaken, I read somewhere that someone has written a book with the same title as this post. I'll have to pick it up if I see it on the shelf. Of course, as soon as that notion crossed my mind, I was compelled to come up with a list of my own.

It was simple enough to gather 150 names or so, but a lot tougher to try and rank them, or decide who to leave off. I figured just throwing out the list would be cause for interesting discussion or even a heated debate or two.

I didn't delve into any scientific methodology to compile this list, I just went over an alphabetical listing of the 701 players - from Didier Pitre to Gregory Stewart - and picked out what I felt were the most significant contributors to the team through time. My guidelines for choosing this All Time 100 were very loose, as to enable any player from any era to make the list.

Some of the reasoning I followed goes like this:

Contributions to the team during the dynasty years of the 1950's, 60's and 70's were given priority in most instances.

A player's relevance, historically, and how crucial they were to sustaining the team in good years and bad.

Individual awards, Hall Of Famers, team captains, and All Stars were noted.

Length of tenure with the club.

Individual achievements during a single Stanley Cup winning season.

Single, or multiple season achievements, and team records.

Proficiency in a particular role.

As many as 150 players were considered before the list was whittled down to 120. Here is an alphabetical listing of those 20 who sat on the bubble.

Patrice Brisebois, Murph Chamberlain, Kjell Dhalin, Phil Goyette, Charlie Hodge, Mike Keane, Rod Langway, Bunny Larocque, Stephan Lebeau, Craig Ludwig, Don Marshall, Gerry McNeil, Armand Mondou, John Quilty, Craig Rivet, Martin Rucinsky, Michael Ryder, Brian Savage, Brian Skrudland, and Pierre Turgeon.

Here is the list indescending order. There are no reasons given for where the choices sit, but if prompted, I'll do my best to explain them. The only guideline for understanding the list lies in knowing that for the most part, it is not neccesarily about who was the better player, but who offered the bigger contribution over time.




















100 - Billy Boucher
99 - Sheldon Souray
98 - Jose Theodore
97 - Marcel Bonin
96 - Buddy O' Connor
95 - Herb Gardiner
94 - Louis Berlinguette
93 - Alex Kovalev
92 - Ryan Walter
91 - Mike McPhee



















90 - Mark Napier
89 - John Leclair
88 - Wildor Larochelle
87 - Paul Haynes
86 - Billy Reay
85 - Mark Recchi
84 - Shayne Corson
83 - Mathieu Schneider
82 - Rejean Houle
81 - Brian Bellows

80 - Joe Malone
79 - Chris Nilan
78 - Chris Chelios
77 - Babe Siebert
76 - Kirk Muller
75 - Gilles Tremblay
74 - Dollard St. Laurent
73 - George Mantha
72 - Pit Lepine
71 - Ray Getliffe




















70 - Claude Larose
69 - Eric Desjardins
68 - Glen Harmon
67 - Doug Risebrough
66 - Jim Roberts
65 - Claude Lemieux
64 - Albert Leduc
63 - Pierre Mondou
62 - Mario Tremblay
61 - Andrei Markov

60 - Ted Harris
59 - Pierre Larouche
58 - Joe Benoit
57 - Bobby Rousseau
56 - Yvon Lambert
55 - Odie Cleghorn
54 - Bobby Smith
53 - Johnny Gagnon
52 - Terry Harper
51 - Doug Jarvis

50 - Mats Naslund
49 - Jean Claude Tremblay
48 - Stephane Richer
47 - Floyd Curry
46 - Rogatien Vachon
45 - Sprague Cleghorn
44 - Pete Mahovlich
43 - Ken Mosdell
42 - Jean Guy Talbot
41 - Ralph Backstrom

40 - Bert Olmstead
39 - Vincent Damphousse
38 - Guy Carbonneau
37 - Frank Mahovlich
36 - Jack Laviolette
35 - Ken Reardon
34 - Emile Bouchard
33 - Tom Johnson
32 - Sylvio Mantha
31 - Saku Koivu

30 - Claude Provost
29 - Jacques Laperriere
28 - George Hainsworth
27 - John Ferguson
26 - Gump Worsley
25 - Guy Lapointe
24 - Didier Pitre
23 - Aurel Joliat
22 - Bill Durnan
21 - Bob Gainey



















20 - Patrick Roy
19 - Steve Shutt
18 - Serge Savard
17 - Ken Dryden
16 - Elmer Lach
15 - Jacques Lemaire
14 - Bernie Geoffrion
13 - Toe Blake
12 - Yvan Cournoyer
11 - Larry Robinson





















10 - Dickie Moore
9 - Georges Vezina
8 - Newsy Lalonde
7 - Jacques Plante
6 - Doug Harvey
5 - Howie Morenz
4 - Guy Lafleur
3 - Henri Richard
1 - Jean Beliveau
1 - Maurice Richard

My apologies for the double number one's - this is a debate I have long wrestled with myself over who epitomizes the Canadiens best. Is it the unbridled fire of The Rocket, or the class and grace of Beliveau? I know I will never be able to decide.

I don't know if I even want to!

Your comments?

Did I miss someone?