The Society for International Hockey Research (SIHR) site has posted an interesting trivia challenge concerning the Habs drafting history since 1963. It's a fun, interesting, and informative look back at players selected by the club over the years. The cool thing is that the quiz is open to all non members of SIHR, right off the front page.
The 20 question quiz offers five multipe choice answers for each question, and a tally is given when finished. Each answer is explained in detail, after you are informed of a right or wrong answer.
There's no credit for the questionaire, but I believe it was created by the SIHR's Jean Patrice Martel, a die hard Habs fan in his own right, although a pair of questions could be considered misleading.
Here's a few sample questions, and their answer options:
Q - It is well known that the Canadiens used to be entitled to drafting the first two players of French descent in the Amateur Draft, every year. How many players did the Canadiens draft under this special rule?
Q - Which player could the Canadiens have drafted in 1970 if the "cultural rule" had existed one more year?
- Dan Bouchard
- Norm Gratton
- Yvon Lambert
- Gilbert Perreault
- All of the above
Q - The Canadiens’ picked Guy Lafleur with the first choice in 1971, which they had obtained from the Oakland Seals. Who did they send to the Seals to get the choice?
- Ralph Backstrom
- Guy Charron
- Bill Collins
- Ernie Hicke
- Mickey Redmond
The answer given for the above question is only partically, factually true. The explanation is misleading. Myth has it that Habs GM Sam Pollock plotted and planned every step of the acquisition of Guy Lafleur from day one. Not true.
It was California Seals GM Frank Selke Jr who initiated the trade, having had his sights set upon drafting Winnipeg's Chris Oddleifson. Selke, son of the former Habs GM who preceded Pollock wanted Oddleifson so badly, he proposed the deal, essentially in the manner it unfolded.
Later that winter, Pollock pulled of the second part of the deal, when he traded one of the above listed players to the Los Angeles Kings. That particular move has often been qualified as Pollock's most brilliant manoever. Not quite.
The player in question had served the Canadiens for nine seasons in a third line center role, and he felt worthy of better. Had this player been a part of any other organization, it could be said that he'd have been a top line centremen. Fed up with being pushed so far down in the lineup, he approached Pollock, insistant and adamant that the be traded. Prior to the beginning of the 1970-71 season, this player invoked that he would in fact retire if he were not moved. He returned upon Pollock's promise that he would look for a deal, but none had taken place when he threatened a second time to walk out on the club. Pollock had to move him, or risk losing the asset. The player made it clear in no uncertain terms that he wished to be sent to club where he could fullfill the role he saw himself in, and Pollock acquiesced. For Pollock, the Canadiens and Guy Lafleur, the timing turned out perfectly.
For years Pollock played down every aspect of the deal, rarely contributing any thought of note to the myth that the whole deal was planned out. Pollock has simply clarified that Selke initiated the call and that the player traded, who corroborated these details, triggered his own deal.
Of course, in all this, the legend and myth make for a much better tale. Many see Pollock as genial and infallible, which to great extents he often was. The trouble with such views, is that it makes it practically impossible for the mere mortals following in his shoes to be viewed with any fairness. It's something to consider when thinking about how successors measure up.
In regards to the the questionaire, I'd be curious to know how those who take it fared out. I didn't master it much, getting only 12 of 20 correct. Have fun with it. There's lots to learn after each answer.