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What the Montreal Canadiens do Best

The Montreal Canadiens and their players continue to prove that their legacy is marked by more than the game itself.

Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

It's been a busy week for the Montreal Canadiens and their fans. After a long summer, the players have returned to Montreal and training camp is well-underway. The first pre-season game is set for September 22 versus the Toronto Maple Leafs. Aside from the excitement of training camp scrimmages, fans were also given a 29th captain on Friday.

The players voted for Max Pacioretty in what GM Marc Bergevin called a majority vote, stating that they did not need to count the votes twice. During his first official press conference as captain, an emotional Pacioretty made the sincere effort to speak in both French and English, further solidifying for many fans that he was the perfect choice to lead the team this season. Backed by the same assistants from last season (Andrei Markov, Tomas Plekanec, and P.K. Subban) as well as a new addition in fan-favourite Brendan Gallagher, Pacioretty is in very good company.

All five men exhibit certain characteristics that a team environment would deem desirable in their leadership core. Perhaps most important is their sense of community, something that these players share with the late Jean Béliveau. When he was made aware of Elise Béliveau's comments comparing him to her husband, it was obvious that Pacioretty was completely humbled.

As we know, Monsieur Béliveau was the 16th player to don the 'C' for the CH and did so from 1961-1971. Béliveau led the Canadiens to five Stanley Cup championships and was a part of five additional Cup celebrations with the team. Le Gros Bill was also an inspiring humanitarian.

This specific trait is something that many of the Habs' leadership core possess. Max Pacioretty created The Max Pacioretty Foundation in 2011, which helps support the traumatic brain injury project at The Montreal General Hospital. Brendan Gallagher hosted a charity softball event over the summer, raising funds for the Shriners Hospital for Children. Tomas Plekanec and Andrei Markov are regular visitors to the local Montreal Children's Hospital.

P.K. Subban made headlines last Wednesday when he donated $10M to the Montreal Children's Hospital Foundation. Subban also had the atrium of the new hospital named after him. During his speech, Subban made note of Jean Beliveau's influence on his decision,

"I am proud to walk in the footsteps of my idol, Jean Béliveau, by giving back to the community and I feel privileged to be able to help transform the lives of sick children and their families." - P.K. Subban

Subban was also in the news earlier this summer when he crashed a local street hockey game.

While the NHL does not permit goaltenders to be in the running for captaincy, Carey Price is also a true leader on this team. Price also has a heart of gold. This summer, Price and wife, Angela, attended a national meeting for The Breakfast Club of Canada, helping to ensure the organization can continue to serve breakfast to children across the country. The Prices committed to supporting this Kelowna event for the next three years.

Additionally, Price regularly teams up with artist David Arrigo and donates game-worn masks, with the proceeds going towards various charities. One example is the Wounded Warriors project, which helps veterans dealing with physical and mental traumas. In October of 2014, Price was awarded the Jean Beliveau Award for his charitable involvement over the 2013-2014 season.

I have noted only some of the exemplary community work being done by the Canadiens' leadership core. We are fortunate to have enormous talent on the Canadiens bench, but our leaders are not only marked by talent, they are prime examples of compassion for their fellow man.

Though Max Pacioretty was chosen as the 29th captain, and a fine choice he is, each of our appointed leaders understands the importance of the foundations laid down many years ago by their predecessors.

As the great Jean Béliveau once stated, "It's probably one of the main reasons why we had so much success here in this room. We had a great family atmosphere amongst the players ... through the years, we had great hockey players performing for this organization."

I think it's safe to say that the Canadiens organization has greatness, not only in the way that they approach the game, but in the way that their leaders understand the importance of their off-ice legacy as well.