I have been listening to Sam Roberts' great new album, Love at the End of the World, a lot recently after finally fixing my ipod. I like it a lot. And, as a fellow Habs fan, I was very pleased to see Sam's use of Canadiens memorabilia in his lead video for the album:
Apart from the timing with the "100th" season, which I think is a nice shout to his home team and home town, the video also made me think about favourite players and idols over the years as a Habs fan.
I have often wondered if I would be a Maurice Richard type of guy or a Guy Lafleur type. Even in the 50s, would it have been a number 9 for me? In the 70s, could I have done any number other than 10? Or even now, am I the big-star loving fan, donning 27 to games, or do I stick with the old 11, or maybe even 79?
At the same time as listening to Sam's album, I have been reading and enjoying many of the lists of Top 100 players going around at the moment. As someone who loves lists and debates, I say what could be better.
The lists are great, but really by the time you get to Chris Nilan in your top 100, it kind of starts to lose steam as a debate. I mean there have been many great players for the Habs over the years, but it seems one of the great things about our team has been the way the same stars (at least in the past) stayed with us for so long. Henri Richard and Jean Beliveau for example had 20 and 19 year careers with the Canadiens, 11 and 10 Cups.
Players like the Richards, Beliveau, Gainey, Harvey, Joliat occupying the star spotlight for huge chunks of the team's history make it necessary to find the Nilans to make up the 100. There's nothing wrong with that, just that the Beliveau vs. Richard debates are a heck of a lot more interesting than the Dahlin vs. Nilan ones.
That's why I thought we could have a think about who our favourite Habs player of all time would be and it could be a lot more interesting.
So, think about it. You have one Habs sweater to hang on your bedroom wall. Which number do you get on the back?
[I've added a poll to the sidebar to show where peoples' allegiances lie]
I'll start you off. After years of dithering and floating between players (I even used to like goalies once), I've come to the conclusion that 4 is the only Habs sweater that would hang from my bedroom wall.
For me, Jean Beliveau is the best Canadiens star there has ever been. 500 goals, 1200 points. Art Ross, Hart and Conn Smythe trophies. Captain for years. A goal every 2 playoff games, more than a point in each. 10 Stanley Cups. And I haven't even mentioned how much I admire the man.