The Habs have had several notable Manitoba-born defencemen suit up for them over the years along with a handful of forwards that have been quality role players. They’re up next in our Best Of poll series.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, we’ve covered the ‘Best Montreal Lines’ from several countries worldwide. But while there is a growing internationalism of the game, the majority of the players that have suited up for the Habs have still come from Canada. As it stands, 716 Canadian-born players have played for the Canadiens versus 197 non-Canadian-born players.
With that in mind, doing a simple Team Canada poll wouldn’t quite do this justice. And let’s face it, while there is the Return to Play plan in place that features the Habs, we’re still a long way from games resuming. Accordingly, we’re going to work our way through Canada by province over the coming weeks. The tentative schedule is as follows:
If play hasn’t resumed by then, we’ll begin the All-Time Quebec lineup balloting at that time (consisting of a full roster worth of players). If it has, we’ll resume the series whenever Montreal is eliminated from the playoffs. The pickings are relatively slim in Eastern Canada so we may or may not do a combined one for them.
With more players coming from Canada, there are some added restrictions to this set of voting. For BC, skaters had to be in the top-400 in franchise scoring to be on the list. That has been dropped to 300 for the rest of Western Canada, even lower for Ontario, and Quebec options will be limited to the top-100. For goaltenders, with most being from Ontario or Quebec, the options will be expanded to anyone who has been between the pipes at least once for the Western Canadian provinces before added restrictions come in for the other two.
For this exercise, we’re going to be assembling a top line that consists of three forwards, two defencemen, and one goalie.
When voting, please make your selections based on their contributions with the Canadiens only and not the rest of their NHL and international careers. Click here for a listing of the all-time stats for the Habs.
Here are the players to select from for ‘Team Manitoba’.
Please cast your ballot by Friday, July 3rd. Results will be posted on Saturday, July 4th.