The final votes have been cast for our All-Time Quebec roster and while the players here are getting the last spots, they’ve all played important roles on the Habs during their time with the team.
Vincent Damphousse (84.1% of votes) – Upon his arrival from Edmonton in 1992, he immediately gave the Habs a legitimate top-line centre which is something that allowed Kirk Muller to be moved into a secondary role that was a better fit for him. Damphousse was extremely productive in his time with the Canadiens, notching over a point per game in four of his first five seasons (and narrowly missing that mark one other time). Of course, he’ll be best remembered for leading Montreal in scoring during their last Stanley Cup victory back in 1993. Damphousse was moved to San Jose in 1999 for a trio of draft picks that didn’t amount to much (Marcel Hossa was the top one and we all know how that turned out).
Canadiens Stats: 519 GP, 184 goals, 314 assists, 498 points, +26 rating, 559 PIMS, 1,493 shots
Stephane Richer (53.7% of votes) – Consistency was not a hallmark of Richer’s game. When he wasn’t scoring, he’d go into some long slumps. But when he was on, boy, was he on. In his first six seasons with the team, he hit the 50-goal mark twice and had a knack for potting some key game-winners as well. That was enough to make him part of a package that brought Kirk Muller to the Habs in 1991 and that worked out well. That wasn’t the end of his tenure though as Montreal brought him back briefly in 1996 but by that point, he was in decline. He managed 22 goals in 1996-97 before being flipped to Tampa Bay in a trade that worked out great for the Lightning and anything but for the Habs. Despite his inconsistency, Richer sits 19th in franchise history in goals scored.
Canadiens Stats: 490 GP, 225 goals, 196 assists, 421 points, +64 rating, 399 PIMS, 1,338 shots
Mario Tremblay (42.3% of votes) – While hardly anyone will fondly remember his tenure behind the bench, Tremblay’s time in a Montreal uniform went a lot better. He went straight to the NHL after being drafted in 1974 and while he was never a point per game player, he was a steady secondary contributor for more than a decade while playing with a bit of a physical edge as well. His career came to a premature end at 29 after suffering a shoulder injury but had he been able to hang around for even two or three more years, Tremblay would have had a realistic shot at getting into the top-10 in franchise history in points and likely would have been only the sixth player to play in 1,000 games with the team.
Canadiens Stats: 852 GP, 258 goals, 326 assists, 584 points, +185 rating, 1,043 PIMS, 1,884 shots
Honourable Mention: Claude Provost (33.3% of votes) – One of the five players that has actually played in 1,000 games as a Hab is Provost. He was one of the more durable players in the league throughout his career while being a capable secondary contributor on an impressive nine Stanley Cup-winning teams before hanging up his skates in 1970.
Canadiens Stats: 1,005 GP, 254 goals, 335 assists, 589 points, +101 rating*, 475 PIMS, 2,176 shots*
*- These stats only started counting in 1959; by then, Provost had already played in 266 games over four seasons.
Eric Desjardins (39.8% of votes) – While his best days came with Philadelphia in a trade that really didn’t work out well for the Habs, he was an impact player in his final three seasons with the team where he established himself as a key cog on the back end. And of course, he’ll also be remembered for this which quite likely earned him the nod over some others that were around a little longer:
Maurice Richard – Jean Beliveau – Guy Lafleur
Yvan Cournoyer – Henri Richard – Bernard Geoffrion
Jacques Lemaire – Guy Carbonneau – Dickie Moore
Stephane Richer – Vincent Damphousse – Mario Tremblay
Extra: Claude Provost
Doug Harvey – Serge Savard
Guy Lapointe – Butch Bouchard
J.C. Tremblay – Jacques Laperriere
Extra: Eric Desjardins
Extra: Georges Vezina
This brings our All-Time best series to an end. Thanks to everyone who participated in the balloting over both offseasons and we hope you enjoyed the look back.