HabsWorld.net -- 

October 6th, 2013 marks the 10th anniversary of the launch of the HabsWorld website. In the early 2000’s, the Canadiens’ message board on ESPN’s website was one of the main gathering place for hockey fans to talk about the Habs. The community grew steadily through hours of discussions on that message board, on IM, and by competing in various fantasy pools. As the number of fans was increasing steadfastly, so was the idea of starting a place of our own.

We started preparing content for the website project as early as the Spring of 2002. On May 2003, I purchased the HabsWorld.net domain and a forum software. The community quickly migrated to its own forum and, over the summer, preparation for the launch of a website dedicated to the Habs was going full steam. My brother Luc, an IT student at the time, coded the complete website from scratch, with its own content management system. The website went live on October 6, 2003. The website’s objective was clear from the start: offer a fans’ point of view on the Habs.

Why the name “HabsWorld?”

Many of the inaugural fans of the community were from Australia and many European countries. We wanted to make them feel at home and give them the chance to contribute to or read the website in their language. You may notice the flags in the top left of the website. By selecting a different language, visitors can navigate the menus in their native tongue and also have the pages customized for their languages, while still being able to access all articles.

How HabsWorld is managed?

We use a simple structure to make things run smoothly. Annually, there are roughly a dozen writers that contribute to the site; of those, three or four are editors. Editors are tasked with reviewing pending articles from the writers and are responsible for going over the articles’ content and HTML structure.

There is also a chief editor who is responsible for the day-to-day content – scheduling, contributing with regular columns, and organizing special projects or collaborative columns such as our mailbags. Finally, there is an administrator who oversees the technical aspects of HabsWorld on both the website and forum while working in tandem with the chief editor on the day-to-day operations of the site.

A snapshot of the first 10 years

– Over 3,200 articles written
– Over 18,000 links posted
– 86 writers
– 13 editors
– Writer with the most articles: Brian La Rose with 1,073

Longest active contributor

Brian La Rose has been an active contributor since the opening of the website in 2003, first serving as an editor for the Stats section. In 2006 he added the title of Prospects Editor and in 2009 he became HabsWorld’s 4th Chief Editor. In March of 2011, Brian became Administrator of the HabsWorld Forums and has also been a moderator there since the beginning.

Our look over the years

The current design of our website has been in place for the past eight years but we had a pair of different looks in our first two years of operation. Click the links below for the archived version of our original site designs.

Oct. 2003 – Nov. 2004
Nov. 2004 – Oct. 2005

Those links above also feature our first two headers. The current one, designed by Del Johnson, has been in place since August, 2011.

The Links Section

The daily links have been a staple of our coverage from the beginning. It was inspired by a site that the writers all frequented at the time we were planning out HabsWorld called MontrealSportsNews.com. It was a site that linked to any articles pertaining to Montreal sports; unfortunately it went offline before HabsWorld got up and running. We thought the concept of the site was great so we decided to adapt it here. 18,000+ links later, it has become one of the most popular features on the site as there are new links posted daily.

HW Forums

We got a head start on celebrating our 10th anniversary back in May as our message boards hit that milestone back on May 12th. In its early days, the boards were primarily a place for us to collaborate on the website project while also serving as a place to discuss the bleu-blanc-et-rouge. To-date, we have over 2,000 registered posters and over 460,000 messages. Click here for more information about the HW Forums and its history.

A Canadian Community: Top 10 Cities (number of visitors)

1- Montréal
2- Toronto
3- Ottawa
4- Halifax
5- Calgary
6- Vancouver
7- Edmonton
8- St. John’s (NB)
9- Kingston
10- Windsor

Most read articles of all time

Montreal Canadiens Salary Information
Posted on August 21, 2007
By: Brian La Rose
Views: 95,000
HabsWorld has quickly been known its quality content regarding the Habs, including its up-to-date information on Canadiens and Bulldogs contracts. All credits go to Brian La Rose, HW’s capologist. This page is the most visited on the site.
Profile: Maxim Lapierre
Posted on October 3, 2003
By: Dan Linn
Views: 55,000
For some odd reason, the picture in Lapierre’s profile is one of the highest ranked in Google. We suspect much of the (still increasing) traffic to his profile page is a direct result of that, since that page has long been outdated.
100 Seasons of Glory, Tradition & Excellence
Posted on Sept 17, 2008
By: Todd Denault
Views: 45,000
This article written for HabsWorld by acclaimed author Todd Denault is HW’s most read column with 45,000 views up to this day. The article is a great tribute to the Montréal Canadiens’ first century.
Sidney Crosby’s amazing goal
Posted on November 28, 2003
By: Jake Wilson
Views: 30,000
HabsWorld went away from its Habs coverage on this one occasion to post a video of a goal scored by a junior player named Sidney Crosby. The video went viral and we were part of the moment, drawing an unprecedented number of visitors to the site.
HW Interview: P.K. Subban

Posted on August 1, 2007
By: Matt Godbout
Views: 20,000
HW ran a series of highly popular interviews with Canadiens prospects. The most read interview was the one Matt Godbout did with P.K. Subban in 2007, where he states “I like to pattern my game after Scott Niedermayer, but with a little more of a physical edge to it because he is the complete package.”

HabsWorld is a community that has grown slowly but steadily over the past decade. The project has attracted more than 80 writers that have shared their passion for the Habs in an environment that puts a high emphasis on quality of content and is a credible outlet to publish their views on the Habs.

The quality of the content and articles published on HabsWorld over the past decade has drawn more and more fans to adopt our site as a primary source for Canadiens’ content. 80% of HabsWorld’s visitors return to the website on a regular basis.

The next decade for HabsWorld

HabsWorld has always been and will continue to be a fan-based project. We’re always looking to add more writers in order to provide a unique point of view on all that is happening with the Habs, whether it’s editorials, game previews/recaps, breaking news alerts, prospect coverage, and much more. If you want to share your passion for the Habs, HabsWorld is the perfect place for you.

To all of our readers and contributors, thank you for your support over the past ten years.  We look forward to making the next decade an even better one.