It seems like in a hot spot like Montreal, players come and go quicker. Just looking at their current roster, there's a plethora of players that likely won’t return next season and will be forgotten about rather quickly. The likes of Brian Flynn, Dwight King, Andreas Martinsen, Steve Ott and Nikita Nesterov are set to become free agents on July 1st and chances are, probably one out of those five players is to be resigned. The league is a different animal nowadays, as teams have more of an appreciation for youth and speed as opposed to those in their 30s, considered veterans. In all likelihood, even this year's cast of players will be categorized in the forgotten side of things years from now.
In this article, we walk down memory lane and take a look at some of the forgotten stars that played for Habs. Some had unreasonable expectations because of their Quebec passport, while the others just failed to stand out. We'll acknowledge their runs with Montreal along with shedding a spotlight on what they're up to nowadays. Some are still playing hockey overseas, while the others, have completely changed fields.
Enjoy the article and like always, be sure to share the link with a buddy. Without further ado, here are 15 forgotten Montreal Canadiens players and what they're doing today.
15 Francis Bouillon: Ice Caps Player Development
He was small in stature but he made up for it in heart, the undrafted former Montreal Canadien’ was very popular amongst his teammates during his stints with the Habs. It’s easy to forget about the guy considering his style of play, he never put up more than five goals a season. However, he wasn’t short in heart as a big time shot blocker, and even enforcer sticking up for his team when needed. After his last season with the Habs in the ’13-’14 campaign, Francis would head overseas for one last season in Switzerland. He hung the skates up following the season.
In November of 2016 the Habs reintroduced Bouillon into the organization. Francis was loved by the community and the Canadiens decided to bring him back as a part of the IceCaps development team.
14 Matt D’Agostini: HC Ambri-Piotta – Swiss League
Drafted 190th overall, the Habs were salivating at the time of this pick as the Ontario native was ripping it up in the OHL with the Guelph Storm. Matt put up 79 points in 66 games during his final season and the Canadiens thought they had a future top six goal scorer on the horizon. He continued his excellent pace with the Bulldogs down in the AHL but unfortunately his talents wouldn’t transfer over to the NHL.
His best season with the Habs saw him put up 12 goals. He was easily forgettable in his two seasons, and he’d proceed to bounce around the league like a bingo ball playing with St. Louis, New Jersey and Buffalo. He finally made the wise decision to leave the league back in the ’14-’15 campaign joining Geneve Servette. He put up respectable numbers in his first two seasons and he’s now currently playing his third as a member of the Ambri-Piotta in the Swiss League. Matt’s still relatively young at the age of 30.
13 Louis Leblanc: Back to School – Harvard University
Montreal’s draft criteria is quite different in comparison to other teams around the league. If the Habs have a shot at a young, French-Canadian player, chances are they’ll take the leap of faith. That’s exactly what went down during the 2009 draft when Leblanc was selected 18th overall in the first round. The Habs got excited about his potential but ultimately, he became one of the biggest draft busts in the organization’s history. So bad, the just eight years after his selection, he’s already out of the league.
His Montreal run was disastrous to say the least. He’s more so remembered for his off-ice controversies when his girlfriend at the time, tennis player Aleksandra Wozniak would make comments that he wasn’t given a fair shot. Nonetheless, he would leave the team opting to go play overseas spending time in Russia, Slovakia and the Switzerland. He retired young and took the wise route in deciding to go back to school, rejoining Harvard University. He’s still only 26.
12 Steve Begin: Charity & Promotional Work
Sadly, heart and soul type players like Steve Begin are slowly becoming extinct around the league. With a new emphasis on speed and skill, the NHL is slowly evolving into this new mindset. However, Begin managed to fit the mold years ago serving as a heart and soul type player on Montreal’s third and fourth lines. He was a big time fan favorite during his stint with the team.
As we said, his numbers weren’t the greatest but he did manage to muster up a decent career. He announced his retirement in January of 2014 due to nagging injuries that ended up plaguing his career. Nowadays, you can keep track of Steve via Twitter as he posts his charity and promotional work from the Montreal area. He recently worked alongside another MTL great, George St-Pierre. Steve also sporadically appears on the sport network RDS as a panelist for a show called L’Antichambre.
11 Ryan O’Byrne: Graduated From Cornell University
Desperate for a hard-nosed, shutdown, meat and potatoes defenseman, the Habs thought they found that in Ryan O’Byrne. Sadly, that couldn’t have been further from the truth as his Montreal run was disastrous. It truly is better for Ryan if his time with the team is forgotten about. His most memorable moments was putting the puck in his own net during a delayed penalty which really speaks volumes. After stints with Colorado and Toronto, Ryan finished his career off overseas playing in the Russian, Swiss and Swedish leagues. He even briefly took on a coaching role.
After announcing his retirement in 2016, Ryan announced he was going back to school. In late December, Ryan announced that he finished his degree graduating from Cornell University. It seems like this story had a happy ending, good for you Ryan.
10 David Aebischer: Goalie Coach In Swiss League
Don’t feel too bad if you forgot about David’s Montreal career manning the pipes. In truth, the goaltender was all over the place throughout his career making pit stops in Colorado, Montreal, Phoenix and numerous stints in the Swiss League and American Hockey League. As of the ’14-’15 season, the goalie was still playing believe it or not starting in five games for Thurgau, a second division team in the Swiss League. He finally called it a career after the season ended.
Today, he’s teaching the new generation back in the Swiss League serving as the goalie coach for HC Fribourg-Gotteron. Ironically, the team has a similar logo to the Habs. He’s living a quiet life back at home nowadays set to enter his 40s next year in February.
9 Alexander Perezhogin: Avangard Omsk – KHL
During the 2000s, the Habs weren’t fearful of drafting Russian born players. Alexander was another example of that as he was selected in the first round of the 2001 NHL Draft, 25th overall. The Habs took a big risk and it seemed like it might have paid off big time after he put up 50 points during his initial AHL season. However, that wouldn’t translate to his NHL game as he became a massive bust scoring 15 goals combined in his two seasons with the Habs.
It’s crazy to think that he’s still only 33 today, continuing his career back at home with Avangard Omsk of the KHL. He joined the league way back in the ’07-’08 campaign and has stayed ever since putting up decent numbers throughout his career. He put up marginal numbers this past season finding the back of the net 15 times in 60 games.
8 Jarred Tinordi: Tucson Roadrunners – AHL
Similar to O’Byrne, Jarred was a big man that had high expectations getting selected 22nd overall by the Canadiens. His run was very forgettable and getting him out of the franchise became of the biggest importance. Things would go from bad to worse following his MTL departure failing a Substance Abuse Exam. Jarred was suspended 20 games, along with being immediately send down to Arizona's AHL team, the Tucson Roadrunners.
In his 64 games, all that really stands out is Jarred’s PIMs putting over 100 penalty minutes. His numbers aside from that were nothing to take home about scoring one goal, along with ten helpers. At the age of 25, Jarred might be inclined to head overseas in order to find his game before it’s too late.
7 Marcel Hossa: HC Plzen – Czech League
Last name Hossa and putting 90 points in his final WHL campaign, the Habs faithful immediately had sky high expectations for the forward. He was picked in the first round 16th overall, and the franchise thought they struck gold landing a top line winger.
Sadly, he became yet another forgettable piece to the puzzle. He failed to meet the expectations and before he knew it, Hossa was shipped off to New York in an attempt to rejuvenate his career. He was better with the Rangers but ultimately, he would end up leaving the league as a massive NHL bust.
The rest of his career was spent overseas resurfacing his skill in the KHL. After spending years and years in different European Leagues, Hossa recently played in the Slovakian League suiting up for Trencin Dukla. Although he’s 35, the forward had a brilliant season scoring 22 goals along with 43 points in 52 games.
6 Chris Higgins: Unrestricted Free Agent
For some reason, Chris Higgins was a forgettable player throughout his career despite the fact that he scored at a decent clip. Taken 14th overall by Montreal, his run with the team was pretty decent find the 20 goal mark in three of his four campaigns. Following his departure, Higgins would never reach the plateau again, although he found some stability with the Canucks.
His final season took place in the ’15-’16 campaign, playing for Vancouver’s AHL team, the Utica Comets. With a commitment to youth, Higgins was bought out by the team. He attended a PTO tryout last offseason attending the Calgary Flames camp. He failed to make the team and remains a free agent at the age of 33. It remains to be seen what the future has in store for the New York native.
5 Alex Auld: Goalie Coach & Jewelry Company
Who can forget the Alex Auld slogan, “he’s tall, he’s bald, he’s Alex Auld”. Well, it turns out you probably forgot he endured a brief stint with the Habs back in the ’10-’11 season. Don’t feel too sorry for forgetting, the career backup only played in 16 games for the team as former coach Jacques Martin rode Price pretty hard during that campaign. He ended his career overseas in Austria believe it or not, playing for Salzburg EC.
Following the end of his career, it’s an understatement to say that Auld has been active. Aside from working as a goalie coach and owning a jewelry company, Auld has even been caught playing Hurling, an Irish sport. Auld joked around that there are zero similarities to hockey, but that he loves the sport regardless.
4 Marc-Andre Bergeron: Cleveland Monsters – AHL
Going undrafted, the Quebec native wasn’t your prototypical defenseman standing in at 5'9 which is actually pretty generous. Teams didn't want to risk it, however, he managed to silence the critics with his booming shot becoming a power play specialist. His defensive work was forgettable but his shot wasn’t as he scored 13 goals in his one season with the Habs. Following his Montreal exit, Bergeron played for the Lightning briefly, and proceeded to leave for an overseas career back in Switzerland with Zurich SC.
Surprisingly, he was offered a two-way deal in 2017 joining the Blue Jackets AHL affiliate, the Cleveland Monsters. The 36 year old put up decent numbers in 22 games finding the back of the net five times, along with eight helpers.
3 Michael Ryder: Hockey Newfoundland Hall of Fame
For a guy the Habs drafted 216th overall, the fan base was very critical when it came to the sniper. He was typically on the other end of jokes later on in his MTL journey when he lost his scoring touch. Ryder went from a 30 goal getter to a ten goal dude in his second run with the team. He had one final run in the '14-'15 campaign participating in 47 games as a member of the Devils. That was his final NHL involvement.
Putting aside his scoring hazards late in his career, Ryder was actually a prolific scorer at one point notching multiple seasons of 30 plus goals including a campaign of 35 during his days in Dallas. Newfoundland is set to honor his contributions this summer as he enters the Hockey Newfoundland Hall of Fame at the age of 37.
2 Guillaume Latendresse: Analyst For RDS
Another Quebec born player that the Montreal media put on a pedestal, Latendresse was praised early on for his size and goal scoring ability, ripping up the QMJHL during his three campaigns. Unfortunately, the lofty expectations would not be met, and the forward became a forgettable face that was plagued with injuries throughout his MTL career.
He resurrected his career during a season in Minnesota scoring 25, but that was his peak. Following a brief run overseas in the Swiss League, Guillaume called it a career. He briefly coached in the Quebec Midget AAA League and he later transitioned into RDS as an on-screen personality for the Montreal based sport network. Like Begin, he's also involved in lots of promotional and charity work in the Montreal area.
1 Maxim Lapierre: HC Lugano – Swiss League
Lapierre really didn't have any great qualities that stood out, he wasn’t the best skater nor did he have a knack for goal scoring, however he was a fan favorite because of his agitating prowess on the ice. He enjoyed a career year with the team in '08-'09 notching 15 goals in 79 games. Aside from that season, his stint with the club and the league was quite forgettable.
The rest of his career was served on a number of different teams, spending time with the Ducks, Canucks, Blues and Penguins. He would end up taking his game overseas, joining the Swedish League for a season, and then inking two seasons over in Switzerland with Lugano. At the age of 32, it appears as though the Saint-Leonard native is still going strong.
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