To have a successful hockey team, you need a good team that'll come together and work collectively to achieve success. While all NHLers are professional sports players, they also have feelings. Hockey is a physical sport, and it's easy to get into a fight or heated argument with an opponent. Surprisingly, it's almost just as easy to get in the same situation with your own teammate or mangement.
This list will focus on the Montreal Canadiens and some of the hateful relationships that were developed between two members of the team during any time. You will be surprised to know that such a successful organization has had it's rough patches, to the point where it's own members have hated each other.
How does this happen? Well, when playing in a hockey market like Montreal, it's very easy for a rumour to get started and speculation to begin. It's actually not rare to see teammates get into a heated argument, and even through punches at practice. There could be things that were said to media that insulted another member of the team. These things have all happened in Montreal and more. Nevertheless, have a look at 15 pairs of the Montreal Canadiens (players and management) who hated each other.
15 Donald Audette And Craig Rivet
There have been several occasions where players on the same team have gotten into public disputes, which can sometimes even lead to dropping the gloves. The Canadiens have had a few moments where their own players have gotten into fights at practice.
During a practice in 2002, Habs defenseman Craig Rivet checked veteran forward Donald Audette to the ice. Audette was not happy with the hit at all, and eventually got up to go after Rivet. The two players had to be separated by their teammates before the team could go on with the practice.
While the players didn't speak much about it at the time, I'm sure Audette was quite angry with Rivet's actions, who for some reason thought it was reasonable to body check a teammate in practice.
14 Sergei Kostitsyn And Mikhail Grabovski
These two former Montreal Canadiens are fellow Belarusians, but don't let that fool you into thinking that automatically makes them friends. These two guys never liked each other. Sergei Kostitsyn and Mikhail Grabovski didn't actually spend a lot of time on the same team, which was probably a good thing. No fight ever broke out between the Belarusians during their only season shared with the Montreal Canadiens in 2007-08, but something must have been brewing between these two that nobody knew about it until Grabovski switched teams.
When Grabovski was traded to Toronto, the Belarusians' feud began when the Canadiens and Leafs played in November of 2008 after Sergei Kostitsyn laid a dirty hit on Grabovski, receiving a 10-minute game misconduct. Despite nothing ever happening between the two during their short stint together in Montreal, Kostitsyn and Grabovski would be quick to assure you that they've never liked each other.
13 Randy Cunneyworth And Pierre Gauthier
During a disastrous 2012-13 season, the Canadiens fired their head coach Jacques Martin, and replaced him with interim head coach Randy Cunneyworth. There was immediately some controversy after Cunneyworth's hiring because he was a unilingual coach, which goes against the bilingual coach rule for the Canadiens organization.
It never seemed like Cunneyworth had the support of his own organization during his very short tenure as head coach of the Canadiens. The first sign of this came with the introduction of the anglo coach by GM Pierre Gauthier, who did not even offer Cunneyworth a warm welcome. Instead, he publicly suggested that French is a language that can be learned by the Toronto native.
Cunneyworth's tenure with the Habs was basically focused on the fact that he could not speak French and was put under an extreme amount of pressure to learn the language as quick as possible or he'd be as good as gone by the season's end. Sure enough, Cunneyworth was let go by the Canadiens at the end of the 2012-13 season. Although nothing was said publicly, there's no way the former head coach could have been happy with how he was treated by his organization, specifically his general manager, who hardly supported him.
12 Michel Therrien And Max Pacioretty
Prior to the start of the 2016-17 season, a rumour had surfaced regarding Habs captain Max Pacioretty and former head coach Michel Therrien. A radio host had reported hearing Michel Therrien call Pacioretty "the worst captain in Canadiens history." Obviously, when the media addressed the rumour to Therrien, he immediately denied it.
Despite both Pacioretty and Therrien dismissing the rumours, it's rather unlikely that something like this would be made up for no reason. Something was likely said about Pacioretty that Therrien had no choice but to deny.
During the 2016-17 season, the Habs captain had a slumping stretch near the beginning of the season and many started to sense that there was friction between Pacioretty and his coach. We will never know for sure what was going on between these two, but there have been many signs that point to these two never really liking each other.
11 Saku Koivu And Mike Ribeiro
From the moment Mike Ribeiro joined the Montreal Canadiens in 2001, both he and Saku Koivu never had a great relationship. Koivu and Ribeiro were both competing for the number one center spot on the Canadiens during the 2003-04 season and let's just say they literally began to fight for it. In February of 2004, a fight broke out between both players during a morning skate at the Bell Centre.
This began to create separation in the Canadiens locker room and clans were speculated to have been formed. Three years after Ribeiro was traded, in an interview with Montreal sports channel RDS, Ribeiro stated that he never felt like Koivu was respectful towards him and that he never felt welcome in the Canadiens locker room.
10 Carey Price And Michel Therrien
As far as we know, there was never any "bad blood" between Carey Price and Michel Therrien up until shortly before Therrien's firing. Many fans and media believe it was a mistake made by the former head coach that costed both his relationship with his best player and eventually, his job.
That mistake was made on December 16, 2016, in a game against the San Jose Sharks. Price let in four goals and was pulled early in the second period in front of the fans at the Bell Centre. As he skated off, Price gave Therrien a harsh stare, which the whole world saw, indicating that he was unhappy with the coach's decision.
Price refused to speak to the media after the game, which led to more speculation about how the goaltender felt about being pulled in the middle of the game.
Who knows what Therrien was thinking when pulling Price that night, but it looks like he didn't care about his goaltender's feelings enough and chose to humiliate him in front of his own fans. It's very likely that this occasion is what led to Price's decline in performance for a short period of time, to get back at his coach. Michel Therrien was eventually fired less than two months later during the Canadiens bye-week in February.
9 P.K. Subban And Tomas Plekanec
You didn't think you'd get through this list without seeing P.K. Subban, did you? While Subban was often the center of attention while he was in Montreal, many feel that he didn't have a great relationship with many of his teammates, one of those being Tomas Plekanec.
During a practice in January of 2012, Subban and Plekanec were involved in a one-on-one drill which ended up getting a little heated. Both players dropped their gloves and began to fight. Their teammates let them go at it for a little bit before intervening. No one was hit hard during the fight. Some of the players spoke about the fight after the practice in light spirit. They brushed it off and used their team's slump as a reasoning for their frustration.
However, that wasn't the only time these two went at it. After a victory over the Devils in February of 2015, Subban jokingly hit Plekanec on the side of the head as a way of celebrating. Plekanec responded with a jab to the midsection of Subban with the butt-end of his stick. Once again, Subban brushed it off, saying it wasn't anything to be taken seriously. However, you have to think Plekanec was never a fan of Subban and his antics, and that seemed to create this friction between both players.
8 Richard Zednik And Karl Dykhuis
Richard Zednik and Karl Dykhuis are two other former Canadiens who've been involved in a skirmish during practice. This was the second fight between Canadiens players in practice in 2002, just a couple weeks after Craig Rivet and Donald Audette went at it.
The fight started at the bench after captain Saku Koivu was tripped. Tempers flared as the two players would be separated by their teammates shortly after the fight sprung. Zednik didn't speak to the press after the practice, while Dykhuis dismissed the fight as nothing serious.
The fight appeared to be instigated by Zednik who didn't seem thrilled at all with the way Dykhuis tripped their captain. Despite both players immediately wanting to move on from their brawl, there was surely some type of distaste that they felt towards each other at the time.
7 Bob Gainey And Mike Ribeiro
Mike Ribeiro quickly became troublesome during his time with the Montreal Canadiens. He, along with Jose Theodore and Pierre Dagenais, formed a "Three Amigos" clique and often hung out outside of the rink. There are crazy rumours about the three of these guys from things like getting a private room with hot chicks in clubs to doing drugs like cocaine.
Canadiens GM Bob Gainey had a decision to make one day as a young and upcoming Guillaume Latendresse was battling for Mike Ribeiro's spot in the Canadiens line-up. Given Ribeiro's off-ice antics, Gainey chose to ship Ribeiro in a trade to Dallas.
Gainey obviously wasn't in agreement with what the "three amigos" were up to and decided he needed to separate them before things get messy. Ribeiro was evidently distraught considering he was separated from his close friends and wanted to stay in Montreal. Meanwhile, Pierre Dagenais was sent to the minors.
6 Bob Gainey And Jose Theodore
Jose Theodore was probably the worst case of the "three amigos.'' After signing a big contract in Montreal following his 2001-02 Vezina season, he began to get himself into a lot of trouble off the ice.
Theodore was in the Hells Angels, his family served time in prison for loansharking and extortion. He also received death threats for unknown reasons. The former Canadiens net minder violated one major rule from his contract, which potentially sealed the deal for GM Bob Gainey and he knew it was time to move him.
His major violation was going skiing on his free time. Obviously, that put him at great risk for injury and it was against the rules of the Montreal Canadiens. Theodore's off-ice activities, including doing cocaine, forced Gainey to move him, just like he did with Ribeiro.
Gainey was certainly displeased with the way Theodore behaved off the ice. Unfortunately for Theo, he was forced to be separated from his troublesome companions and start a new journey in Colorado with the Avalanche.
5 Michel Therrien And Andrew Shaw
Michel Therrien was speculated to be at the heart of a lot of the problems of the Montreal Canadiens during both his terms. Many felt that one of the players he had a problem with was Andrew Shaw, and the reason was because of his needless penalties.
That speculation grew quickly as fans and media started noticing Therrien get frustrated when Shaw would take a penalty, even benching him one game against the Philadelphia Flyers. Rumours flew around about there being a verbal tirade between Therrien and Shaw which teammates had to step in to break up.
As many players do when they're questioned about these types of rumours, Shaw denied the rumour and said that Therrien was simply doing his job and being a coach. Whatever the case may be, you could sense from the outside that there was some type of feud going on between these two. Coincidentally, Shaw's game began to improve once the Canadiens replaced their head coach with Claude Julien in February of 2017.
4 P.K Subban And Max Pacioretty
Although they look like the best of friends in this picture, P.K. Subban and Max Pacioretty never really liked each other. Back in January of 2016, P.K. had an interview with the media and chose some harsh words to describe his team's effort. This wasn't to Pacioretty's liking, and as captain, addressed to the media that the situation had been resolved in the room. Both players later came out to speak to the media and bury the controversy.
This isn't the first time there's been some controversy between Subban and Pacioretty. A few years ago, the two players got in a heated shoving match at practice. Another occasion came prior to one of the Canadiens' games. Subban was announcing the team's starting line-up to the room and jumping around in excitement, while Pacioretty was sitting and giving the Habs' defenseman a glaring look. Even though they deny it, there's all the evidence in the world to prove that these two didn't like each other one bit.
3 Alex Galchenyuk And Michel Therrien
Yet another player that Michel Therrien was rumoured to have a feud with was Alex Galchenyuk. The young, talented, forward was supposed to be one of the team's best players and leading centerman, instead he was often playing the wing and seeing very little ice-time under Therrien. It appeared as if Galchenyuk's coach never had faith in him.
Many fans of the Canadiens often questioned Therrien's decisions in regards to Galchenyuk, and how he often picked other centers such as David Desharnais to play over the young talent. This likely got Galchenyuk upset and made him feel untrusted, which explains why his confidence never took off. For Therrien, it appears as though he was never really understanding of the errors young Alex Galchenyuk would commit, and immediately punish him for them, preventing him from being able to learn.
2 Michel Therrien And P.K. Subban
One of the most popular feuds between two Montreal Canadiens, known to many, was between Michel Therrien and P.K. Subban. Similar to Galchenyuk, Subban would see less time or be benched if he committed a serious error, and was often restricted from "doing his thing." After a loss against the Colorado Avalanche in February of 2016, Therrien threw his top defenseman under the bus.
Subban had made a turnover late in the game in the offensive zone that eventually led to the Avalanche coming the other way and scoring. After the game, the Habs' head coach had this to say about the play: "It was a selfish play that cost us the game. The team worked hard. We deserved a better result. It's too bad an individual mistake cost us the game late in the game."
Some Habs fans were furious about the comments of their coach, who ignored the fact that the four other players on the ice made little effort to get back defensively and prevent the goal from happening. This stirred up a ton of controversy and it was becoming clear that Therrien simply didn't like Subban.
Subban never made such comments towards his head coach, however, he was not in agreement about the type of player Therrien called him in that quote. Nonetheless, it's safe to say these two didn't have a friendly relationship.
1 Patrick Roy And Mario Tremblay
December 2, 1995 is a day every Canadiens fan at the time can't forget. Patrick Roy had been embarrassed by the Detroit Red Wings, allowing nine goals on 26 shots, before being yanked out of the goal. When Roy was pulled, obviously frustrated at being kept in goal for that long, he came and told his coach, Mario Tremblay, that he would never play for the Canadiens again.Shortly after, Roy was traded to the Avalanche.
Tremblay made a terrible mistake letting Roy stay in for that long. In an interview back in 2014, Tremblay admitted his mistake and mentioned that he and Roy had only just begun speaking again. It was certainly a humiliating moment for both parties to be apart of.
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