The Montreal Canadiens are not only the oldest team in the NHL but the only NHL team older than the NHL. They have the most Stanley Cups in the league at 24, they are also the most successful. With so much history, there is a lot to say about the Montreal Canadiens. Here at TheSportster we have given you everything from "Top 15 Controversial Moments in Montreal Canadiens History" to "Top 20 Montreal Canadiens Hated By Their Own Fans". They have had great players and horrible players, as well as times of pure dominance and scoring droughts. With the Canadiens, anything is possible.
With more than a century under their belt, they have had their ups and downs, as well as a fair share of rumors. Some are simple trade rumors, some are embarrassing, some sound stupid, and some are so unbelievable you have to see them to believe them. We should also clarify that these were simply whispers around the team. Rumors constantly run rampant in Montreal so there have been no shortage of them in the past 100-years plus. We're simply relaying what was once put out there, so it's best to take these with a grain of salt.
Here are fifteen of the many crazy rumors that have affected the Montreal Canadiens.
15 Patrick Roy To Quebec For Eric Lindros
Although Patrick Roy was eventually sent to the franchise once known as the Nordiques, it was originally about to happen sooner, before the team moved to Colorado to become the Avalanche. After the 1991 NHL Draft GM Serge Savard reportedly had received an offer from Quebec that would send Roy to Quebec in a package deal that would land the Habs first overall pick Eric Lindros, according to La Presse. Roy, being a Quebec City native would have been a huge piece for the Nordiques. Knowing that Lindros had no intention of playing for them the Nordiques were looking for the best trade possible. For whatever reason, this deal didn't materialize. Lindros would eventually be traded to Philly and Roy would lead the Habs to the Stanley Cup in '93.
14 Tomas Plekanec Trade Rumors
Like Emelin, Canadiens alternate captain Tomas Plekanec doesn’t enter free agency until the summer of 2018, yet trade rumors have been circulating. Plekanec’s cap hit is much higher than Emelin’s at $6 million, and his decline in play the past few seasons have led to speculation of a trade. With such a large cap it, he will most likely be traded when he hits free agency if he does not improve his game. Due to these factors, it is possible for the trade to occur earlier and there have been many rumors regarding it, yet none have followed through. At this point, Plekanec's trade value is as low as it has ever been in his career so you have to wonder if the Habs will be able to work anything out at this point.
13 Jose Theodore and Mike Ribeiro Trade Rumors to Chicago
During both of their tenures as Montreal Canadiens, rumors began to surface that Jose Theodore and Mike Ribeiro would be traded to play in Chicago. No such trade ever occurred, but what makes this interesting is these trades would have occurred shortly before Chicago’s rebuilding period that made them into the dynasty that they are today. If Theodore and Ribeiro would have entered Chicago, there is a chance the rebuilding period to their current dominance would have never occurred. This could be fun to speculate for Canadiens fans due to their Original Six rivalry with Chicago. Scratch that, it is probably fun to speculate for a fan of any team other than Chicago due to their dominance. It’s not a fun thing to speculate for Chicago fans, so they should be grateful this trade never became a reality.
12 Therrien Calls Pacioretty "Worst Captain Ever"
Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien isn’t the most well-liked guy in the world, and this alleged incident explains why. Montreal-based journalist Michel Villeneuve was allegedly fired after he threatened to expose a conversation between himself and Therrien. In the alleged conversation, Therrien expressed that Max Pacioretty is the worst captain in Canadiens history.
Some can speculate that Therrien did say this due to having someone fired because if he truly didn’t say anything negative about Pacioretty he would have nothing to hide. If he did say this, it is incredibly unprofessional and downright false considering that Pacioretty is the captain of one of the most dominant teams in the NHL. Needless the say, this rumor did not help Therrien’s reputation.
11 Steve Yzerman for Shayne Corson Trade Rumor
Steve Yzerman is one of the most well-known names in the NHL and Shayne Corson isn’t, which makes a trade rumor between the two to sound a little absurd. Both played in the 80’s and 90’s when the Canadiens dynasty began to fall apart. With Yzerman’s history of dominance, it can be easy to speculate that Yzerman could have stopped the dynasty from falling apart. Yzerman spent his entire career with the Red Wings and won three Stanley Cups with them. Corson spent his career playing for five different NHL teams and never won a Cup. If Yzerman played in Montreal, he could have easily saved the franchise and probably won a few Stanley Cups along the way. It is safe to say the Red Wings are glad this trade never occurred, the same cannot be said for the Canadiens.
10 Dale Weise Asks for $4M a Season
Due to Dale Weise’s mediocre stats, the rumor that he asked for $4 million to stay in Montreal right before the trade deadline last year seemed pretty absurd. The rumor turned out to be false and he was traded to Chicago along with Tomas Fleischmann for a draft pick and Phillip Danault. Danault is a much better player than Weise and Fleischmann, so Montreal must be pretty happy with the trade. Chicago wasn’t too pleased with Weise and Fleishmann since Weise was signed by the Philadelphia Flyers and Fleischmann is now an unrestricted free agent, but they seem to be getting by just fine without them. Weise earned a long-term contract but has been a healthy scratch in Philly this season. If that is in fact what Weise asked for, Montreal dodged a bullet by not re-signing him.
9 Alleged Rift Between Subban and Pacioretty
Sometimes trade rumors can spark speculation that something negative is going on with the player rumored to be traded. When trade rumors about P.K. Subban first hit the press, rumors began circulating that he was feuding with Max Pacioretty due to the captaincy going to Pacioretty. Fans believing that Subban (who was an alternate captain) deserved the captaincy over Pacioretty did not help.
Both denied the feud when the season was over. Pacioretty gave a lengthy response while Subban kept it humorous. When asked about his relationship with Pacioretty, Subban responded, “What do I have to do? Go over there and make out with him?” He gave Pacioretty a hug afterward for the media to see, dismissing the alleged feud once and for all. That would be the last time the two would be seen as teammates as Subban would be traded 10 weeks later.
8 Vincent Lecavalier Trade Rumors to Montreal
Back in 2009, rumors began to spread that Vince Lecavalier would be traded to Montreal from Tampa Bay. What made the rumor unique was Montreal was allegedly willing to give away Price, Subban, and Pacioretty (who weren’t as dominant as they are today back then) for Lecavalier, but no trade ever occurred. Due to the three players that would have been traded for Lecavalier if this occurred, it can be fun for both Canadiens and Lightning fans to speculate what could have happened if this trade had become a reality.
Would the Lightning have a Cup by now? Would they be the best team in the league? Would they be a dynasty team? Would Montreal have a Cup? The world will never know. Montreal fans are probably relieved this trade didn't come to fruition.
7 Possibly Firing Michel Therrien
As stated earlier, Montreal’s current head coach, Michel Therrien, isn’t the most well-liked guy in the world. When rumors of him being fired began to circulate, some Montreal fans were probably pleased (as well as some players *cough* Pacioretty). Seeing that Therrien is still the head coach, the rumors that circulated around the web last year weren’t true, but it is still possible for GM Marc Bergevin to make a change to the coaching staff in the future. In fact, when these rumors surfaced Bergevin went out of his way to tell the press, “don’t believe anything you hear.”
Only time will tell if a change is made, but with several head coach changes around the NHL, it can be easy to assume that Therrien is next on the chopping block.
6 Subban Trade Rumor to Flyers
The trade of PK Subban to Nashville for Shea Weber was easily the most talked about trade last summer. Subban was beloved by Montreal fans due to his success on the ice as well as his charity work, so the trade was hard to swallow for many fans. Before Subban became one of the top defensemen on not only Montreal but the NHL, trade rumors had been circulating Subban for a while, but it wasn’t the first time that they occurred. In 2014, Subban was almost traded to the Philadelphia Flyers for a first round pick and some young players.
The possibilities that would have come for this trade are fun to speculate, especially since it would have been an improvement for the Philadelphia blue line. Like many trade rumors, the world will never know what would have happened if the trade had gone through.
5 Mathieu Schneider Allegedly Sleeping With Patrick Roy's Wife
This is one of the most common rumors that fly around not only the hockey world but the sports world as a whole. Since it is such a common rumor, fans often have fun speculating which of the rumors are true and which are false. The Sportster has covered this phenomenon before in "Top 12 NHL Players Who Allegedly Slept With A Teammate's Wife"
It is no secret that while they were teammates, Mathieu Schneider and Patrick Roy did not get along. When Schneider was traded to the New York Islanders during the 1994-95 season, rumors began to surface that it was due to Schneider having an affair with Roy’s wife. The rumor exploded and many believe it to be true, and over two decades later stories of players being traded for alleged affairs with teammate’s wives are still common.
4 Brett Hull to Montreal
Brett Hull is one of the most famous and successful goalscorers in NHL history. Rumor has it that Brett Hull could have become a Canadien in 2001, but took less money to join the Detroit Red Wings. Hull’s career was in its twilight stages and well after the dynasty days of the Canadiens, and it is easy to speculate that Hull could have been a missing piece for Montreal.
Speculation could also go beyond the idea of Hull bringing a Stanley Cup to Montreal since he was such a well-rounded player throughout his entire career. Some Canadiens fans may be tempted to travel to an alternate universe to see if this could have happened, yet the world will never know since no such signing occurred. Given that Montreal was a mediocre team in the early 2000s, it's difficult to think Hull alone could have made all the difference.
3 Chris Chelios Allegedly Sleeping With Ronald Corey’s Wife
Another example of a player being traded for an alleged affair, Chris Chelios was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks in 1990 after he allegedly had an affair with Ronald Corey’s wife. What made this unique was Corey was not a teammate, he was the president of the Montreal Canadiens organization at the time. The Canadiens landed an aging Denis Savard in the trade and it would soon be seen as one of the worst trades in Canadiens history.
Fortunately for Chelios, the scandal did not destroy his career. He retired as one of the top defensemen in the league with three Stanley Cups, three Norris Trophies and a Mark Messier Leadership Award. He was also recently named as one of the top 100 players in NHL history.
2 Max Pacioretty Trade Rumors
With the Canadiens at the top of the Atlantic Division, trading captain Max Pacioretty seems like a stupid and improbable move. After the P.K. Subban trade last summer and salary cap issues, you can never say never in Montreal. With Pacioretty set to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2018-19 season, he would be a hot commodity to any team if the Canadiens don’t lock him down soon.
Nick Kypreos cleared the situation up on Hockey Night In Canada. He says, “There’s no indication that Pacioretty wants out of Montreal, but it’s clear from a few other teams that they want to watch this situation closely.”
Luckily for Canadiens fans, it appears that Pacioretty wants to stay in Montreal, but only time will tell regarding his future.
1 Organized Crime
Possibly one of the craziest rumors in NHL history as a whole, Montreal Canadiens players Sergei Kostitsyn, Andrei Kostitsyn and Roman Hamrlik were accused of being involved in organized crime due to communication with Pasquale Magnolia, a member of an international crime organization called Operation Axis. The story became much more suspicious when it was revealed that Magnolia was instrumental to the Kostitsyn brothers adjusting to life in Montreal. He allegedly also provided the brothers access to drugs, alcohol, luxury cars, and women.
Hamrlik was involved on a lesser scale and was able to continue his career without much scrutiny. The story was different for the Kostitsyn brothers. They were not charged with anything and were able to continue their careers, but the scandal followed them everywhere. Both brothers eventually left Montreal to play in Nashville. As of now, they have both left the NHL and are playing in the KHL.
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