As the oldest NHL team, the Montreal Canadiens have had an incredible history thus far. They’ve won 24 Stanley Cups – the most of any NHL team (and 11 more than the second place Toronto Maple Leafs), including five straight from 1956 to 1960. Needless to say, they’ve had many players suit up for them since the 1909-10 season. Many of these players will always hold a special place in our hearts and who we will always remember, such as Maurice “The Rocket” Richard, Jean Beliveau, Ken Dryden and Guy Lafleur, just to name a few.
While there are many players we will forever remember, there are also some who I’m sure most of us have forgotten even played for the Habs such as Mark Streit from 2005 to 2008. And some we wish we could forget played for them such as Sergei Samsonov during the 2006-07 season.
More recently, there have been several players whom I’m sure a lot of us fans have a hard time recalling ever playing for the Habs. Here’s a list of the top 15 forgotten players who suited up for the Canadiens.
15. Dale Weise
After spending time with the New York Islanders and Vancouver Canucks, Dale Weise was traded to the Montreal Canadiens in February 2014 in exchange for Raphael Diaz.
This right winger played a total of 152 regular season games between the 2013-14 and 2015-16 seasons where he produced 59 points (27 goals, 32 assists) and had an impressive +25 plus/minus rating.
He was known to throw his body around with 291 hits which averaged out to just under two hits per game. As a matter of fact, he ranked second on the team with an average of 1.9 hits per game among all of his teammates who played over 70 games during those three seasons.
14. Josh Gorges
Josh Gorges began his NHL career with the San Jose Sharks, but was traded to the Montreal Canadiens in February 2007 along with a first round draft pick, in exchange for Craig Rivet and a fifth round pick.
This defenseman spent eight seasons with the Canadiens from 2006-07 to 2013-14. He played a total of 464 regular season games with them and recorded 88 points (13 goals, 75 assists). He had a great overall plus/minus rating of +34 which ranked him first among all Canadiens players during those eight seasons. He also led the team with a large amount of blocked shots with 1,048 of them which averaged out to 2.3 per game. Furthermore, he was an asset on the penalty kill unit, seeing a lot of ice time while they were a man down.
13. Tomas Kaberle
Tomas Kaberle spent the majority of his NHL career with Toronto, along with a short stint with Boston and Carolina, before joining Montreal in 2011. In December 2011, the Canadiens traded Jaroslav Spacek to the Hurricanes in exchange for Kaberle.
This defenseman played 53 regular season games with the Habs and earned 25 points (3 goals, 22 assists). He was one of their top power play guys who saw a lot of ice time during the man advantage and recorded almost half of his points (12 pts) while they were a man up. He also blocked a total of 64 shots which averaged out to 1.2 per game. And he barely saw any time in the penalty box with a total of just 10 PIM.
12. Erik Cole
After spending the majority of his NHL career with Carolina – and a short stint with Edmonton — Erik Cole made his way to Montreal in 2011.
This left winger played a total of 101 regular season games with the Canadiens and tallied 67 points (38 goals, 29 assists), along with a +12 plus/minus rating. He was one of their top power play guys with one of the most ice time while on the man advantage and he certainly was an asset with 15 of his points (including 11 goals) recorded while they were a man up. He could also throw his body around with a total of 229 hits which averaged out to over two hits per game.
11. Thomas Vanek
After spending the majority of his NHL career with the Buffalo Sabres, followed by half of a season with the New York Islanders, Thomas Vanek was traded to the Montreal Canadiens in March 2014 along with a fifth round draft pick, in exchange for Sebastian Collberg and a second round pick.
This left winger only played 18 games with the Canadiens, but he was definitely impressive. He averaged almost a point a game with 15 points (6 goals, 9 assists) with two of those goals being recorded on the power play. In fact, he was one of the top players to see the most ice time during the man advantage. He also had a +8 plus/minus rating and tallied just 8 penalty minutes.
He also helped them out in the playoffs, appearing in 17 games and producing 10 points including 3 power play goals.
10. Andrei Kostitsyn
Andrei Kostitsyn spent the first seven years of his NHL career with the Montreal Canadiens from 2005 to 2012.
This left winger played a total of 379 regular season games and produced 210 points (99 goals, 111 assists), along with a +8 plus/minus rating. Included in his points total were 56 power play points (including 32 goals) and 18 game-winning goals. He was also pretty decent at throwing his weight around with a total of 580 hits which averaged out to 1.5 per game.
In February 2012, he was sent to the Nashville Predators in exchange for two draft picks (second and fifth round picks). After finishing the season with Nashville, Kostitsyn returned to Russia to play in the Kontinental Hockey League, which is where he is still currently playing.
9. Tomas Fleischmann
After spending the first ten seasons of his NHL career between Washington, Colorado, Florida and Anaheim, Tomas Fleischmann made his way to Montreal in 2015.
This left winger played 57 regular season games with the Canadiens and tallied 20 points (10 goals, 10 assists), along with a -1 plus/minus rating. His numbers weren’t overly impressive, considering he had six seasons where he produced over 30 points and two of them he racked up over 50 points.
He didn’t even finish the season with the Habs because in February 2016, he and Dale Weise were traded to the Chicago Blackhawks for Phillip Danault and a second round draft pick. Fleischmann hasn’t played in the NHL since finishing the 2015-16 season with Chicago. He remains a free agent.
8. P.A. Parenteau
After spending the first six seasons of his NHL career with Chicago, New York (Rangers and Islanders) and Colorado, P.A. Parenteau made his way to Montreal for the 2014-15 season. In June 2014, the Montreal Canadiens traded Daniel Briere to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for Parenteau and a fifth round draft pick.
This right winger played 56 regular season games with the Canadiens and produced 22 points (8 goals, 14 assists), along with an even plus/minus rating. He was one of the top guys on their power play unit and recorded four points including three goals while on the man advantage.
He was, however, left out of several games as a healthy scratch.Finally, at the end of the season, the Canadiens bought out the remaining year of his contract. He’s currently a member of the Nashville Predators.
7. Benoit Pouliot
Benoit Pouliot began his career with the Minnesota Wild but was traded to the Montreal Canadiens in November 2009 in exchange for Guillaume Latendresse.
This left winger played a total of 118 regular season games with the Habs and recorded 54 points (28 goals, 26 assists), along with a +10 plus/minus rating. Included in his 54 points were 7 power play points (5 of which were goals) and 7 game-winning goals. He also delivered 156 hits which averaged out to 1.3 per game. But he did spend quite a bit of time in the penalty box with a total of 118 PIM which averaged out to one minute per game.
6. Michael Cammalleri
Michael Cammalleri played for Los Angeles and Calgary before joining Montreal in 2009.
This left winger played a total of 170 regular season games with the Canadiens between the 2009-10 and 2011-12 seasons and recorded 119 points (54 goals, 65 assists). He was definitely an asset to have on the power play with 42 of his points (including 12 goals) earned while on the man advantage.
However, rumours started swirling that he was going to be traded. And on January 12, 2012, during a matchup against the Boston Bruins, Cammalleri was traded mid-game. He, along with Karri Ramo and a fifth round draft pick, were sent to the Calgary Flames in exchange for Rene Bourque, Patrick Holland and a second round draft pick.
5. Daniel Briere
After spending the first 15 seasons of his NHL career between the Phoenix Coyotes (now called the Arizona Coyotes), Buffalo Sabres and Philadelphia Flyers, Daniel Briere made his way to the Montreal Canadiens in 2013 when he signed a two-year contract with them.
This center played 69 regular season games with the Habs in 2013-14 and tallied 25 points (13 goals, 12 assists) including 6 of his points recorded on the power play (4 of them were goals). He was pretty decent in the faceoff circle as well, with a 48.9% win percentage.
4. Michael Ryder
Michael Ryder played the first four seasons of his NHL career with the Montreal Canadiens between 2003 and 2008. After playing several seasons with Boston and Dallas, he made his way back to the Habs for the 2012-13 season.
During his entire time with the Canadiens, this right winger played a total of 341 regular season games and produced 228 points (109 goals, 119 assists). He was certainly an asset on the power play with 113 of his points (52 goals) recorded while they were on the man advantage. But unfortunately, he still had a disappointing -26 plus/minus rating.
He did finish off his time with the Canadiens on a positive note, having racked up 21 points in 27 games with them in 2012-13. In fact, over half of his points (11 pts) were produced during the man advantage.
3. James Wisniewski
In December 2010, the Montreal Canadiens traded two draft picks (second and fifth rounds) to the New York Islanders in exchange for James Wisniewski. In addition to New York, he had also previously played for Chicago and Anaheim.
This defenseman played 43 regular season games with the Canadiens in 2010-11 and racked up 30 points (7 goals, 23 assists). He was certainly an asset to have on their power play unit with 16 of his 30 points recorded while they were on the man advantage. In fact, he was the only player on his team to average over 4 minutes of ice time during the power play. And he was ranked second on the team (just 12 seconds less than Andrei Markov) for the highest average of overall on-ice time per game. He also averaged 2 blocked shots per game.
2. Yannick Weber
Yannick Weber spent the first five seasons of his NHL career with the Montreal Canadiens from 2008-09 to 2012-13.
During that time, this defenseman played a total of 115 regular season games and recorded 32 points (5 goals, 27 assists). Almost half of his points (15 pts) were recorded on the power play, so he was pretty decent in that area. But he wasn’t much help in front of his goaltender with an overall plus/minus rating of -14. As a matter of fact, in the five seasons he played for the Habs, his best plus/minus rating was in 2010-11 when he finished with an even 0 rating. He also blocked a total of just 88 shots which averaged out to less than one per game.
1. Scott Gomez
I’m sure the name Scott Gomez makes many Habs fans cringe. In June 2009, the Montreal Canadiens were involved in a huge trade that sent Chris Higgins, Ryan McDonagh, Doug Janik and Pavel Valentenko to the New York Rangers in exchange for Scott Gomez, Tom Pyatt and Michael Busto. And along with Gomez came his hefty contract which still had five years and over $30 million remaining on it.
This center played three seasons with the Canadiens (2009-2012) and recorded 108 points (21 goals, 87 assists) in 196 regular season games. He had the second-worst overall plus/minus rating on the entire team during those three seasons with a -23. And although he was pretty good on faceoffs with a 49.5% win percentage, the Habs certainly did not get their money’s worth with him.
The Canadiens then decided to buy out the remaining two years of his hefty contract which I’m sure made every Habs fan breathe a sigh of relief.
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