All-Time Habs-Leafs Roster

Original six. Red versus blue. French versus English. Quebec versus Ontario. City of Montreal versus City of Toronto. The team with most Stanley Cups versus the team with the second most. The two biggest fan bases in the National Hockey League, possibly in the world. One of the biggest and longest rivalries in North American pro-sports’ history: The Montreal Canadiens versus the Toronto Maple Leafs. Frank Mahovlich versus Frank Mahovlich. Wait… what?!?

Oh yes, the “Big M” did suit up for both teams, but he’s not alone. Just recently, seeing Tie Domi wearing a Habs’ jersey is something that no one would ever find possible, even less see it happening… at least not until his son Max Domi left the Arizona desert to join one of the league’s true hot beds, in Montreal. And yes, at the displeasure of most Leafs’ fans, Tie did just that. He recently stepped on the Bell Centre’s ice in Montreal wearing not only his son’s number 13 Habs’ jersey, but he was dressed up in full Habs’ gear. And guess what? He was having fun!

Seeing this gave me an idea. Several players, over the years, have worn both the Canadiens and the Maple Leafs’ jersey in their career. So I decided to dig a little bit deeper, do some research to see which players had to change allegiance, playing for the team that they used to hate. And if you talk to Tomas Plekanec, it’s not something that’s easy to do. Even Josh Gorges, when asked to waive his no-trade clause to go to the Leafs, refused to do so, prefering to accept a trade to the Buffalo Sabres instead!

Since anyone can put together a list without much thought, I have chosen to create a roster with a line-up. Those are all players who have worn both the Red-White-Blue and the White-Blue at some point in their career. For this exercise, you will notice that I had to move a few centres to the wing but they were, in my opinion, better than those whom I have cut. Without further ado, here’s your Maple Habs All-Star team:

Shayne Corson – Frank Mahovlich – Gary Leeman
Lucien Deblois – Vincent Damphousse – Russ Courtnall
Darcy Tucker – Doug Gilmour – Mikhail Grabovski
Yanic Perreault – Kirk Muller – Tomas Plekanec

Rob Ramage – Dickie Moore
Mathieu Schneider – Tom Kurvers
Hal Gill – Gaston Gingras

Jacques Plante
George Hainsworth

Granted, some of them joined the other team while towards the end of their career but I looked at the names at their peak, not at the time of wearing one jersey or the other. And finally, the other players to wear both uniforms:

Rick WamsleyMike KomisarekCesare ManiagoCharlie Sands
Sergei BerezinMichel LarocqueMarc ReaumeErwin Chamberlain
Ric NattressRobert PicardDick GambleRobert Heron
Sylvain LefebvreDan DaoustNoel PriceGordie Drillon
Paul DipietroJeff BrubakerBill SutherlandRhys Thomson
Scott ThorntonSerge BoisvertLarry HillmanPaul Bibeault
Jonas HoglundBill KitchenLarry MickeyVictor Lynn
Gerald DiduckLarry LandonGarry MonahanBob Dawes
Dave MansonBill RootWayne ThomasJohn McCormack
Darryl ShannonCraig LaughlinGeorge PattersonPaul Masnick
Jyrki LummeGilles ThibaudeauBert McCaffreyGary Edmunson
Chad KilgerEddie LitzenbergerLorne ChabotRoger Jenkins
Mariusz Czerkawski

While the Boston Bruins have certainly sneaked their way in as a huge rival to both these teams, there’s no denying that the Canadiens and Maple Leafs rivalry is still alive and well and with both teams starting to get competitive at the same time, it won’t take much to reignite a fire that’s been smoltering below surface for too long.

And last but not least, I leave you with this classic story from Roch Carrier. No, can you imagine a playoffs’ series between the two teams? It would be insane! Go Habs Go!

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Andrew Shaw’s Emotion: Right or Wrong?

shawanaheim

Hockey is an emotional game. Fans are emotional, coaches are at times emotional, and players will often show signs of emotion. Emotions come from different sources during a hockey game, whether it be from a big hit, a fight, a big save, a big goal… or even after a penalty call. 

During the game against the Anaheim Ducks, while his team was putting tons of pressure trying to tie the game at two a piece in the last minute of the third period, Andrew Shaw was given a penalty for hooking… and he wasn’t pleased about it. After viewing the replay from the penalty box, Shaw smashed his stick against the glass, then broke it on his knee while making sure to have a few choice words for the referee… which cost him a misconduct.

If you haven’t seen the play in question, here it is:

Yes, Shaw’s penalty cost the Canadiens a chance to even up the score in hope to send the game to overtime. Whether it should have been called a penalty or not is up for debate, which is certainly not the purpose of this article. The penalty was called and that in itself is what cost the Canadiens a chance to get at least one point.That’s how the cookie crumbles.

But some “fans”, frustrated with the fact that the team is having such a good start and looking for things to complain about, are raging on Shaw for his reaction in the penalty box. Why might you ask? No one really knows, unless they are looking for fleas where there are none.

Really folks? Do we need to go back in time when one of the best leaders in the NHL showed emotion in the penalty box? Remember Doug Gilmour?

Shaw showed some emotions. He did that spontaneously, because he cares! He cares that this call, at that particular time, is what the referee decided to call when both let others pass all game which were more obvious than this one! You see, what players, coaches and fans cannot stand is the lack of consistency not only throughout a season, but during a game.

Give me a team of players who care well ahead of players who will accept losing.

Two referee system not working

It’s been said time and time again, but this two referee system is not working. Not only do you add one more body on the ice where space is already hard to find, but you involve a second judgement in there for penalties. How many times do we see the referee closest to the action choosing to let a play go and the far referee, from almost centre ice, raise his arm to make a call on that same play?

When you only had one referee, yes some calls were being missed but you can’t convince me that calls aren’t being missed today with the two men on the ice. However with the one referee system, players knew what to expect. They knew the referees, what they liked to call and what they would let them get away with. It was rather even on both side. No second guessing from another judgement out there.

The NHL needs to take a second look at this two referee system and find ways to get back to one referee on the ice. Linesmen can already blow the whistle to call a penalty when there are too many men on the ice, and get consulted when a defensive player shoots the puck in the crowd from his own zone. Perhaps adding a couple of penalties would help take some of the pressure off the referee but two guys with the red stripes simply doesn’t work. It doesn’t work for the players, it doesn’t work for the teams, and it certainly doesn’t work for the fans.