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#57 12-10-2008 02:56 PM

Top 10 Habs since the 'dark years'
 
What if the day after Patrick Roy was traded, the Montreal Canadiens started the 'dark years' era, an era which we could compare with an expansion franchise, like Atlanta or Columbus, who are still struggling to build a solid team after 8+ years.

Patrick Roy was traded during the 1995-96 season, so 13 years ago.

During that span:

The Habs played 12 seasons. (including 95-96)
The Habs made the playoffs 6 times.
The Habs won their division once.
The Habs won their conference once.
The Habs won 4 playoff series. (all in the first round)
The Habs never went to the Stanley Cup finals.
The Habs never won a Stanley Cup.

Now, my question is, during those dark seasons (up until 2007-08), what would be your top 10 of players that have contributed the most to the success of the Canadiens.

The top 4 is pretty clear for me:

#1 Jose Theodore - Vezina and Hart season, no one even comes close of that achievement. He was also the best goaltender we've had up until Carey Price

#2 Saku Koivu - He's been here for all of those seasons. No one has done more of the Canadiens since the start of the dark years.

#3 Alex Kovalev - In 2007-08, he carried the team on his back and lead the Canadiens to their first and only conference title of the dark years.

#4 Andrei Markov - The best defenseman that has played for the Habs during those 12 seasons. Huge part of the turnaround the team underwent with the arrival of Gainey and his crew.

Others who could be on the list:
Damphousse, Recchi, Brisebois, Rivet, Hackett, Quintal, Souray, Zednik, Ribeiro, Perreault, Ryder, Komisarek, Higgins, Plekanec, Huet, Price

I'll let the rest of you decide what the top 10 should look like as a whole. ;)

Iwishihadacup 12-10-2008 03:01 PM

my top 7 in no order

Koivu
Kovalev
theodore
Huet
Markov
Souray
Recchi

11Goat11 12-10-2008 03:39 PM

For me I guess,

Koivu
Markov
Kovalev
Komisarek
Souray
Theo
Huet
Zednik
Ryder
Recchi/Price(too new)

SergeConstantin74 12-10-2008 03:50 PM

1) Saku Koivu: He's still here and that says a lot...

2) Jose Theodore: Good ol' Jose...

3) Andrei Markov: Our best d-man in a loooooooong time

4) Alex Kovalev: Last year was our best season in 13 years and he's the reason why we had this season.

5) Vincent Damphousse: He was good for us, but he didn't have much help at the end.

6) Pierre Turgeon: I liked him a lot.

7) Sheldon Souray: Often injured... but his shot. :amazed:

8) Cristobal Huet

9) Mark Recchi

10) Michael Ryder

...

999) Sergei Samsonov

Habs 4 Life 12-10-2008 03:53 PM

Koivu
Kovalev
theodore
Huet
Markov
Souray
Recchi
Gilmour
Zednik

And my last one goes to the late Sergei Zholtok who led the Habs for goals scored with 26 in 68 games in 1999-2000:handclap:

Darz 12-10-2008 03:58 PM

I'll have to give it some thought, but no doubt on #1 and #2.

1. Koivu
2. Markov
3. Kovalev
4. Damphousse
5. Rivet
6. Theodore
7. Hackett
8. Komisarek
9. Rucinsky
10. Souray

term with the team, in the time frame allotted factored into many of my choices.

WeezyHabFan 12-10-2008 04:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SergeConstantin74 (Post 16741552)
1) Saku Koivu: He's still here and that says a lot...

2) Jose Theodore: Good ol' Jose...

3) Andrei Markov: Our best d-man in a loooooooong time

4) Alex Kovalev: Last year was our best season in 13 years and he's the reason why we had this season.

5) Vincent Damphousse: He was good for us, but he didn't have much help at the end.

6) Pierre Turgeon: I liked him a lot.

7) Sheldon Souray: Often injured... but his shot. :amazed:

8) Cristobal Huet

9) Mark Recchi

10) Michael Ryder

...

999) Sergei Samsonov

took the words right out of my mouth ... its a little odd actually

x-bob 12-10-2008 04:29 PM

My top 10:

#1 - Saku Koivu:
* 12 seasons as a Hab
* 754 games, 613 points (11th in Montreal Canadiens scoring)
* Masterton Trophy (2201-02)
* Leaded the team to multiple playoff upsets


#2 - Jose Theodore:
* Vezina Tropy (2001-02)
* Hart Trophy (2001-02)
* Two NHL All-Star appearances
* Led this team to the playoffs and passed the first place Bruins


#3 - Alexei Kovalev:
* Led this team to a Conference Title
* 84 points (Best point total for the Habs since Turgeon and Damphousse in 1995-96)
* Helped bring this team to the next level

#4 - Andrei Markov:
* Best defencemen in the 12 seasons
* Three 45+ point seasons
* On 55+ point season
* Heading for a 70 point season this year

#5 - Sheldon Souray
* One 65 point season (Best point total for a defencemen for the Habs since Chelios in 1989-90)
* Two NHL All-Star apperances

#6 - Mark Recchi
* Three consecutive 75+ point seasons with the Habs
* Two NHL All-Star appearances

#7 - Cristobal Huet
* One NHL All-Star appreance

#8 - Vincent Damphousse
* 94 point season in 1995-96

#9 - Patrice Brisebois
* Seven 30+ point seasons

.... I only got to 9 before realising how bad that Era was...:facepalm:

TonyTinglebone 12-10-2008 05:32 PM

No love for Malakhov? I mean he was bad but he contributed more than Hackett, Huet, Gilmour and Rucinsky.

Oh and Pierre Turgeon only played the rest of the 95-96 season plus a few games the next year so I don't think he really counts.

Licou 12-10-2008 06:01 PM

Meh... Koivu since he's been there all the time and Markov, since he's the best player of this team ever since he entered his prime.

As of the rest... an honorable mention to Theodore for his unbelievable flash of greatness.

SergeConstantin74 12-10-2008 10:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by #57 (Post 16748457)
Yeah Turgeon only played half a season after Patrick Roy left so I don't think he counts. Damphousse didnt stay here for long either.

My top 10:

#1 Jose Theodore
#2 Saku Koivu
#3 Alex Kovalev
#4 Andrei Markov
#5 Mark Recchi
#6 Sheldon Souray
#7 Michael Ryder
#8 Mike Komisarek
#9 Cristobal Huet
#10 Craig Rivet/Carey Price

Damphousse stayed longer than Huet, Price, Ryder and has played more games than Kovalev to this day. ;)

#57 12-10-2008 10:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SergeConstantin74 (Post 16750478)
Damphousse stayed longer than Huet, Price, Ryder and has played more games than Kovalev to this day. ;)

Wait, you're right.

OneSharpMarble 12-10-2008 10:52 PM

Flash in the pan Theodore is lucky to even be in the NHL anymore. No chance in hell he is considered better than Koivu.

Kirk Muller 12-10-2008 11:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gorman03 (Post 16743347)
No love for Malakhov? I mean he was bad but he contributed more than Hackett, Huet, Gilmour and Rucinsky.

Oh and Pierre Turgeon only played the rest of the 95-96 season plus a few games the next year so I don't think he really counts.

Hackett was outstanding in those dark days. One of the few bright spots of injury riddled and crappy hab teams.

SergeConstantin74 12-10-2008 11:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by #57 (Post 16750589)
Wait, you're right.

You know I'm always right. ;)

FerrisRox 12-10-2008 11:52 PM

#1) Saku Koivu.

This one is easy. During that stretch he's easily been the teams best player year in and year out. He's easily been the biggest leader in that stretch. He's one of two Canadiens to win a league trophy. He's represented them in All-Star games, and he was named the teams captain, a title he will soon hold for longer then anyone else in franchise history. To the people that don't have Koivu on the top of their lists, I have to ask, how is it possible you think somebody could have contributed more?

#2) Jose Theodore.

Again, this one is pretty easy. He won the league MVP trophy. He's one of only a handful of goaltenders to win the honor. Obviously he bagged the Vezina too. He truly had a magical season for the Canadiens. And the picture of him wearing the toque with his breath clearly visible in the crisp air during the Heritage Classic is truly an iconic photo. That will be a photo still printed 50 Years from now in coffee table books.

#3) Andrei Markov

The best defenseman for the Canadiens during that era with really no competition worth mentioning. As a player, he's not only worked hard and continued to develop into a truly elite defenseman, but he's also shown loyalty to the organization and signed a deal at less then market value, a gesture that has helped his team have the room do make moves like acquiring Alex Tanguay at a discount when the Flames wanted to shed salary.

#4) Vincent Damphousse

Nobody in this stretch can boast two seasons of 80+ points. Damphousse can. Vinnie also wore the 'C' for the organization and spent a couple of seasons where he was the team's best player. Talent-wise, there haven't been many players in so-called "Dark Years" that can measure up with Damphousse.

#5) Mark Recchi

Mark Recchi was a terrific player for the Montreal Canadiens. He was a pure offensive talent that put up very consistent numbers for the Habs. You could pencil Recchi in for 75 points, count on some hustle and passion and a a guarantee that you had a guy that was going to thrive in the playoffs. In 21 playoff games as a Montreal Canadien, Recchi posted 24 points. That's an incredible points-per-game ratio for the playoffs. It was a shame when he left, but he couldn't be blamed for wanting to play elsewhere. There wasn't a lot of team around him.

#6) Alex Kovalev

Kovalev's acquisition, a trade that caught many by surprise, was a turning point for the franchise and is key factor and the team being where it is today. That trade, after years of Canadiens fans watching the likes of Recchi, Damphousse and Malakhov shipped out to go to a "contender" at the deadline, signaled the reverse. The Canadiens were going out and picking up a big-name player as a playoff boost. In the dressing room, the message was clear, management believes in us. After a solid playoff performance, Kovalev rejected a return to Pittsburgh to stay with the Canadiens as a free agent. No player of his profile had choosen to join the Canadiens before. That sent a message around the league that Montreal was an option for free agency when really, that wasn't the case before. Last season, when the team got it's swagger back for the first time since the early 90's, the player leading that transformation was Kovalev.

#7) Vladimir Malakhov

I'm stunned to see Malakhov absent from so many lists. I think Malakhov is the most talented defenseman the Canadiens have had in this era. Yes, better then Markov. His blend of size, agility, passing and shooting ability and skating is a scouts wet dream. Unfortunately, he so rarely was able to put the package together and play to his abilities, but when he did he was truly fantastic. Million dollar skillset, ten cent head. But talented like few others.

#8) Patrice Brisebois

Way too many haters here to give this guy the respect he deserves. Over this stretch of hockey, Brisebois was their best defenseman for several of those seasons. That's probably a good chunk of the reason why this era is dubbed "The Dark Years" but the statement is still true nonetheless. During this era, Brisebois led defenseman in scoring four times and had seven 30+ point seasons. In terms of games played on defense over this time, he has few, if any, peers.

#9) Michael Ryder

Ryder was a feel-good story for the fans, a rags to riches prospect who started to turn heads at a training camp when he really wasn't even on the radar. To beat the odds, make the team then post back-to-back 30-goal seasons was pretty special. For years, the Canadiens struggled to find a player that could line up with Saku Koivu and take advantage of his ability to create offense. For two seasons, Ryder was a pleasant surprise who did just that.

#10) Sheldon Souray

Perhaps the only clear win for Reggie Houle as a GM was the deal that sent Vladimir Malakhov - who'd worn out his welcome and had an expiring contract - to the Devils for Sheldon Souray and Josh DeWolf. Souray - who at the time projected as more of a defensive-defenseman - soon harnessed his shooting ability and evolved into a deadly power play specialist. Souray also played a style that delivered crowd-pleasing hits - or memorable defensive gaffes. When he delivered, it was like few other blueliners have for the Canadiens in that stretch. Versus the Penguins in 2003-04, Souray put up six points in a game. In 06-07 he scored 26 goals - from the blueline - and posted 64 points. That total was not just the highest for a Canadiens blueliner since Chris Chelios, it was also enough to have been the leading scorer on the team in multiple seasons during the low-scoring "Dark Ages."

SergeConstantin74 12-11-2008 12:02 AM

Great report! :handclap:

Little Nilan 12-11-2008 12:04 AM

Really solid list Ferris. I disagree with Ryder, but I'm glad someone gave Brisebois credit for those years. I'll also say that while more purely skilled than Markov, I don't think Malakhov had Markov's hockey sense. I would keep your list, but put Kovalev instead of Ryder.

FerrisRox 12-11-2008 12:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kareem (Post 16752187)
Really solid list Ferris. I disagree with Ryder, but I'm glad someone gave Brisebois credit for those years. I'll also say that while more purely skilled than Markov, I don't think Malakhov had Markov's hockey sense. I would keep your list, but put Kovalev instead of Ryder.

Kovalev is on my list, at #6.

loudi94 12-11-2008 12:28 AM

Andy Moog. Helped us upset Pittsburgh in 98 and if he would have been healthy and able to play, he may have pushed us past Buffalo in the next series.

Little Nilan 12-11-2008 12:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FerrisRox (Post 16752417)
Kovalev is on my list, at #6.

Yeah, huge brain fart, that's what happens when I cram my head with school. For some reason I read it once, saw Kovalev, loved the list, then I somehow forgot about it when I started writing that it was a solid list. Scratch that part then, I agree 100% with it.

Clumsyhab 12-11-2008 12:44 AM

Savage > Zednik > Ryder

Ape Clutch 12-11-2008 12:54 AM

Makes me sad to see Théo so low today.... If only he'd kept at it... his Tuque was the new "Dryden"

:(

1. Markov
2. Koivu
3. Théodore
4. Damphousse
5. Recchi
6. Kovalev
7. Souray
8. Weinreich (sp?)
9. Malakhov
10. Brisebois

Slick Nick 12-11-2008 01:46 AM

Markov.

/thread

Slick Nick 12-11-2008 01:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ape Clutch (Post 16752720)
Makes me sad to see Théo so low today.... If only he'd kept at it... his Tuque was the new "Dryden"

:(

1. Markov
2. Koivu
3. Théodore
4. Damphousse
5. Recchi
6. Kovalev
7. Souray
8. Weinreich (sp?)
9. Malakhov
10. Brisebois

you would take Souray, Weinreich and Brisebois before Komisarek or Hamrlik?

Weinreich? The guy was a turn over machine... horrible hocky player... sorry, I just don't get it.


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