Canadien's retired numbers...
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10-22-2003, 10:07 AM
Join Date: Mar 2002
The problem with retiring more Hab jerseys is that eventually it's going to look like we've got a bunch of linebackers on the ice. I know personally of a few fans who find their numbers utterly ridiculous as it is.
However, I do agree that both 19 and 23 should be retired. And 33 should get strong consideration in the next couple of years.
Here's what I find is the largest problem: in Montreal, those numbers are not retired because they aren't considered in the same class as the players who donned the actual retired jerseys. Robinson was a stellar defender, but compare him to the aura of Doug Harvey and many Montrealers, even those who never saw Harvey play, are left smacking their lips in dismay at the two being spoken in the same sentence. Retire Gainey's number? He was 'only' a defensive forward, how can he be there as well?
Do you see what I mean?
Management faces a really tough question when it comes to these numbers. I guarantee you that everyone up there feels that 19 and 23 and etc should be retired, but they feel they can't. Heck, if Koivu stays out his career in Montreal, when he retires he should have his jersey retired as well - just for the cancer thing. Before you criticize that, know that there are many jerseys that have been hung for just that kind of reason.
Of course, the irony of it all is that, on any other team in hockey, those two numbers (19, 23) would have been retired the day the player did the same. And you can add the 21 of Carbonneau, the 26 of Naslund and probably about 5 or 6 others. Heck, take a look around the league at some of the retired numbers and it'll leave you shaking your head in wonderment thinking......."WHO???"
What probably should be done here, and not only can I not believe I'm saying this, but I can't believe where it originated, is to take the route that Toronto has taken. *gasp sputter* (Leaf fans look away...PLEASE!) Honour numbers in the rafters. Birdman's 19 can fly high, with his name emblazoned on it forever more. But someone else can use it. If you do this, at least you are giving the player the proper respect and recognition for many years of extremely distinguished service, while at the same time not relagating all your new players to numbers like 52, 79, 81, etc, etc.
Or, we should just bite the bullet and retire all those whose play was superior to their contemporaries at the time, taking into consideration the same criteria as any other team. Since we have a rather large boat of Cup teams to choose from compared to any other, I would have to assume that the league will allow the Habs to use triple digits awfully soon.
A concerned fan.
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