Could the Habs have gotten anything for Lafleur?
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05-09-2013, 04:11 AM
Join Date: Dec 2010
By the way, C58 is right about the Habs-Nords rivalry. It was enormous in Quebec, especially in the early 80s, maybe as charged as any rivalry has been in the history of hockey. The two teams, organizations and fanbases loathed each other. In Quebec that pitted brother against brother, neighbor against neighbor, town against town. There were (and are) Nordique fans in Montreal and Canadiens fans in Quebec.
The Habs were a haughty and satisfied at the time and coming off that incredible run from 53-79 when they won 16 Cups in 27 years they felt they didn't have to do anything they didn't want to. So when the Nordiques came in and were brash, clad themselves in the province's flag, played into the sovereignty angle, had as many or more Quebec players than the Habs and had O'Keefe's money behind them, they shook some feathers. They were good enough to knock off the Habs a few times and marketed themselves across the province very well. I can't find out for sure but I think they played a lot of pre-season games across the province, something the Habs wouldn't do.
Lafleur, the pride of Quebec City from his Remparts days, would have been a huge marketing coup for the Nordiques as well as adding extra offensive oomph that could have made the Nordiques a real contender.
Eventually the Habs overhauled their marketing operations (you can basically date the Montreal Canadiens marketing machine to this time), the Nordiques became one of the worst teams in the league and so when Guy finally donned the fleur-de-lys it wasn't a big deal. But at the time you could see where Corey was coming from.
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