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10-12-2006, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by raketheleaves View Post
No, the old Montreal Arena was at Wood/Ste-Catherine, where Westmount Square is today. It burned down in 1918 and took many of the surrounding houses with it. It was the home of the Wanderers. The guy who owned the Wanderers had plenty of enemies. Sam Lichtenstein or something was his name. He also owned the first version of the Montreal Royals baseball team. They used to play at a baseball park where Alexis Nihon Plaza now stands, but that was burned to the ground too. Where the Forum is now, it used to be a park. It was a legendary park because a lot of famous hockey legends played hockey there: Art Ross, Lester Patrick, etc. It was a famous hockey spot even before the Forum was built.

I think the Wanderers or Shamrocks also have banners hanging at the new Westmount Arena with Montreal AAA and the Victorias. I think they are replicas because they all look exactly the same.

The Maroons came along later to fill the void. The Wanderers-Canadiens rivalry was the original French-English rivalry. The Maroons first season was 1924. The Forum was built for the Maroons as we all know, though because of a cancellation the Canadiens ended up playing the first game there. The Canadiens played up on Mont-Royal/St-Urbain (now a Pharmaprix or Loblaws, but the same building) at that point, but wiggled their way out of the lease so they could make more money at the Forum (more seats). Before they changed the Mont Royal Arena from a regular commercial space to a Loblaws, there were parts of the building that were intact from when it was an arena. I hope they didn't renovate those areas...!

But the Canadiens' first ever home arena (and game played) was at Montreal Arena on Wood-Ste-Catherine.

There's a book out there on the history of the Maroons that has all this stuff in it.
I played for the minor league Montreal Maroons. They used to be situated in NDG before merging with the Ville-Emard Hurricanes to become the Montreal Hurons (not a good team name to have when playing against a first nations team lemme tell ya). Mario Lemieux used to play for the Hurricanes when he was a kid. I missed him by five years or so (thank god, because I was a goalie).

From what I remembered (and checked on the internet), the first ever Canadiens arena was in Hochelaga. It was called "Aréna Jubilée". The Canadiens played there during the 1909-1910 season. They went back there in 1918 when the Westmount Arena burned down. The Aréna Jubilée burned down in 1919, so the Habs moved to the Aréna Mont-Royal on the Plateau in 1920. In 1924 the Canadiens moved to the Forum, and in 1996 they moved to the Molson Centre, now called Bell Centre.

The Aréna Mont-Royal burned down in 2000. The new building is a brand new construction with a Provigo in it (no Loblaws or Pharmaprix there). If you have a doubt, check there!:

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