but why don't you talk about our unsung heroes? So teach him about Turner Stevenson, Craig Darby, Christian Laflamme, Patrick Poulin etc. Those were the days....
Because, franly - I can't... I think that's kinda the definition of the unsung hero, right? The guys who were fave's of the local fanbase that maybe not many outside that base knew too much about?
Look at it like this: If you wanted to tell your boy about the Habs, you'd want to tell him about all big stuff AND all the little nuances of Hab history... You'd start with the big stuff: Vezina, Rocket's 50 in 50, the class of Le Gros Bill, but then you'd want to start into the stuff that makes the Habs YOUR favorite team... The fine details.
Then when you started talking about the rivalry, of course you'd start with Bobby Orr, throw in a little Eddie Shore, maybe some Espo... A little Cam here and there... You may even get into guys like Nifty and Cash... But would you get down to the Reggie Lemelins and Kieth Crowders and Gord Kluzaks? Would you talk about the time that John Wensink challenged the North Stars bench?
See - I think the "unsung heroes" are reserved for the teams fan base, and I wouldn't presume to know enough about 'em... I think I can present a reasonable picture of Hab history (enough that any self-respecting Bruins fan needs to know! ) with the HOF-caliber guys and that "second tier" grouping (i.e - the guys that made a big impact, but weren't neccesarily "legends"...
Oh - and FWIW... I will be doing some "unsung" as well; I think guys like Knuckles - while HUGE in Habs fans' minds, are probably not so entrenched in Hab history outside the fan base (when you think of The Montreal Canadiens, you think Rocket, Beliveau, Harvey, Plante, the Big Three, etc... Not neccesarily Knuckles) - He's kinda like your Stan Jonathan...
BUT - Chris Nilan is a BIG part of the rivalry between the B's and Habs... so it would make sense that he be in the set.
By the time your son is old enough to follow hockey, Koivu will be retired and officially part of "Habs History" and a pretty big part IMO. Get his. Just edit the picture in Photoshop. Make it grayscale.
As for a list; most people have covered it here. There's actually a "History of Montreal Canadiens" magazine out with the top-100 (scoring?) Habs. Maybe pick that up ($9.99 CDN or so).. go through and possibly pick the ones you hated least.
If I have time later, I'll write out the names, and PM you the the list.