When the Montreal Canadiens gather at the Bell Centre tonight, they will be celebrating not just the centenary of the most successful club in the history of hockey. They will be celebrating a national institution.
Le Club de hockey Canadien was founded in Montreal on Dec. 4, 1909. Who knew the illustrious story it would write? In winning again and again, in innovating, adapting and enduring, in personifying grace and guts, the Canadiens have shaped our national game. Moreover, as a dynastic team with political, social and religious overtones, the Canadiens have become part of our iconography.