I was talking to an American friend of mine while I was watching the game tonight, and I mentioned that the Canes just tied it up to go to overtimes agains the "Habs". He first asked me what a Cane was, and I said a Hurricane, then he asked what a Hab was, and I had no idea.
So I ask you Habs fans, what the heck is a Hab? Is there history behind the nickname? I tried Google to no avail.
The Canadiens / The "Habs"
In 1924, Madison Square Garden owner Tex Rickard was falsely told by someone that the "H" stood for "habitant", a French word that in those days was used to denote the farmers of Quebec.
Rickard was told that the French players on the team came from the farms and that they were therefore "habitants" or "habs". At the time, the Canadiens were recognized as the French team of Montreal as opposed to the Montreal Maroons, the English team.
On a side note, the Montreal logo of the C wrapped around the H stands for Club de Hockey Canadien. In 1917, at the founding of the NHL, the Canadiens changed their name to that from the previous Club Athletique Canadien.