A short history of the MONTREAL CANADIENS, Part 5, the 1990's.
Saku Koivu: 1995-96 Summit no. 186
In 1990, the #MontrealCanadiens
tried to correct a past mistake. At the 1980 #NHL
draft, they chose WHL superstar Doug Wickenheiser over Quebec native, Denis Savard. The top-rated prospect struggled while Savard quickly became a top forward for the Blackhawks. Ten years later, the #Habs
traded for Savard - a move that further angered fans because Chicago received Chris Chelios and a 2nd round pick. Savard fell short of the lofty numbers he put up in Chicago while Chelios dominated.
Though Savard faced ridicule in Montreal, he was happy to be there in 1993 when the Canadiens beat Gretzky's Kings in the Stanley Cup Final. It was a magical season to be a Hab. 1993 marked the 100th anniversary of the Stanley Cup, making it even more appropriate that the NHL's oldest team claimed it. It was the 24th Cup for Montreal and still stands as the last time a Canadian team won it. Led again by stellar goaltending from Patrick Roy, they won a record 10 consecutive overtime games.
However, the rest of the decade wouldn't be as pleasant. The following season, the Canadiens exited the postseason in six games. In 1995, they would fall short of the playoffs for the first time in 25 years. On December 2nd, 1995, Roy played his final game as a Canadien. The goalie was beaten by the Wings 9 times on 26 shots before finally being pulled. Roy furiously approached Canadiens president Ronald Corey and uttered the famous words: "This is my last game in Montreal." Roy joined the Avalanche - formerly the Nordiques - and led them to the Stanley Cup in their first season of existence.
The last game in the Forum was played on March 11th, 1996. A ceremony featuring players past and present closed out the legendary arena. Five days later, they would hit the ice in their new home, the Molson Centre. After middling postseason success, they would close out the decade by missing the playoffs entirely.
NOTABLE NAMES: Kirk Muller, Denis Savard, Vincent Damphousse, John Leclair, Mark Recchi, Mike Keane, Mathieu Schneider
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