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The Montreal Canadiens: Great Hockey Team and the City Itself

Updated on January 16, 2014

The Montreal Canadiens are not just a strong hockey team with 24 Stanley Cups championships. The Montreal Canadiens is the very core and soul of the city of Montreal. The Montreal Canadiens, or the Habs as we Montrealers like to call them, IS the city of Montreal.

Montreal prides itself in having one of the greatest sports teams in the history of the world. This team have always brought together many people of different backgrounds to enjoy the game of hockey and what it really means to have a fun time watching a sport that is known to be a very challenging exhibition with three simple gears:skates, stick, and a round thick disc called a puck. With those three combined, it creates a game of excitement. And Montreal has always been at the forefront of this game.

Since it's founding in 1909, at the same time the NHL being established in Montreal, the Canadiens have managed to earn a place in history with not just the number of championships it has won but how the team have contributed to the social history of the city. One of the events that happened in Montreal was when our legendary star, Maurice "The Rocket" Richard, was unfairly suspended by the commissioner of the NHL from playing for the rest of the entire season because of a fighting incident with another player of the opposing team. Many Montrealers were in an uproar claiming that it was a discriminatory move because the commissioner, Clarence Campbell, was English and Maurice Richard was French, and that he deliberately suspended him just for being French. This took place at a time when tensions between English speaking Canadians and French speaking Canadians were rising. In fact, many major Canadian corporations, businesses and finance were all based in Montreal and particularly being led by English Canadians, not French. For a whole province that identifies itself as a French speaking place, it is true that the French Canadians were mostly relegated to menial jobs and their status as middle class to lower middle class in their own home province were enough to feel as if they did not own their own turf. So when that suspension took, it cause a city wide riot where many people were injured and the city suffered millions of dollars in damages.

That is one of the historical aspects of how the Habs affects the city of Montreal itself. Socially, it brings together people of different ethnicity to enjoy and basically hang out together as friends. Montreal is a very multicultural city. In my experience, I have hung out with many different people and what would always bring us together would be to discuss the games of the Habs. It was the crux and foundation of bringing us together, making friends and sharing something in common that we all love, and that is hockey and the Montreal Canadiens. When we are born in that city, we would always hear and be exposed to the Habs and what and who they are. There is simply something that makes different people love hockey, including immigrants. Sort of like a supernatural thing. Whatever it may be, I learned to love the game through this team. Now that I'm living in the United States, I still love the Habs. To make it simple, the Habs is what determines how the city of Montreal is. If the Habs are doing good, it can reflect the city and show that Montreal is an awesome city. If the team is doing bad, then that can reflect the city as being not awesome.

Montreal prides itself with the Habs. There is no doubt that if the team would leave the city, which is very unlikely, it would be like a marriage gone divorced, and the wife being very emotional. That's what would happen to Montrealers, probably to the point of killing themselves figuratively speaking. It will also cause a big riot and it can hurt the economy of Montreal because of the revenues it generates and the ads it can gain when exposed to new customers.

Hockey is a religion in Montreal, but I do not adhere to that kind of attitude. I am simply describing how it is. I am simply a big fan of the Montreal Canadiens.


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