MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens will have a Canadian dollar coin minted with their widely recognized "CH" logo featured prominently as part of extensive celebrations announced by the club Wednesday leading up to the team's 100th anniversary next year.
Approximately 10 million Canadian dollar coins honoring the famous hockey franchise's centennial will be struck by the Royal Canadian Mint and issued for circulation.
The Canadiens have won a record 24 Stanley Cups, including their first in 1916 -- one year before the NHL was formed -- as the National Hockey Association champion when they beat the Pacific Coast Hockey Association winner Portland Rosebuds, the first American team to compete for the storied trophy.
"I think it's because of that history and the sacrifices that so many people made that we have the privilege of being able to go to the government of Canada and ask if they would stamp a particular coin for us in honor of our centennial year, or that they would come up with a stamp program," Canadiens owner George Gillett said. "This is a hockey club, and to have that kind of respect is pretty amazing."
Montreal unveiled its new video scoreboard at the Bell Centre press conference. With a display area of 25 feet by 40 feet on each of its four sides, the high definition scoreboard is the NHL's largest, five times bigger than the rink's previous screen.
Among the other highlights of the Canadiens' centennial plans leading up to the anniversary of the Canadiens' founding on Dec. 4, 1909, the team will have four million centennial stamps issued by Canada Post, a series of 12 Centennial Jersey nights featuring throwback sweaters from the Canadiens' early days, a variety of commemorative DVD box sets, a special edition of Monopoly and a set of 200 Upper Deck legends hockey cards, as well as an all-time Canadiens team in EA Sports' NHL 2009 video game.
The Canadiens will unveil a "Ring of Honor" -- a rinkwide mural honoring the team's 44 Hall of Famers -- at the Bell Centre during its season opener on Oct. 15. A special ceremony will be held for coaching legends **** Irvin, Toe Blake and Scotty Bowman on Oct. 28, and Hall of Fame goalie Patrick Roy's No. 33 will be retired on Nov. 22.
"You already feel a lot of history when you walk into the locker room," said right wing Alex Kovalev, who modeled a red, white and blue "barber pole" jersey, circa 1912-13, one of six throwback jerseys the team will wear for two games each over the next season and a half. "This year will be different with the jerseys and everything happening around the team.
"It's definitely going to be something to remember."
The Canadiens will also play host to the 57th NHL All-Star Game on Jan. 25 and the league's entry draft at the end of June.
I'm a Rangers fan -- but I still respect the Habs to a great degree. They're second on my list.
Congrats on the 100 year anniversary, Habs -- but don't get too flattered, I'm still going for the Rangers (2-0 13:15 1st) >_>