MONTREAL - The Canadiens and the Montreal community as a whole mourn the passing of Irving Grundman, who dedicated his life to the city he cherished and the citizens he proudly represented both as an administrator and a city councillor.
A skilled businessman and a knowledgeable executive, Irving Grundman quickly learned the tools of the trade working alongside his father Morris in the meat industry before founding the Laurentian Lanes, a network of bowling alleys located in Montreal, Ottawa and Kingston back in 1959. In 1968 Grundman, who remained at the helm of this company, moved on to serve his fellow constituents as municipal councillor for the city of St. Laurent, serving there for over 35 years.
Following the acquisition of the Canadiens and the Montreal Forum by Peter and Edward Bronfman in 1971, Grundman was appointed president of the Montreal Forum in 1972, overseeing its business operations. In that role, he experienced five Stanley Cup championships. In 1978, after several years working alongside Sam Pollock, he was promoted to general manager of the Montreal Canadiens, taking over from his mentor.
In his first season as the Canadiens' GM, his team posted a remarkable 52-17-11 record and 115 points in the standings, just one less than the League-leading New York Islanders. Grundman's team first swept the Leafs before eliminating the Bruins in a hard-fought seven-game series. The Habs then defeated the Rangers in five games to secure their first Stanley Cup win on home ice since 1968. As a result, Irving Grundman became one of just a select few general managers to etch his name on the Cup in his very first year on the job.
Irving Grundman died peacefully on February 26 surrounded by his beloved family after a short illness in his ninety-third year. Thanks for the memories, Irving, rest in peace.
The Canadiens organization offers its deepest sympathies to the family.