MONTREAL – The Canadiens will pay tribute to one of the greatest players in team history by raising Bob Gainey’s celebrated No.23 to the Bell Centre rafters on Saturday when the Columbus Blue Jackets will be the visitors.
The former Canadiens captain from 1981 to 1989 and current general manager will become the 14th player in team history to have his jersey retired. Since the beginning of the celebrations leading up to the Canadiens’ Centennial set to culminate on December 4, 2009, Bob Gainey is the seventh player to have his jersey raised to the rafters following Dickie Moore, Yvan Cournoyer, Bernard Geoffrion, Serge Savard, Ken Dryden and Larry Robinson.
Fans are invited to arrive at the Bell Centre early (doors will open at 5 p.m.) to attend the ceremonies which will begin at 6:00 p.m., while the game between the Canadiens and the Columbus Blue Jackets will exceptionally get underway at 7:30 p.m. Auction to benefit the Gainey Foundation
As part of the evening’s tribute ceremonies, during the pre-game warm-up players from the Columbus Blue Jackets will be wearing their team jersey featuring No. 23 on the back while the Canadiens will don their traditional red home jersey with Gainey’s nameplate and No. 23 on the back. Each jersey will be signed by Bob Gainey and the player who wore it and will be featured in an on-line auction at www.auction.nhl.com
. The bidding for those unique autographed jerseys will begin on February 25 and conclude at 9 p.m. on March 2, 2008.
Furthermore, the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation will present $25,000 to the Gainey Foundation which supports community-based charities aimed toward youth.