MONTREAL – The Canadiens unveiled Wednesday the details surrounding the club’s Centennial Program, spread out over the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons, leading to its 100th anniversary on December 4, 2009.
The Centennial celebrations will provide a unique opportunity for Canadiens fans across Quebec and throughout the world to honor the team’s heroes and builders of yesteryears and relive the great moments that shaped the Canadiens’ rich history.
The first initiative will take place on October 15, on the Canadiens’ 2008-09 home opener, with the unveiling of the Ring of Honor celebrating the 44 players and 10 builders enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame. A few days later, on October 20, fans will be treated to the first of 12 Centennial Jersey Nights featuring Canadiens players donning the first of six vintage sweaters.
Following the Builder’s Night on October 28 when the all-time greatest Canadiens coaches will be honored, Patrick Roy’s no. 33 jersey will be raised to the Bell Centre rafters during a ceremony on November 22. As part of the Original Six Salute, the Canadiens will play host to the New York Rangers on December 4 and the Toronto Maple Leafs on January 8. Hockey fans will have a chance to cheer on the game’s brightest stars with the presentation of the 57th NHL All-Star Game that will be preceded by a week of events and festivities leading to the annual classic.
On December 4, the Centennial Plaza will be inaugurated featuring monuments of the Canadiens greatest legends. During that month, the Montreal Canadiens and the Canadiens Children’s Foundation will launch the first community hockey rink in the Saint-Michel borough in Montreal. The project will provide the youth of this neighbourhood with a playing ground that can be used during the entire year.
Finally, in April 2009, the Canadiens’ Hall of Fame will open its doors to the public, offering hockey enthusiasts a unique window on the Canadiens’ history, with exhibits and artifacts focusing the team’s legacy.
On April 2, 2009, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, under conductor Kent Nagano, will celebrate its 75th anniversary and will perform a concert honoring the Canadiens at the Bell Centre. The final event scheduled for the 2008-09 season will be the NHL Entry Draft to be held at the Bell Centre on June 26-27.
One of several major initiatives in the 2009-10 season will be public launch of the motion picture “Pour Toujours, les Canadiens!.” The Centennial celebrations will come to an end with the Centennial Game on December 4, 2009, at the Bell Centre, followed on the next day by the Centennial Gala.
In planning for the celebrations, including other events that will soon be announced, the Montreal Canadiens wish to put forth the team’s glorious achievements over the last century while honoring the fans and building a lasting legacy in our community.
2008-2009 SEASON October 2008 20. Centennial Jersey Night vs. Florida Panthers (1970 – 1971) 28. Builder’s Night (coaches) vs. Carolina Hurricanes
November 2008 15. Centennial Jersey Night vs. Philadelphia Flyers (1945 – 1946) 22. Retired Jersey Night - Patrick Roy – vs. Boston Bruins
December 2008 4. Opening of the Centennial Plaza Original Six Salute vs. New York Rangers Centennial Jersey Night (1915 – 1916) 10. Inauguration of the Community outdoor rink program (François-Perreault Park, St-Michel Borough)
January 2009 8. Original Six salute vs Toronto Maple Leafs 23-26. NHL All-Star Week
February 2009 1. Centennial Jersey Night vs. Boston Bruins (1912 – 1913) 21. Centennial Jersey Night vs. Ottawa Senators (1970 – 1971)
March 2009 14. Centennial Jersey Night vs. New Jersey Devils (1945 – 1946) 21. Centennial Jersey Night vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (1915 – 1916) 31. Centennial Jersey Night vs. Chicago Blackhawks (1912 – 1913)
April 2009 2. Montreal Symphony Orchestra Concert at the Bell Centre Opening of the Montreal Canadiens Hall of Fame
June 2009 26-27 NHL Entry Draft at the Bell Centre
October, November, December 2009 Centennial Jersey Nights (1910 – 1911, 1909 – 1910)
December 2009 Public launch of the Canadiens motion picture « Pour toujours, les Canadiens ! »
4. Centennial game at the Bell Centre 5. Centennial Gala