MONTREAL – On the Canadiens 2015-16 home opener, the 107th season in franchise history, the Montreal Canadiens, in presence of Geoff Molson, owner, president and CEO, Alfredo Barrios, CEO of Rio Tinto and former defenseman and Hall of Famer Guy Lapointe, officially inaugurated the Place des Canadiens in la Cour Rio Tinto, located between the Bell Centre, Windsor Station and the newly built Deloitte Tower.
Seven years after the Canadiens first inaugurated the Centennial Plaza as part of the franchise’s 100th anniversary celebrations, the Canadiens outdoor shrine has been relocated and renamed Place des Canadiens, and will serve as a gathering spot for Habs fans and hockey enthusiasts alike. La Place des Canadiens features the bronze statues of the franchise legendary players; Howie Morenz, Maurice Richard, Jean Béliveau and Guy Lafleur, the plaques celebrating Stanley Cup-winning Canadiens teams and all 18 jersey retirement monuments, including those of the most recent honorees Émile Bouchard, Elmer Lach and Guy Lapointe. The brand new bricks were provided by Montreal-based company and long-time partner Techo-Bloc and prominently deployed around the 100 most memorable moments and achievements in Canadiens history as well as the Canadiens monument where the names of all players up to 2014-15 are engraved.
"The Place des Canadiens is a tribute to the glorious athletes whose dedication and commitment contributed to the success of this franchise, but it is also a tribute to all the fans that showed their support to the team through personalized bricks. It is a well-known fact that our fans are the best in the league and it is of great pride for our organization, our past and current players, to count on their continuous support,” explained owner, president and CEO Geoff Molson.
All bricks were installed on la Cour Rio Tinto and in order to enable fans to easily locate their brick on the site, an online brick locator system will be available in the coming months. In addition, a new phase of personalized brick sales will be launched for all those interested in purchasing a brick to be displayed in this incredible courtyard.
Made possible by the generous support of Rio Tinto, La Place des Canadiens will be known as a meeting point where the rich heritage of the Montreal Canadiens is revealed and explained one player at the time, one Stanley Cup championship at the time and, as it should be, one fan at the time.
"Not only will this courtyard allow Canadiens fans to learn more about the legacy and traditions of hockey’s greatest franchise, but visitors to the Bell Centre will get a true appreciation of the cultural significance of the Canadiens and the sport of hockey to our city, province, and country," commented Hall of Fame defenceman Guy Lapointe, who played over 700 games in a Canadiens uniform.
From now on, Canadiens supporters will now have their very own rallying place to prepare for each home game of their favourites at the Bell Centre.