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Canadiens honor Irvin, Blake, Bowman on Bell Centre columns

NHL.com @NHL

MONTREAL - The Montreal Canadiens honoured the three most successful coaches in their history on Tuesday when they unveiled columns in the Bell Centre mezzanine for Dick Irvin, Hector (Toe) Blake and Scotty Bowman.

The line of columns on Builders' Row is to feature the 10 former Canadiens coaches and executives in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Each has pictures and brief biography of the coaches, who between them won 16 of the Canadiens 24 Stanley Cups.

The unveilings were part of the club's 100th anniversary celebrations.

Irvin, who died in 1957, was represented by his son, broadcaster Dick Irvin Jr., while several members of the late Blake's family were also there. Bowman, now an adviser to the Chicago Blackhawks, attended the ceremony.

Irvin, a native of Hamilton, coached the Canadiens from 1940 to '55, when one of his former star players, Blake, took over until '68. Bowman Coached the Canadiens from 1971 to '79.

Irvin had previously coached in Chicago and Toronto before he took over in Montreal and helped the Canadiens end a 13-year Cup drought with a championship in 1944. In 896 games with the team, his record was 431-313-152.

Blake's Canadiens, led by Jean Beliveau, Doug Harvey and others, won a record five Stanley Cups in a row from 1956 to 1960 and three more in the 1960s. The Victoria Mines, Ont., native left with a record of 500-255-159.

Bowman was behind the bench for the Canadiens team that four straight Cups from 1976 to '79, with Guy Lafleur, Ken Dryden, and the Big Three on defence - Serge Savard, Larry Robinson and Guy Lapointe.

In eight seasons, his record was 419-110-105, a stunning .744 winning percentage.

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