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A moment with Canadiens that lasted a lifetime

One game for Montreal in 1966 burned team's logo into heart of defenseman Johns

by Dave Stubbs @Dave_Stubbs / NHL.com Columnist

MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens jersey was on the left of the church altar Friday afternoon, beside several floral arrangements, two framed photographs, a single flickering candle and one red and one white rose laid atop the polished wood urn containing the ashes of Don Johns.

Sitting in the very last row of Beaconsfield United Church, every pew filled as were the extra chairs that had been set out, was Réjean Houle, the Canadiens' alumni director.

The large floral arrangement sent by the Canadiens, at the foot of the altar, was a fragrant, colorful tribute, but that alone would not be enough for Houle. He had driven across the island of Montreal on a day off to pay his respects to Johns, a defenseman who played one game for the Canadiens in 1966.

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Esposito revisits stories behind mask

How Hall of Fame goaltender's unique protective gear, success took shape

by Dave Stubbs @Dave_Stubbs / NHL.com Columnist

MONTREAL -- Tony Esposito's distinctive white mask, nearly a half-century old, is a magnificent mess.

It is scratched and chipped and dented, chunks having been knocked out of it by pucks and the metal bars he installed over the eyes bent by slashing sticks, skates and his own pliers.

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Hall of Famer Irvin had legendary impact on NHL

Enshrined as player, won Stanley Cup four times as coach

by Dave Stubbs @Dave_Stubbs / NHL.com Columnist

It is the explosive opening scene in the 2005 film "The Rocket," a critically acclaimed biopic on the life and times of the Montreal Canadiens' incandescent Maurice "Rocket" Richard.

In the bowels of the Montreal Forum, Canadiens coach Dick Irvin, played by actor Stephen McHattie, is being told that Montreal has just forfeited its game against the Detroit Red Wings on March 17, 1955. A fan's tear-gas bomb is choking the arena, and what would be a historic riot is now unfolding, one that would spill into the streets in protest of Richard's suspension for his having struck an official four days earlier during a game in Boston.

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Mosdell moved by Stanley Cup visit in 2005

Four-time champion with Canadiens got reacquainted with trophy months before death

by Dave Stubbs @Dave_Stubbs / NHL.com Columnist

The Stanley Cup arrived in Ken Mosdell's tidy retirement-home apartment 12 years ago today, and a man whose name was engraved four times on the priceless trophy as a member of the Montreal Canadiens said more with his moist eyes and broad smile than words ever could.

For the past two decades, in one of the great Stanley Cup traditions, each player and coach from the champions spends a summer day with the trophy, as do select others from the team. This month and next, the Cup is scheduled to visit at least six countries with members of the Pittsburgh Penguins, no doubt making a few return trips to venues from last summer, when the Penguins celebrated their 2016 championship.

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Tod Sloan remembered by Dave Keon as key part of 1951 Maple Leafs Cup win

Center died Wednesday, also won championship with Blackhawks

by Dave Stubbs @Dave_Stubbs / NHL.com Columnist

Bill Barilko's Stanley Cup-clinching goal on April 21, 1951, a diving shot 2:53 into overtime that found its way past Montreal Canadiens goalie Gerry McNeil, forever will be part of Toronto Maple Leafs lore.

Largely lost in the victory at Maple Leaf Gardens was the role played by Toronto center Tod Sloan, who died at age 89 on Wednesday.

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Frank Mahovlich, Wendel Clark help shape their Maple Leafs statues

Toronto legends part of sculpting process for Legends Row likenesses

by Dave Stubbs @Dave_Stubbs / NHL.com Columnist

WOODSTOCK, Ill. -- In an hour, Toronto Maple Leafs legends Frank Mahovlich and Wendel Clark would get a first look at their statues, mammoth clay figures that in the months ahead will become magnificent bronze monuments.

In October, these statues, and those of Red Kelly and Charlie Conacher, will join the 10 already standing on the Maple Leafs' Legends Row outside Air Canada Centre.

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Carey Price remains 'regular guy' despite extension with Canadiens

Jill Williams knows goalie will stay humble despite reported eight-year, $84 million contract

by Dave Stubbs @Dave_Stubbs / NHL.com Columnist

MONTREAL -- The story is five years old, but Jill Williams, Carey Price's junior-hockey den mother for four seasons, says it perfectly captures the Montreal Canadiens goaltender both then and now.

Price was in search of a shedding blade for his two Labrador retrievers, a brush he had used on his rodeo horses in British Columbia. With out-of-date information found on the Internet, he found himself at the address of a long-ago closed shop in a sleepy village 20 miles west of his home south of Montreal.

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NHL Insider

Yvan Cournoyer promoting 150th anniversary of Canada's founding

Canadiens legend proud to be ambassador for 'beautiful' country

by Dave Stubbs @Dave_Stubbs / NHL.com Columnist

Since he broke into the NHL in 1963-64, Yvan Cournoyer has been defined by two hockey jerseys: that of the Montreal Canadiens, for whom he won 10 Stanley Cup championships between 1965-79, and that of Canada, after playing a vital role during the historic Summit Series against the Soviet Union in September 1972.

Cournoyer, 73, is adding a third jersey to his wardrobe this summer. He is wearing the colorful, stylized maple leaf for Canada's 150th anniversary, having been named by his country to serve as an ambassador during the nation's sesquicentennial.

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Hall of Fame

Mark Recchi says it's 'surreal' being elected to Hall of Fame

Forward, 12th in NHL history in points, gets call in fourth year of eligibility

by Dave Stubbs @Dave_Stubbs / NHL.com Columnist

The Hockey Hall of Fame's media teleconference wasn't over more than five minutes Monday when a call to Mark Recchi's cell phone immediately went to his recorded "Hey there…" greeting.

It was little surprise when a recorded voice followed, saying that his mailbox "is full and cannot accept any more messages at this time."

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Expansion Draft

Losing James Neal in Expansion Draft tough reality for Predators

GM David Poile says price to keep Golden Knights from taking forward was 'just too high'

by Dave Stubbs @Dave_Stubbs / NHL.com Columnist

LAS VEGAS -- The tough reality of losing forward James Neal to the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday set in for Nashville Predators general manager David Poile.

After Poile was rewarded for his work in helping the Predators reach their first Stanley Cup Final by being selected General Manager of the Year, he saw the Golden Knights take Neal as one of their 30 choices in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft presented by T-Mobile.

"That hurts. We're down a man," Poile said.

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