Three Candidates For The Next Retired Canadiens Number

UNIONDALE, NY - CIRCA 1978: Steve Shutt #22 of the Montreal Canadiens skates against the New York Islanders during an NHL Hockey game circa 1978 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. Shutt's playing career went from 1972-85. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
UNIONDALE, NY - CIRCA 1978: Steve Shutt #22 of the Montreal Canadiens skates against the New York Islanders during an NHL Hockey game circa 1978 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. Shutt's playing career went from 1972-85. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /
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Guy Carbonneau gets the call to the Hall
Guy Carbonneau gets the call to the Hall /

Guy Carbonneau #21

Drafted: 1979 3rd Round, 44th overall

NHL Totals: 1318 GP 260 Goals 403 Assists 663 Points

MTL Totals: 912 GP 221 Goals 326 Assists 547 Points

Hall Of Fame: 2019

Some Other Notable Players To Have Worn #21: Doug Jarvis, Chris Higgins, Brian Gionta, Eric Staal

The last captain to hoist the Stanley Cup with the Canadiens. The 1993 conquest was his second Stanley Cup with the team as he was part of that fairy tale 1986 squad that stumped the NHL as well. He would go on to win a third Cup as part of the Dallas Stars in 1999.

Carbonneau was the modern day Bob Gainey. His pre-30 years saw him accomplish yearly 20 goals as well as elite defensive skills while patrolling center ice. Even as his offensive skills dwindled, Carbonneau was still in elite form defensively and was a prime choice for defensive zone duties.

The 2019 Hall of Famer would go on to win three Selke Trophies, although it could have easily been four as he was narrowingly beat by St. Louis Blues centerman Rick Meagher in the 89-90 season by only 5 votes. Carbonneau had already won 2 consecutive Selke’s the previous seasons.

He was also an extremely respected leader not only due for risking his body on the ice but for being a no nonsense teammate that expected the best out of everyone.

Despite his success with the Canadiens as a player, Carbonneau was ousted and traded to the St. Louis Blues during the 1994 offseason in return for Jim Montgomery, merely 14 months after the Canadiens won their last Stanley Cup. Team President Ronald Corey forced then General Manager Serge Savard to rid of Carbonneau at any price after the captain was photographed on a golf course giving “the finger” to a nearby paparazzi. Corey, who was notorious for protecting the “image’ of the Canadiens and under constant scrutiny by the Molson management team, quickly scrambled to rid of this issue before further damage was done. Corey had acted similarly vis-a-vis Patrick Roy the following year.

Carbonneau would return to the team as head coach in 2006. He led the team to 90 and 104 point seasons and made the second round of the playoffs after winning the division in his sophomore season. He continued to show his fiery emotions even as a coach and wasn’t afraid to show his inner Pat Burns and blow fuses at the media for asking repetitive and inane questions.

Despite being 2nd in the division with 77 points in 66 games, then General Manager Bob Gainey inexplicably fired Carbonneau as coach, further questioning his place within the team’s history as a person.

The team has honored him with a celebration after he was inducted in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

He is currently an in-studio analyst for RDS.