The Montreal Canadiens were established in 1909, making them the oldest franchise in the NHL. The team has won the most Stanley Cup Championships in NHL history, with 24 total trophies. The team has consistently been in Stanley Cup-contention, only missing the playoffs 18 times in the team's very long and storied history. A few of the many notable Canadiens players include Patrick Roy, Larry Robinson, Maurice Richard and Guy Lafleur.
Founding Year: 1909
City: Montreal, Quebec
Number of Stanley Cups: 24 (1916, 1924, 1930, 1931, 1944, 1946, 1953, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1986, 1993)
Owner: Molson Family
Head Coach: Claude Julien
Stadium: Bell Centre
When the Canadiens were formed in 1909, they were part of the National Hockey Association, the original professional hockey league in North America (the NHL was established in 1917). In the NHL's inaugural season, the team made it all the way to the Finals before losing to the Toronto Arenas (now the Toronto Maple Leafs). The Canadiens won their first Stanley Cup title the next season, before going into one of their longest no-postseason droughts 3 seasons in length.
The Canadiens returned to the playoffs in 1923 thanks to hockey great Howie Morenz, though they ultimately lost in the Stanley Cup Finals. They won their second and third titles during the next two seasons before finishing last in their division with a .319 record. They bounced back by making the postseason each of the next 9 seasons, winning the Stanley Cup in the 1930 and 1931 seasons.
Despite consistently successful play during the next few seasons under head coach Dick Irvin, the team didn't reach the finals again until 1944, when they won their fifth Stanley Cup title. They won again two seasons later with the help of hall-of-famer Maurice Richard. They reached the finals every season from 1951-1960 and won six times in that stretch (1953, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960). Head Coach Toe Blake joined the team in 1955 and would bring 8 championships to the franchise.
The team won 4 more titles in the 1960s and 6 titles in the 1970s, even with two head coaching changes. They did not miss the postseason again until the 1994-95 season when they finished second to last in their division, only two years after winning their most recent Stanley Cup title. By the early 2000s, the team was no longer finding the level of success that they once had, though they still regularly made it to the postseason. The Canadiens' play improved in the 2010s, but they still have not managed to reach the Stanley Cup Finals since 1993.
Here are some of the Canadiens all-time leaders for various categories: