Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Did the Canadiens retire Expos numbers?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Did the Canadiens retire Expos numbers?

    A couple of months ago, I was watching the nation anthem prior to a Canadiens-NY Rangers game at the Molson Centre. When the camera panned the flags and banners in the rafters, I noticed an Expos banner with Andre Dawson's and Tim Raines' numbers emblazoned on them. There could have been some other names on the banner, but the camera panned away. I know the Canadiens adopted Youppi as a macot, but I did not know they also honored some former Expo greats. That was a classy move, IMO. When did the Canadiens honor them and did they retire their numbers?

  • #2
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montrea...etired_numbers
    "On October 18, 2005, the Montreal Canadiens honoured the departed team by raising an Expos commemorative banner, listing the retired numbers, to the rafters of the Bell Centre."
    # 8 Gary Carter, C, 1974-84 & 1992
    # 10 Andre Dawson, OF, 1977-86
    # 10 Rusty Staub, OF, 1969-71 & 1979
    # 30 Tim Raines, OF, 1979-90 & 2001

    It seems very unlikely that the Canadiens retired the numbers.

    Comment


    • #3
      Habs Have?

      The Expos retired numbers have been honoured by the Habs. In no way have they been retired.

      http://canadiens.nhl.com/team/app/?s...LPage&id=16875

      Youppi has also been adopted and "he" has taken on a Hab identity.

      Comment


      • #4
        I didn't mean that the Candiens retired the numbers so that hockey players couldn't wear them. I was unaware that the Expos retired Raines', Staub's Dawson's and Carter's numbers before moving to Washington. Thanks for the info.

        Comment


        • #5
          The Canadiens did honor Expos greats with a banner in the Bell Center rafters (altough, I keep looking for #16, Miguel Dilone, can't find it ). They are a fine organisation; very classy. Altough one would argue that they did a great disservice to the Expos with they're 100% privately funded arena. The Expos didn't have that kind of financial means. Couldn't build a stadium without gouvernement help. And the governement were reluctant to help arguing, among other things, that the Canadiens did it on their own. Now I don't believe they did it on purpose to run their competiton out of business. But they benefited greatly from the departure of the Expos. The Canadiens are immensly more popular now that they were five years ago. And I believe that one of the explanations for that phenomenon is that they're the only pro team we have left. Theres nothing to divert our attention from the Habs, so we can talk about them year round, they're the only sports show in town.
          From now until the end of September, I'll be chronicling in real time on Twitter the 1946 season of the International league's Montréal Royals, when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in professional baseball. Check it out: https://twitter.com/Royals_46season

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Augustin_"Gus"
            they benefited greatly from the departure of the Expos. The Canadiens are immensly more popular now that they were five years ago. And I believe that one of the explanations for that phenomenon is that they're the only pro team we have left. Theres nothing to divert our attention from the Habs, so we can talk about them year round, they're the only sports show in town.
            Though I guess relatively speaking the Habs might have had a dip from their usual manic support, this is more easily explained by their missing the playoffs for a number of years (all the same, I would not really say they are immensely more popular; there wasn't much room for growth). Also note the Alouettes resurgence since moving to a downtown stadium (shades of what could have been!) and the growth in the support for the Impact (large enough for Mr. Saputo to try for an MLS franchise) provide plenty of fodder for Montreal sports fans to enjoy during the hockey off-season.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Augustin_"Gus" View Post
              The Canadiens did honor Expos greats with a banner in the Bell Center rafters (altough, I keep looking for #16, Miguel Dilone, can't find it ). They are a fine organisation; very classy. Altough one would argue that they did a great disservice to the Expos with they're 100% privately funded arena. The Expos didn't have that kind of financial means. Couldn't build a stadium without gouvernement help. And the governement were reluctant to help arguing, among other things, that the Canadiens did it on their own. Now I don't believe they did it on purpose to run their competiton out of business. But they benefited greatly from the departure of the Expos. The Canadiens are immensly more popular now that they were five years ago. And I believe that one of the explanations for that phenomenon is that they're the only pro team we have left. Theres nothing to divert our attention from the Habs, so we can talk about them year round, they're the only sports show in town.
              The Canadiens, I thought, have always been the talk of Montreal year round and always sell out games regardless of whether their was another pro team in town. I could be wrong as I have never been to Montreal. When the Canadiens were winning Stanley Cups in the 1970's, as well as in 1986 and 1993, were people ever diverted by the Expos? When the Expos were in the NLCS in 1981, did the Expos generate more attention than the Habs? I ask not to sarcastic, but to become more knowledgeable since the sports media stereotypes Montreal as an all hockey city and nothing else. As far as the Canadiens being more popular now than 5 years ago, I think it has to do with the fact that they finished first in their conference this year.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Steve Jeltz View Post
                When the Canadiens were winning Stanley Cups in the 1970's, as well as in 1986 and 1993, were people ever diverted by the Expos? When the Expos were in the NLCS in 1981, did the Expos generate more attention than the Habs? I ask not to sarcastic, but to become more knowledgeable since the sports media stereotypes Montreal as an all hockey city and nothing else.
                I can't say that the Expos would generate more attention than the Canadiens, but they were "nos amours" with their arrival in Montreal and did have strong fan support. The sale of the team by Charles Bronfman hurt them a lot, without the deep pockets that he could provide, right at a time where baseball really exploded in the U.S. However, note that most of the single-owner teams have been gradually replaced by corporate owners, who can afford to risk larger investments with an opportunity to gain more revenue, so Bronfman was in a sense just leading the trend (as he did when he gave Carter a large multi-year contract).

                The hiring of Felipe Alou helped garner more excitement, and 1994 may have turned things around, but we all know how that went...

                Montreal's support of Canadian football and their First Division soccer team do show that with the right community outreach and marketing, other professional sports teams can succeed. (However, winning is as always the big attractor of support.)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Steve Jeltz View Post
                  I didn't mean that the Candiens retired the numbers so that hockey players couldn't wear them. I was unaware that the Expos retired Raines', Staub's Dawson's and Carter's numbers before moving to Washington. Thanks for the info.
                  On a side note, once there was some kind of cross-promotional effort between the Expos and Canadiens. A number 10 Expos jersey was presented to a Habs player (I can't remember who; I think it was the current captain) at the Big O, and then Dawson was given a Habs jersey at the Forum, but his had the number 1 -- number 10 having been retired by the hockey team already for Lafleur.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Here's a photo of the banners.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Steve Jeltz View Post
                      When the Canadiens were winning Stanley Cups in the 1970's, as well as in 1986 and 1993, were people ever diverted by the Expos? When the Expos were in the NLCS in 1981, did the Expos generate more attention than the Habs?
                      My memory fails for those specific years, but something struck me back in 1989. Let's remember : the year of the Big Collapse. The season that convinced Charles Bronfman to sell the team. August 4th, they 63-46 before going 18-35 for the rest of the season.

                      We have to remember that, during that season, the team was first, non stop, from June 26th to August 6th. But on the radio hotlines in July, the main topic was NOT the Expos. It was Larry Robinson, who was a free agent at the time... (And over the hill too, I might add, even if he had a not too bad couple of seasons in California.) Everybody would call and wonder if he would sign with the Habs or with another team...

                      With that kind of interest for a red hot baseball team at the time, are you really surprised they're not here anymore today?
                      « But what's puzzlin' you is the nature of my game... »

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        OK, lets establish a few things. First, obviously, Montréal is first and foremost a hockey market, and the Canadiens having a winning tradition and being the Yankees of hockey, are huge in this city. But here's a few things we have to keep in mind. a) The Candiens almost moved to Cleveland of all places in the late 30's or early 40's, I'm not so sure. But they almost did. The arrival of Maurice Richard among others changed the fortunes of the club. Speaking of mister Richard, as popular as he was in his A-day, Yvon Robert, the most proeminnent figure on Québec's pro wrestling scene in the 50's was every bit as popular as he was, despite the fact that he was, well, a pro wrestler. And The Rocket after his career turned pretty much into an aftertought in this province. He was doing Grecian formula comercials to earn a living and was pretty much to butt of ridicule. He began being revered in the province really in the latter years of his life.

                        By the same token, baseball is in the very fabric of this city's sports scene. Let's not forget that the team that eventually became known as the Royals won it's first league championship in 1898, 11 full years before the Canadiens were formed. And when the Habs were struggling to stay afloat in the 30's and 40's, the Royals were enjoying great success. When they held that press conference in October of 45 to announce the signing of Jackie Robinson with the club, many people tought an expansion major leagues team was coming to town (wouldn't that have been something; Montréal with a Major league club, but no NHL franchise...). And the period where the Expos were at the height of their popularity (1979 to 83) that had nothing to do with the Candiens being bottom dwellers. They had a run of great dominance from 1976 to 1979, and the epic rivalry with the Québec Nordiques was just beginning. So saying that Montréal is a hockey only market and that the Canadiens have always been the only team that mattered in this city is just factually incorrect, altough we are often led to believe that.

                        Now, I think everyone who lives in Montréal would agree that this frenzy we're in right now is pretty much unheard of. It wasn't nearly this bad when they were a game away from the cup in 93. But I'll let this year aside, cause the team is actually good, for the first time in a decade. But the Canadiens sold out every game two years ago despite finishing with the 15th best record in the league. And the media gave wall to wall, obscene coverage to the 6 little playoff games they played. And last year was even worse. The team sold out all its games despite finishing 19th out of 30 teams. And the city was a buzz with that very average club, despite them being incapable of making a real push for the playoffs in the last few weeks of the season. I don't believe that would have happened had the public had an option. If there had been a decent baseball team with an owner, perhaps even a stadium, a lot of people would have said "You know what, screw them loosers. They can't even beat Toronto, even if they make the playoffs they will get killed. Let's turn our attention to the Expos who are just breaking camp. This year might be their year". But with nothing else to care for, people root for the Canadiens know like they never did, despite the fact that, prior to this year, they've been going thru their worst streak of futility since the 30's.

                        So yes, The Canadiens have benefited greatly from the Expos moving. There's more media space devoted to sports now that there ever was, and there's no team to fill that space besides them. Cause let's face it; the Expos and Canadiens use to compete with each other and not with the Alouettes or the Impact. Big league teams don't compete with semi-pro clubs playing in second tier leagues (and in the case of the Impact, I'm being generous calling them a semi-pro team playing a second tier league. They just had a training camp in Europe and they got creamed by teams made of people they picked out of the street, basically).
                        From now until the end of September, I'll be chronicling in real time on Twitter the 1946 season of the International league's Montréal Royals, when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in professional baseball. Check it out: https://twitter.com/Royals_46season

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thank you Gus for that very informative post and for debunking some myths about the Montreal sporting scene. I follow the NHL, but I never knew the Canadiens were close to moving to Cleveland. Wow. It seems baseball has just as long a history in Montreal as hockey does.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Augustin_"Gus" View Post
                            But the Canadiens sold out every game two years ago despite finishing with the 15th best record in the league.
                            That's just tradition; the Leafs sell out their games and the Cubs sell out Wrigley, no matter what they do.

                            Originally posted by Augustin_"Gus" View Post
                            And the media gave wall to wall, obscene coverage to the 6 little playoff games they played. And last year was even worse. The team sold out all its games despite finishing 19th out of 30 teams. And the city was a buzz with that very average club, despite them being incapable of making a real push for the playoffs in the last few weeks of the season.
                            [ ... ]
                            I don't believe that would have happened had the public had an option. If there had been a decent baseball team with an owner, perhaps even a stadium,
                            A lot of pent-up demand was unleashed, as the Habs had been absent from the playoff scene for some time. I think this is a better explanation than the departure of the Expos -- this might have explained things closer to 1994, but by the time the Expos left, the average Montreal sports fan had become desensitized to baseball by the repetitive farewells each season. Even in years where the Expos were still in the hunt in September, often more fans would turn up for exhibition hockey games than the Big O.

                            Regarding baseball support in Montreal: during the Olympic Stadium years, here is a comparison between Montreal's home attendance, the NL average, and just for fun, the New York Mets.

                            Year - Montreal - NL Average - New York
                            1977 - 1,433,757 - 1,589,166 - 1,066,825
                            1978 - 1,427,007 - 1,675,577 - 1,007,328
                            1979 - 2,102,173 - 1,764,868 - 788,905
                            1980 - 2,208,175 - 1,760,340 - 1,192,073
                            1981 - 1,534,564 - 1,039,866 - 704,244
                            1982 - 2,318,292 - 1,792,285 - 1,323,036
                            1983 - 2,320,651 - 1,795,744 - 1,112,774
                            1984 - 1,606,531 - 1,731,786 - 1,842,695
                            1985 - 1,502,494 - 1,861,123 - 2,761,601
                            1986 - 1,128,981 - 1,861,123 - 2,767,604
                            1987 - 1,850,324 - 2,061,180 - 3,034,129
                            1988 - 1,478,659 - 2,041,606 - 3,034,129
                            1989 - 1,783,533 - 2,110,320 - 2,918,710
                            1990 - 1,421,388 - 2,040,959 - 2,732,745
                            1991 - 978,076 - 2,058,014 - 2,284,484 (13 scheduled home games played on the road)
                            1992 - 1,731,566 - 2,009,261 - 1,779,534
                            1993 - 1,641,437 - 2,637,470 - 1,873,183
                            1994 - 1,276,250 - 1,843,416 - 1,151,471
                            1995 - 1,309,618 - 1,793,589 - 1,273,183
                            1996 - 1,618,573 - 2,169,949 - 1,588,323
                            1997 - 1,497,609 - 2,277,526 - 1,766,174
                            1998 - 914,717 - 2,401,674 - 2,287,948
                            1999 - 773,277 - 2,380,436 - 2,726,008
                            2000 - 926,263 - 2,480,194 - 2,820,530
                            2001 - 642,748 - 2,481,346 - 2,658,330
                            2002 - 812,545 - 2,309.294 - 2,804,838
                            2003 - 1,025,639 - 2,273,813 - 2,140,599
                            2004 - 748,550 - 2,512,690 - 2,318,321

                            Obviously the raw NL average doesn't adjust for market size, ticket price, and so forth. But it does show that the Expos enjoyed better than average support from 1979 to 1983, when it featured all of its promising stars, and then dipped afterwards, with some fluctuations up and down, but not far behind league average, up to 1997. So purely on attendance numbers, there is good evidence of Montreal being a strong baseball city, before Brochu put up his shares for sale, and the team entered its Loria and MLB ownership phases. (The Expos outdrew the Mets in 10 out of 28 seasons; not bad when comparing the relative market sizes, even after accounting for there being two MLB teams in New York.)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Steve Jeltz View Post
                              Thank you Gus for that very informative post and for debunking some myths about the Montreal sporting scene. I follow the NHL, but I never knew the Canadiens were close to moving to Cleveland. Wow. It seems baseball has just as long a history in Montreal as hockey does.
                              The Canadiens have been my team (besides my hometown Wings) since the days of Dryden, Lafleur and Savard, and I never knew that, either. Like wow. Having their biggest stars die not too much before that (Howie Morenz and Georges Vezina) must have really put a damper on things that carried on. Thank goodness for Toe Blake. No, Gus, I'm not going to try to compete with you in terms of Habs knowledge by throwing out a tidbit or two, my back is hurting from bowing so much.

                              To get back to baseball (sorry) I think it's really cool those numbers have been placed in the rafters. Shows the type of committment the city has for its own, regardless the sport.
                              Dave Bill Tom George Mark Bob Ernie Soupy Dick Alex Sparky
                              Joe Gary MCA Emanuel Sonny Dave Earl Stan
                              Jonathan Neil Roger Anthony Ray Thomas Art Don
                              Gates Philip John Warrior Rik Casey Tony Horace
                              Robin Bill Ernie JEDI

                              Comment

                              Ad Widget

                              Collapse
                              Working...
                              X