Rabid Habs

#1: Who Wore it Best?

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During the offseason, there isn’t always much to talk about so we are starting an article series that feature some of the jersey numbers worn by players of the Montreal Canadiens.

In this first edition of “Who Wore it Best?”, we’ll take a look at four of the most notable players who wore #1.

Number 1 – (Paul Bibeault, André Binette, Len Broderick, Marty Burke, Frederic Chabot, Lorne Chabot, Claude Bourque, Ab Cox, Wilf Cude, Claude Cyr, Denis Dejordy, Bill Durnan, Tony Esposito, Claude Evans, Bert Gardiner, Herb Gardiner, Tony Graboski, George Hainsworth, Brian Hayward, Charlie Hodge, Mike Karakas, Alphonse Lacroix, Michel Larocque, Cesare Maniago, Gerry McNeil, Roland Melanson, Hal Murphy, Tom Murray, Robert Perreault, Jacques Plante, Michel Plasse, Claude Pronovost, Herb Rheaume, Babe Siebert, Doug Soetaert, Ron Tugnutt, Rogatien Vachon, Georges Vézina, Ernie Wakely, Rick Wamsley, Lorne Worsley, Roy Worters)

Here is some background information on these four well-known goaltenders:

Georges Vézina: In 328 regular season games, Vézina posted a 175-146-6 record with 15 shutouts and Goals Against Average (GAA) of 3.42. He won 2 Stanley Cups with the Habs in 1915-16 and 1923-24. The Hockey Hall of Famer holds the record for having started 328 consecutive games. George Vézina passed away in 1926.

Brian Hayward: As Patrick Roy’s back-up, Hayward posted some impressive numbers: 71-48-17, 5 shutouts and a GAA of 2.96. He won 3 William H. Jennings Trophies, playing behind one of the best defensive teams in the NHL. Brian Hayward played his last NHL game, in 1993, with the San Jose Sharks.

Jacques Plante: Not only is he remembered for having been hit in the face with a puck, Plante has enjoyed much success with the Montreal Canadiens. Winner of 6 Stanley Cups and 1 Hart Trophy – Plante posted a 314-133-107 record, including 58 shutouts and a GAA of 2.23. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1978. Plante died in 1986. His jersey (#1) was retired by the Habs in 1995.

George Hainsworth: Remembered for his short stature, but also for his ability to block lots of shots, Hainsworth earned 75 shutouts in 318 regular season games. With a 167-97-54 record, a GAA of 1.78 – Hainsworth won 2 Stanley Cups and 3 Vézina Trophies. He also wore other jersey numbers for the Habs: #12, #14 and #17. George Hainsworth passed away in 1950.

What do you think? Who was the best player to wear the #1 for the Montreal Canadiens?

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