Montreal Canadiens Team History

The Montreal Canadiens start with a storied history incomparable to any other NHL team. It all starts in the Great White North in 1909 with the Montreal Canadiens being a charter member of the NHA (National Hockey Association) predecessor of the NHL. While also having been the longest run team in hockey history, and one of the oldest professional sports teams in North America. With it being over a century old, surprisingly their look has not changed much at all.

At the start of things in 1909, the Canadiens wore blue and white as their colours. The jersey was all blue with a big white “C” on the chest with a white stripe running across the chest and through the biceps.

A year later the jerseys would completely change to an all red sweater with a green maple leaf in the middle with a old English style “C” as its crest.

A year later the jersey would go with a straight black and white jersey, being all white with 2 black stripes running from the right shoulder down to the left hip. Still not satisfied the Canadiens would change again in 1912, introducing the aptly named “barber pole” jersey. A kaleidoscope of colour it was; with thin red, blue and white stripes running horizontally across the whole jersey, with a white maple leaf as the logo with the letters “CAC” in the middle.

At the beginning of the next season the jerseys would be molded in what we have come to know them as. An all red jersey was introduced with a thick blue stripe running across the chest with the “C” in white in the middle. A year later a thin white stripe was added at the top and bottom of the blue chest stripe and on the bottom and the wrists of the jersey with an “A” placed inside the “C” on the logo.

With the start of the NHL in 1917 and the Canadiens being one of founders, the 1915 jersey was carried over but revamped a little. Remaining mostly the same as the 1915 look, a blue stripe was added to the white tail stripe and white and blue stripes were added to the sleeves as well. From then, all the way up until now, not many changes have been made to the jersey aside from a few colour changes to the logo here and there; and having an all white “C” or an all red “C”.

In 1924, just after their Stanley Cup win the Canadiens removed the “C” from their chest and replaced it with a globe and the word “champions” arcing across the bottom of the globe to signify one thing; world champions.

The usual “C” logo was moved to the sleeves for the season. In ’25 the “C” would come back to the front and the “C” on the sleeves would stay as well. In 1936, a white jersey would be added so that the Canadiens would not be wearing red when they faced the all red clad Detroit Red Wings. The white jersey was similar to the red but instead of the blue and white stripe running through the logo it would move up to below the chin and become a little thinner and add a stripe of red to it as well. In 1938 the white jersey would change a little getting rid of the stripes near the chin leaving just the tail stripe of red and blue.

In 1941 a red shoulder yoke was added to both the red and white jerseys. And in 1944 the red and white jerseys would mirror each other both having the thick blue chest stripe with the “C” with the “H” in the middle. In 1977 player names are added to the backs of the jerseys in compliance with league standards.

After winning a quarter of all Stanley Cups played, playing through 2 arenas and even with the introduction of the Reebok Edge jersey; the Canadiens jersey has remained virtually unchanged for almost 70 years; becoming a staple of hockey history.