On today’s date in 2009, Mike Cammalleri scored a second-period hat trick as the Montreal Canadiens celebrated their 100th anniversary with a 5-1 victory against the Boston Bruins.
For the Canadiens, the game—played on home ice at the Bell Centre, in Montreal, Que.—snapped a four-game losing streak, during which time Cammalleri could only muster one assist; however, after netting three tallies on Dec. 4, 2009, he had a team-leading 15 goals.
“It’s a special night that I will never forget,” Cammalleri told CBC News following the game. “What else can I say? This was a special night for sporting world.”
The team was perhaps inspired by the nostalgic 75-minute pre-game ceremony, where the jerseys of 1940s Canadiens stars Elmer Lach and Butch Bouchard were retired.
“We really wanted to play well for them, but I think even after last night we wanted to come out and play well for ourselves,” said Canadiens defenceman Hal Gill during an interview with Hockey Night in Canada in the second intermission. By this point, the score had already reached 5-0.
It was also on today’s date in 1909 that “Les Canadiens” – the present-day Montreal Canadiens (or Les Canadiens de Montréal) – was founded by prominent silver miner John Ambrose O’Brien, of Renfrew, Ont., as a charter member of the National Hockey Association (NHA), which was formed nearly a decade before the National Hockey League (NHL).
“Les Canadiens” was created as a team for Montreal’s francophone community and was to consist of francophone players—and francophone ownership. After the team’s first season (in which they placed dead last), ownership was transferred to George Kennedy, of Montreal, and the rest is history. The team would win its first Stanley Cup in the 1915-16 season, and the following year, “Les Canadiens” formed the NHL alongside four other NHA teams.
The season was split in half with part one running from Dec. 19-Feb. 4 and part two from Feb. 6-March 6. The Canadiens won the first half with a record of 10-4, and the Toronto Arenas won the second half with a record of 5-3. One of the teams, the Montreal Wanderers, withdrew in January 1918 after their rink—the Westmount Arena—burned to the ground. Toronto eventually won the NHL Championship with a total score of 10-7 over two games against the Canadiens. Then, after defeating the Pacific Coast Hockey Association’s Vancouver Millionaires 3-2 in a best-of-five series, Toronto won the Stanley Cup.
The Canadiens would win their first NHL Stanley Cup during the 1923-24 season.
In 2009, the Royal Canadian Mint issued a $1 circulation coin struck in celebration of the Canadiens 100th anniversary. The coin’s reverse design depicts the team’s logo against a background with the number “100”; horizontal lines; and the years “1909” and “2009”. It has a mintage of 10,250,000 pieces.
Three other versions were also issued in base metal; one version is lacquered, another is colourized and another is plated with gold. A Proof .925 Fine silver coin (also with gold plating) was also issued with the same design; however, it’s struck on a larger planchet and has mintage of 15,000 pieces.
In 2009, the Mint also issued a six-piece set of 50-cent nickel-plated steel coins coloured with historical Canadiens logos. Each of these coins weighs 12.61 grams and has a 35-mm diameter.