MONTREAL, QC. — I wasn’t expecting this to happen. This year’s playoffs have been incredibly entertaining so far, and yet all I could do in the second round is think about the players who used to be Habs. Can’t I just watch games? Apparently not.
Here’s a refresher on which playoff hopefuls once wore the CH:
OUT OF THE RACE FOR THE STANLEY CUP
Chris Chelios, front office of the Detroit Red Wings: The Habs have a rich history, and Chelios has been around to see every minute of it. It’s a shame that the Wings are out of the playoffs, but Chelios appreciates having more time for bingo and shuffleboard.
Maxim Lapierre, Vancouver Canucks: His grit helped the Canucks to the Cup Finals last year. By “grit” I mean that he likes to talk a lot.
Christopher Higgins, Vancouver Canucks: Wandered around the NHL like a lost teddy bear after the Canadiens traded him away, but has now found a good home in Vancouver where he doesn’t get left behind at the playground.
Francis Bouillon, Nashville Predators: Busy taking credit for blazing the trail from Montreal to Nashville. Since then, the Preds and Habs are tied for number of Stanley Cups won.
Hal Gill, Nashville Predators: Taken out of Montreal because the Western Conference desperately needed tall guys. Missed a few playoff games due to injury. Gill is nearly irreplaceable – who else can block shots simply by having legs long enough to get in the way? Not Francis Bouillon, that’s for sure.
Andrei and Sergei Kostitsyn, Nashville Predators: Reunited in Nashville not because of their talent, but because cranky Habs fans needed something to laugh about, without actually having to see them too often.
Alex Auld, Ottawa Senators: He’s big, he’s bald, he’s… back in Ottawa.
Benoit Pouliot, Boston Bruins: Let’s not go there.
Jaroslav Halak, St. Louis Blues: Took the Canadiens deep into the playoffs in 2010. Apparently his abilities don’t apply when he isn’t playing, because he went ahead and got injured and now the Blues are eliminated.
Matt D’Agostini, St. Louis Blues: Proof that hockey players sometimes score goals if they’re let out of the pressbox.
Roman Hamrlik, Washington Capitals: I’ve heard he’s very happy to be out of Montreal, if only because the Habs’ defencemen – and their knees – have been cursed since he left.
Jeff Halpern, Washington Capitals and Dominic Moore, San Jose Sharks: Remember how two actors played the role of the husband on Bewitched? This is kind of like that, except the Canadiens found a new husband in Erik Cole and both of their exes made the playoffs.
STILL IN IT
Dainius Zubrus, New Jersey Devils: If most media is to be believed, the pre-lockout era happened a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. So consider this your reminder that Zubrus used to be a Canadien, because you probably forgot.
Larry Robinson, New Jersey Devils: He can return to Montreal any time he wants. I will personally buy him a new desk to sit at so that he doesn’t have to worry about having his old one shipped in from New Jersey.
Kyle Chipchura, Phoenix Coyotes: See “Matt D’Agostini.”
Jeff Woywitka, New York Rangers: Has worn more jerseys than the average mannequin. Does he count as a former Hab?
Ryan McDonagh, New York Rangers: I think I’ll leave this one alone because it makes my heart hurt.
Jason Missiaen, New York Rangers: The 6’8″ goalie continues to be a novelty prospect for teams who already have franchise goaltenders.
Doug Risebrough, New York Rangers: The former Hab appears to be operating as a double agent in New York’s scouting department. Which explains a lot, actually.
I haven’t found any evidence of former Habs playing for the Los Angeles Kings. This is either due to insufficient research on my part, a serious Philadelphia Flyers obsession on LA’s part, or maybe some threats on Justin Williams’ part.
Best of luck to all four teams still in the race, regardless of how many players used to wear the bleu-blanc-rouge.