Photo credit: TVA Sports

Major: Geoff Molson has a significant decision to make that will help the Montreal Canadiens

Published December 28, 2023 at 2:43
BY DAVID ST-JEAN

Since the 1996-97 season, the Canadiens have been playing at the Bell Centre, which is nearly 30 years. However, since the 1987-88 season, it has become a tradition for the Habs to play away games during the holiday period.

Whether it's four, five, six games like last year or seven like this season, the Tricolore always hits the road at this particular time of the year. Importantly, this is a team decision and not a league mandate. The organization makes this request each year.

Why? To fill the Bell Centre with other events like Disney on Ice, for example. Canadiens games have almost always been sold out for decades, so the economic impact is even more significant by taking this approach. Shareholders benefit from the holidays as families gather in their arena.

The Habs often play in the southern United States during this period, where many Canadiens fans on vacation attend away games, contributing to the league's economic gains. That's why it's always accepted.


Making more money, we understand the importance. The Montreal Canadiens and the NHL remain profit-driven companies. However, for the team's well-being, it might be time for a change.

Historically, since the 1996-97 season, the average win percentage on the road during the holiday trip is 0.405, compared to 0.480 for the rest of the year. That's a significant difference.

This year is going well, with the team earning seven points out of a possible eight, but unfortunately, that's the exception rather than the rule.

I won't go so far as to say it has a direct impact on the Canadiens' lack of success over the past 30 years because the team has had excellent records on numerous occasions. However, there are playoff appearances that didn't happen, and it's certainly a contributing factor.

It's time for a Canadian team to win the Stanley Cup again, and the Canadiens shouldn't rely on other teams to achieve that. A change to this format could greatly help the team in the years to come, even just to qualify for the playoffs.

As we saw in 2021 with the Canadiens and in 2023 with the Panthers, a simple playoff berth can propel us to the Stanley Cup Final.

Source: Habs & LNH
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December 28   |   509 answers
Major: Geoff Molson has a significant decision to make that will help the Montreal Canadiens

Are you tired of seeing the Canadiens go on a long trip during the holidays?

Yes31261.3 %
No19738.7 %
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