Hockey's the # 1 sport here and the city's own hockey team Montreal Canadiens have done pretty well in NHL. Unfortunately, the poor players making only 5 billion a year are on strike because of the plans to reduce their salaries so that's why no hockey games can be seen this season. But when the league starts again, be sure to go and see a match! The feeling among the spectators is amazing, especially on the cheapest sections high up. Go habs go!
Equipment: Just bring your voice and make sure to use it! And cheer for Saku Koivu ;) (he's Finnish!)
The Montreal Canadiens are the most storied hockey team in the NHL. With 24 stanley cups to their credit, the mystique that surrounds this team is infectious.
If you are in town during October-March, pop by the Bell Center and go see a game. Cheap seats are about $50. But its a great stadium and there are no real lousy seats
Equipment: Nothing special. Montreal is cold in the winter, so whatever you where to the game will be plenty
Despite playing in Montreal's freezing winter, the Canadiens are the hottest sports ticket in town. This is not only because Montrealers are die-hard hockey fans, but because they have the most storied hockey team in North America: the Canadiens have won the Stanley Cup a record 24 times during their near 100-year history (nearly twice as often as the closest team, the hated Toronto Maple Leafs, who have won it 13 times).
However, ever since the franchise moved from the Montreal Forum (now the AMC Forum, a mishmash of entertainment and shopping venues) to its current home, the Bell Centre, in 1996, it has failed to win a championship. It is the longest drought in team history.
Despite the Canadiens' recent lack of success on the ice, tickets can be hard to find at the last minute. Fortunately, there are plenty of scalpers hanging around the Bell Centre on gameday. Just walk to the corner of De La Gauchetière and De La Montagne streets. With a little luck and sharp bargaining skills, you may even get a reasonable deal.
Tickets can also be purchased the traditional (and legit) way by phone through the Admission Network at 514-790-1245 or toll-free 1-800-361-4595.
The Montreal Canadians moved out of the Old Forum on St-Catherine street, corner Atwater, back in the 90's. Ever since then they've not won a stanley cup...coincidence? I think not.
The old Forum could seat about 17,000 people so they built a new arena to seat 21,000 - while the Bell Center is sold out every game the team itself has sucked the massive goat wangs ever since they moved to the Forum (and Patrick Roy leaving the team didn't help either).
The old Forum is now a....mall....gah...the balls these people have to desecrate a shrine like the Forum. It also has a movie theatre in it with 23 screens in it, which ironically enough is the mount of stanley cups won in that building. Gah. Pisses me off.
So if you are a hockey fan, and want to pay tribute to one of the legendary rinks of the sport, then be prepared to see a mall. Bah.
Bell Center is where the Montreal Canadiens play......inside is a small shop to purchase Canadiens merchandise as well. store was hard to find though, best to enter through side entrance and not front entrance of bell center, at least that worked better for me.
In Montreal, the Montreal Canadiens goaltender is most important than the Prime Minister or the biggest star in the world. The hockey is a religion. When the team lost more than two games in a week, all the city is angry. It's really a unique ambiance!! The Montreal Canadiens plays at Centre Bell, the second cathedral!
Le Canadien de Montréal (the franchise)
Les Canadiens de Montréal (the actual roster)
Montreal takes a lot of space in the NHL's history, especially from the fifties to the early eighties. Twenty-four championships, number one in the history follwed by the Toronto Maple Leafs (both extremely patriotic names by the way, which created a very ironic situation in Quebec) with a far out thirteen Stanley Cups. Yet the Canadiens only won twice in the past twenty five years, both with Patrick Roy, as goalie in 1986 and 1993. He was introduced to the Hockey Hall of Fame on saturday november 11th 2006. It was a sad joke that the Leafs dominated the Habs and won 5-1 on the same night and city.
For these reasons, and a whole bunch more not mentionned, the Canadiens has became through the years the most important sport franchise in all Québec province. The franchise had many rivalries, rising the level of emotion to on an unprecedent level with the battle between the Canadiens and the Nordiques from Québec City, the province historical/political capital. The Boston Bruins and the Toronto Leafs are also two "natural ennemies". Now if the Colorado Avalanches (ex-Nordiques, popular destination for ex-quebecois hockey player scared away from Montréal) could play in our division... Because I am as you might have noticed a fan of this sport.
For the 2006-2007 season, Montreal is off with a good start (8 wins, 4 losses, 3 overtime/shootout losses). It's currently in 6th/15 position and third in it's division. The current hot teams are the Buffalo Sabres, Atlanta Trashers, Anaheim Ducks, Detroit Red Wings, Nasville Predators. Watch out for Pittsburgh and Washington, both building around some of the best rookies in the league, Crosby, Ovechkin, Malkin, Semin.
Equipment: The Montreal Canadiens play at the Bell Center. It's a vast arena of 21,273 places and the games are often sold out.
The Bell Centre has been the home of the Montreal Canadiens since March 16, 1996, when the team departed from the historic Montreal Forum. It has the largest seating capacity of any arena in the NHL with a seating capacity of 21,273 persons.
Ok. Enough about the arena. The important thing is one of the most storied franchises in any sport plays out of this arena. The Montreal Canadiens have won 24 Stanley Cups and included such great players as Guy Lafleur, Maurice "Rocket" Richard, Jean Beliveau, Ken Dryden, Patrick Roy, and the list goes on and on. The "Habs" have legions of fans around the country and we demand a great deal of them. Some cities think that their team is successful if they make the playoffs. Montreal demands championships. Take in a game and you will understand why Canadians across the country love hockey.
This is the MOST PRESTIGIOUS team in hockey and the team with THE MOST SEASONS CHAMPIONSHIP IN THE WORLD (all sports included, tied with the NY Yankees)
Great fun and lot's of action!
(Don't forget the souvenir shop!!)
Junior Hockey at it's best! Come encourage tomorrows stars! Junior hockey is VERY exiting because this is the last step before professional hockey so the young guys REALLY go at it! :)
And the best thing..no matter where you sit, the tickets are 10$ CANADIAN! How cheap can it get?? A great show, a great venue, a great sport for a really GREAT price
P.S: They we're named after hockey legend and local hero : "Maurice "Rocket" Richard which wore the #9
This is hockey 'like in the good old days!' about 5 fights a game and high scores makes these games very popular! Come in early because it's first come, first serve! And when I say popular, i mean popular!! One of the most exiting team is the Laval Chiefs, named after the Chiefs in cult hockey movie : 'Slapshot'
ONE LITTLE WARNING: These guys play a rough game and the crowd can get a bit exited..I wouldn't bring my kids here..
Montreal is the home of the NHL team, 100 year old this year (2009), the Montreal Canadiens. For years their home was the Montreal Forum but the new Bell Centre has been built and they have moved there. the old Forum now contains retail and exhibit space though you can see momentos of the old Forum there. The Bell Centre is a large modern arena that houses the Canadiens as well as other events such as concerts. It's actually not that easy to get tickets for a Canadiens game. You have to go to their site the day the tickets get released and get into a virtual queue. It sells out pretty quickly. This seems to be because many people buy tickets and season tickets and then resell them on eBay! Much as i hate putting money into the pockets of people that do that, it was the only way i was able to get two tickets. I set my limit to about what i would have paid anyway and though i suspect the auction got bumped up on purpose, i didn't pay more than i intended to.
There did seem to be tickets available on the night of the game, according to the sign outside the Bell Centre so you could take your chances but They could have been the most expensive seats. Anyway....
If you get tickets, it will be a great experience. There was a video and music show before the game to introduce you to the team's history and current players and they make a big deal of the team when they come out on the ice. Montreal fans are passionate about their hockey and are very engaged in the game. It was a real buzz for me! I no longer follow hockey but i used to and Montreal was "my" team so I really enjoyed this experience.
I have already recommended the Montreal Canadiens hockey as a must see if you are in Montreal during those times. The Habs hockey experience is great because they love their hockey.
As a result the games are often sold out especially for big games. Like in one of my experiences the Habs where playing the Philadelphia Flyers. A very strong and competitive team. The game was sold out and I couldn't get a pair of tickets.
So two hours before the game I head toward the Bell Center and like most sporting events I guess you hear a lot of people yelling, "tickets! tickets! tickets!".
I didn't think they were aggressive but they do want to sell them that is for sure. I bargainned an managed to get a pair of tickets for $80 each. Down from $120. Try to get on the sides of the arena for a good view of the two way action. On the ends hockey arenas now place a safety net.
I have a couple of numbers of scalpers you could probably call if the weather is bad. 978-3949 for Kelly and Franco at 996-2785. I got a couple off of Franco who was there working with a partner. They would always confer with each other when I was negotiating.
They say if you wait until the game is started you will get the best prices but I would only do that if you were going alone. I don't know if you would get a pair at that point and not neccessarily much of a view either. They were scarce and going quickly when I was negotiating a couple of hours in advance.
So you sort of have to take your chances. They will usually tell you all they have available and they carry a map of the arena to show you where they are located so they were helpful that way.
With 24 Stanley cups won, The Montreal Canadiens is the best hockey team in the world, period (the second best team in any sports after the New-York Yankees who won two more championships). Like many european cities where football (or what we call soccer here) is a religion, here it is hockey.
The Canadiens are hot this year and at the top of the NHL. Season 2006-2007 is still young but for the first time in recent memory, the unique team spirit is back (maybe in part because of Guy Carbonneau has the new head coach).
If you want to live something unique, treat yourself and reserve your tickets or go to La Cage aux sports...
Go habs go !
Equipment: A good tv set or a pair of good tickets or a place in any La Cage aux sports, a restaurant with many screens.
The Bell Centre, where the Montreal Canadiens play, is centrally located and easy to reach while you are in the city. The hockey's always great and the fans are just as passionate about the game as the players.