Tag Archives: Doug Jarvis

Remembering Jim Roberts

Forum program

I’d just turned 15 and was at the Montreal Forum for a game between the Habs and New York Rangers. My first visit to the shrine a handful of years before it was renovated, after seeing so many games from my living room and on those old Molson films we’d see at banquets or at the Hall of Fame down at the CNE.

I’ve mentioned before about this trip, about how I was a bit drunk when my dad picked me up at the bus station when I came back to Orillia. But the bus was full of older guys, all with bottles, and I had no choice.

When the siren sounded to end this game in Montreal, my friend and I wandered down to rinkside to look at the big CHs at centre ice. This is what I’d wanted to do as much as see the game. Go down to ice level and be close to the logos that I had only seen on grainy television.

We also saw trainers wheel out the players’ equipment bags on carts from the corridor near the dressing room. I can picture this like it was yesterday, and at the time it was very cool. A couple of trainers and a bunch of duffle bags lives on in my memory.

Nearby I spotted Jim Roberts, the all-important defensive forward who sometimes played defence, talking to someone, so I went up and asked him to sign my program, which he did and which you can barely see in the photo of the program above, just below Jean Beliveau and Jim Neilson.

Roberts was extremely nice and chatted with me, asking where I was from and such. He had no idea how much this impressed me. So much so that I decided to start a Jim Roberts Fan Club. It would be almost like being on the team for goodness sakes. Inside the Habs inner circle. What a fantastic idea this was.

The next step was writing Red Fisher, and I told him of my plan to start a Jim Roberts Fan Club. Red wrote back, (I had this letter for years but don’t anymore), and he said he’d mention this to Roberts the first chance he got.

I never heard back. Maybe Jim Roberts was waiting for me. Maybe he waited all season for his fan club to begin. Maybe Red forgot to tell him. Regardless, soon enough I realized I couldn’t start a Jim Roberts Fan club. I had school and hockey and the British Invasion bands were invading. I didn’t have time for this.

Where was I going to get stuff to send to members? How could I afford stamps? What would I write about, other than the fact that Jim Roberts was a good player and was nice to me when I asked for his autograph?

Jim Roberts passed away on Friday from cancer at age 75. He was a key member of five Stanley Cup teams in Montreal – 1965, ’66, ”73, ’76, and ’77, and a smart and hard worker whose true value came from shutting down big guns on other teams, much like Bob Gainey and Doug Jarvis, two guys who probably learned plenty from playing alongside Jim in the 1970s, would.

He was never a huge star. But his star shone brightly for me, not only for what he did while wearing the CH, but because he was so nice to me when I was young. I’m very much saddened by his passing.





Another From The Old Trunk

I was going through an old program I have, from an Ottawa ’67s game I was at back in 1976, and I found my ticket stub inside! Such a bonus!

Here you’ll see Doug Wilson, general manager of the San Jose Sharks, when he looked like a white Jimi Hendrix. You can see Bruce Boudreau, now coaching the Anaheim Ducks, who had won the scoring championship the previous year, along with a bunch of guys who would also make the NHL, including Habs Doug Jarvis and Mark Napier.

And no, the picture of six Ottawa players isn’t a “Wanted” poster at the cop shop.

Peter Lee, on the cover and also in that one particular photo, would score 81 goals in this ’75-’76 season and was chosen by the Habs 12th overall. He’d go on to play for the Nova Scotia Voyageurs, but before he would ever wear the CH, he and Canadiens Peter Mahovlich were traded to Pittsburgh for Pierre Larouche.

Also included – Boudreau accepting the Memorial Cup, and Bobby Orr telling us about Yardley Black Label.








Irving Grundman Said…

You’d have to think it’s quite odd for a GM to answer some punk’s question about getting tickets. Somehow I can’t see Pierre Gauthier or Brian Burke doing this, or any GM for that matter.

It’s one last letter from the bunch I’d lost years ago and then found recently, and surprisingly, it came from Irving Grundman, who was the Habs GM at the time.

But first, a few things about Mr. Grundman.

Irving Grundman replaced Sam Pollock as GM in 1978, and it was unexpected. Most thought Scotty Bowman would be named the new boss, but it was decided that Bowman would probably be too quick on the draw in trading players, and the bowling alley magnate Grundman was brought in, mostly because of his money-handling abilities.

By all accounts, Grundman wasn’t the greatest Habs GM there ever was, although the recent few might give him a run for his money. It was he who decided to choose Doug Wickenheiser instead of Quebec star Denis Savard in the 1980 draft, whereas Wickenheiser never became the player they thought he’d become and Savard would star in Chicago. Grundman and Jacques Lemaire disagreed on things and the star forward retired and moved to Switzerland. There were also problems finding a decent replacement for Ken Dryden in nets, and three coaches were hired and fired in Grundman’s short time at the helm.

Grundman also pulled the strings on the huge Rod Langway, Doug Jarvis, Craig Laughlin, and Brian Engblom trade to Washington for Ryan Walter and Rick Green and it was this move that is considered most responsible for the saving of the strugging Capitals franchise. Langway would win the Norris Trophy the first two years he was in Washington.

In his defence, Grundman also drafted Guy Carbonneau and Chris Chelios, which were good moves, but all in all, he was considered out of his league and should have concentrated on the bowling alley business.

After he was let go by the Canadiens, he would become a Montreal city councillor, found himself charged with corruption, and sentenced to 23 months of community service and fined $50,000.00.

Almost three months to the day after Mr. Grundman wrote this letter, he was fired by the Canadiens, and Serge Savard would take his place.

Extra, Extra…..Part Six in ’86

For the last eight Montreal Canadiens Stanley Cup wins, from 1971 to 1993, I managed to save the front pages and laminate them. (Although one, from 1977, is an inner page).

This is part six – 1986

David Desharnais was born in 1986. Time marches on.

Larry Robinson and Bob Gainey, both well past their prime, called the 1986 Stanley Cup win the sweetest of all their championships. It was a team without snipers, a team full of hard-working grinders, and a team oozing heart and soul. And with Robinson and Gainey’s leadership, grinders grinding, and Patrick Roy in goal, the Canadiens took out the Calgary Flames in five games and Cup number 23 was in the books.

Patrick Roy was named the Conn Smythe trophy winner, a feat he would repeat again in 1993, and talk in the dressing room afterward was about the stop Roy made with just 14 seconds left, a stop that ended a Flames rally in dramatic fashion. In fact, the Habs almost blew it and who knows what would have happened in the series if Calgary ended up winning a game that was in the bag for the home team.

Montreal was leading 4-1 midway throught the third period and they were beginning to lick their lips at the thought of drinking from the Cup. But the Flames had other ideas. They made it 4-2, then 4-3 with Mike Vernon pulled for an extra attacker. Smiles and backslapping stopped on the Montreal bench. The Forum grew nervous. And then the Roy stop happened.  

Here’s Roy explaining the play. “The Flames were all around the net, and I had made the first save on Mullen, but the rebound went to (Jamie) Macoun, who was right beside me. I made the split and got my pad on the shot and then covered the puck with my glove. I was really lucky on that play, but you make your own luck, right?”

“Roy” muttered Chris Chelios. “Patrick Roy. Whew!”

Young Claude Lemieux scored ten goals in these playoffs, including four game-winners. Ryan Walter played with a half-healed broken ankle. Rookie Brian Skrudland, who had his jaw broken early in the game by Calgary’s Nick Fotiu, never missed a shift, and scored Montreal’s second goal.

Skrudland also notched the game winner in game two in the shortest overtime ever…just nine seconds in.

Linemate Mike McPhee, who became a household name in these playoffs, said of Skrudland, “He showed me what I could do when I saw him, at 175 pounds, playing like a 205-pounder every shift.”

Guy Carbonneau, called “the defensive Gretzky,” continued on even with a serious knee injury. Craig Ludwig played with a back so bad he had trouble getting out of bed in the morning. Claude Lemieux, a favourite target of the opposition, played like he was possessed. “I like it fine when everybody’s after me…I am an inspiration to every player in the AHL.”

Chris Nilan couldn’t suit up for the last two games because of a damaged ankle, was bittersweet in the room during the celebrations. “I wanted to be wearing the colours,” he told reporters. “I’m glad it gave (Steve) Rooney and (Serge) Boisvert the chance to get their names on the Cup. They deserved it because they worked like hell and never opened their mouths.”

Rick Green, a whipping boy to the public was he came over from Washington with Ryan Walter in the unpopular trade that sent Rod Langway, Brian Engblom, Doug Jarvis and Craig Laughlin packing, was considered the best defenceman of all in the ’86 playoffs. And Gaston Gingras finally showed he was a bonafide NHLer by having a fine series and scoring three big goals.

Montreal had reached the final against Calgary by first taking out the Boston Bruins in three games  (a best of five), then Hartford in seven games, and finally the Rangers in five.

And the last word goes to Mats Naslund. “We needed a lot of things to go our way if we were going to win. We had a lot of problems during the regular season, and while we were having them those problems, anybody who said we’d win the Stanley Cup had to be out of his mind. But when things started to fall into place, we felt we had a chance. We had the feeling we could beat the teams we faced, and this,” he said with a wave of his hand at the celebrations around him, “is the payoff.”

Extra, Extra, Read All About It (Parts Two And Three)

For the last eight Montreal Canadiens Stanley Cup wins, from 1971 to 1993, I managed to save the front pages and laminate them. (Although one, from 1977, is an inner page).

Part one was just a few days ago. This is part two and three -1976 and 1977

It was their 17th Stanley Cup, a beautiful, delicious four-game sweep of the Philadelphia Flyers. How sweet is that? Sweeping the Broad St. Bullies, the goons who had slashed and punched their way to the two previous championships. But this time, real hockey prevailed over thuggery.

All in all, it was the Canadiens plumbers who made things happen. At least for the most part. Bob Gainey, Jim Roberts, Doug Jarvis, and Doug Risebrough proved just how important blue-collar guys can be. The team had Lafleur and Shutt and the boys, but the lesser-lights shone. “Really, the plumbers did the job for us in this series,” said Steve Shutt. “But when we needed the goals, the two big guys (Lafleur and Perter Mahovlich) came through.”

Lafleur and Mahovlich weren’t having a sensational series up until the final game and the plumbers stepped up. But both Lafleur and Mahovlich scored goals in the third period to ice the thing and to prove that singer Kate Smith, the Flyers’ lucky charm, wasn’t such a lucky charm after all.

Kate was there in person that night to sing the anthem, usually it was a recording, but even her live and in colour wasn’t enought for the thugs from Philly. And in the dressing room, the Habs sung God Bless America in a good-natured jibe to the singer.

It had only taken Montreal 13 games from start to finish in these 1976 Stanley Cup playoffs, sweeping Chicago, taking out the Islanders in five games, and then the four-game dismissing of the Flyers.

Some Flyers fans thought it might have been different if their team had been healthy. Rick MacLeish didn’t suit up, and Bobby Clarke and Orest Kindrachuk played but weren’t 100%. And Wayne Stephenson was between the pipes instead of number one, Bernie Parent. But even coach Fred Shero admitted that his team, althought they might have prolonged it slightly, would have lost anyway. “If we’d had everybody healthy, I suppose we might have lasted longer, we might have made it close, at least.” said Shero. “But on the other hand, I imagine that if we had been able to play better, Canadiens might have played better too. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if they could.”

And to make all Habs fans giddy, Shero also went on about how good the Habs actually were. “These are guys you can’t ride off the puck. They’re immune to normal forechecking. You put pressure on most defences and they fall apart. They cough up the puck or throw it away. These fellows never panic. They just won’t give up the puck. They’re always in control.”

And Shero wasn’t finished being nice. “And my God, they’re all like forwards besides. That’s what you’ve got to have on your defence in the NHL today. You can put Robinson, Savard or Lapointe up front and they don’t look out of place at all.”

The last word goes to Bobby Clarke. “We were beaten by one great hockey team, the best in many years.”

And now, 1977

In the spring of 1977, as I was on the verge of getting married for the first time, Jacques Lemaire scored the overtime goal to give his team their second straight Stanley Cup in this late 1970’s run, and it was done with a lovely four-game sweep against Don Cherry and his Boston Bruins. Is this one of the reasons you hate the Habs, Don?

It had been quite a year for this dominating bunch. Montreal only lost eight times in 80 games and racked up a record 132 points. Nobody was going to beat them in the playoffs. You didn’t have to be Kreskin to figure it out. In fact, the team swept the Blues, took out the Islanders 4 games to 2, and then swept the Bruins. Fourteen games in total, and very similar to the 13 it had taken them the year before.

Guy Lafleur won the Conn  Smythe trophy for playoff MVP and managed nine goals and 17 assists throughout. But he had this to say: “It’s my third Cup and it’s always nice, but it’s not the same excitement. I don’t think I’m the best player. It’s just that everything went well for me.”

Jacques Lemaire was the quiet hero on this ride. His teammates had told him to shoot more, and on this night, he delivered with the overtime marker. “Why shouldn’t I be happy,” said Lemaire. “I’m on a holiday. I’m on a holiday starting now. It’s about time. It still is Lafleur and Shutt, except tonight. Tonight was a mistake. They said, shoot the puck, you look good.”

Coach Scotty Bowman had this to say about Lafleur and Shutt. “They play more like Europeans. I’m not knocking the NHL style of play, but the Europeans make more plays on the move. That’s what Lafleur and Shutt do.”

And last word to Don Cherry. “It’s hard to believe we kept outshooting them and still can’t win a game. I still say the whole thing boiled down to those three defensemen.”

Carbo Answers Questions

Guy Carbonneau has a new gig answering email questions for the CBC. There are five questions here from readers, and at the end I’ll ask a few of my own.

Five questions: Olympic overkill, centennial hangover?

December 10, 2009 01:14 PM | Posted by   Guy Carbonneau

Here’s how it works. You submit a question and Guy will provide the answer to five of them every week. It’s that simple. That means your question may not make the final list, but there is nothing stopping you from submitting more than one!

Here are today’s questions:

1. Hi Guy. I like this column, thanks for doing it. Will it be a relief for the Canadiens now that the 100th anniversary celebrations are over? – Wilson

I had the chance to be part of these wonderful events since last year, and it’s been fun to be there with all the Montreal Canadiens of the past to celebrate those glory years. But now that’s over, I’m sure the players would like to move forward and start to create their own memories and special times. Being a kid from Quebec and growing up watching Jean Beliveau, Yvan Cournoyer and Guy Lafleur was a treat, but you can’t live in the past all the time and the players of this year and the years to come have to start looking ahead to make sure that the next 100 years are their story.

2. This past week, everyone is talking about Ovechkin and his suspension. As a coach I’m sure you would rather have him playing than sitting out games. How would you deal with a great, but sometimes overly aggressive player? – Max

It’s a tough situation, but a good one to have. When you have a player like Ovechkin, who plays with so much passion and emotion, you have to be careful when you deliver your message to him. There is a small difference between being too aggressive and not giving enough and I would rather have to slow him down then have to push him every night. But that doesn’t mean he’s doing the right thing.

3. As we get closer to the Olympics players are getting asked about it almost every night. The media seems like that’s the only thing they know. What advice would you give to these players who could be going to the Olympics? – Tyler

My advice would be really simple. There are a couple of reasons why a player would be on that list. One is because of that player’s work ethic and the other would be the way that particular player plays within a system. All I would tell him would be to keep doing the same things he has been doing for years and to make sure he’s ready to play every night and give all he has, so if he’s not picked, there are no regrets. At the end some great players are not going to be there, there can only be 25 or 26 players selected. For those guys who are not selected life will go on. They will need to regroup quickly to finish the season strong and show why they should have been on that list.

4. I used to live in Brantford, Ont., and got to know Doug Jarvis a bit. I was shocked when he got let go from the Canadiens. What is he doing now? – Aarick

I saw Doug Jarvis this weekend in Montreal and it was good to see him again. I talk to Doug about twice a month trying to stay in contact and talk about different things. I’m sure he would rather be behind a bench right now but I think he enjoys a bit of free time. Since he stopped playing it’s always been about coaching and preparing for next year. I think he’s taking time to go see his kids more often and doing things he hasn’t had time to do for a while. I’m sure he will find something soon. He has all the qualities required.

5. I love Tim Thomas, but with his style of play I’ve always wondered how long he is going to last. He seems to rely on reflexes and they can disappear overnight. Do you think he’s about done? – Wayne

Well, I’m not an expert on goaltending, but having great reflexes when you’re a goaltender is a good thing. I coached against him and it’s true that at times he looks awkward, but his style is not a fluke. This guy has worked extremely hard for a long period of time to become the player he is now. He paid his dues in the minors; he went to play in Europe when nobody wanted him here. So I hope he stays for a while because it’s a great story and a good example for the young players. To make it in any sport, it’s not always about talent, sometimes it’s about the work and the perseverance.

Have a question for Guy? Send an email to: CBCHockeyOnline@cbc.ca

And now, questions from Dennis:

Hi Guy,

Who on the Montreal Canadiens has the best looking wife?

Hi Guy,

When you were coaching in Montreal, did you and your assistants ever consider any of the strategy advice I offered on my blog?

Hi Guy,

Why was I never offered the stickboy job?

Jarvis Sacked And The Overhaul Continues. Players Are Next


The way things are going, we may have Canadiens news every day until hockey season!

Doug Jarvis, who was such an intelligent, hard-working defensive specialist as a player for Montreal between 1975 and 1981, and who was an assistant coach for the Habs from 2005 until now, has been fired. There’s been a lot of questions about the style of play implemented by the coaching staff in Montreal this year, and maybe Jarvis’ idea of style of play was the wrong idea.

Bob Gainey, with probable urging from new head coach Jacques Martin, has sent Jarvis packing, but has decided to keep Kirk Muller to help Martin. It’s a good, solid partial-change to coincide with the sacking of Don Lever and Ron Wilson in Hamilton. Fresh faces with fresh thinking is what’s needed for this ailing team. And it’s the old adage that’s been around longer than Chris Chelios; you fire coaches because you can’t fire twenty players.

When you have such defensive specialists like Jarvis as assistant coaches, why were the Habs so drastically outshot on most nights last season? It’s that one simple question that many of us asked all season. And because the team’s defensive forwards were so abominable, then Jarvis was someone who had to take the fall, and why the team has to try someone different, go in another direction.

How many nights were the Canadiens bombarded with outlandish numbers like 40 shots to 20 or so? How many nights was Carey Price hung out to dry because both forwards and defence allowed the other team to shoot at will?

Montreal had four of the greatest defensive forwards in the history of the game in charge last season – Guy Carbonneau, Kirk Muller, Jarvis, and Gainey. And yet most teams on most nights had their way with the Habs  – even strength, short-handed, and power play.  The Canadiens let the opposition swarm in and blast away. They couldn’t stop anyone. Things snowballed out of control in goal because there were so many shots that bad ones were bound to go in, which led to a massive confidence problem for a young goalie like Price. Rarely did he receive any defensive help from either the forwards or defence. And Jarvis, along with Muller, were in charge of making sure the forwards looked after both ends of the rink.

Good luck to Doug Jarvis. He’s a class guy. But the Canadiens need a complete revamping. Coaches and players need to be replaced if this team is to go anywhere. Jarvis was just another casualty as the Canadiens look to climb out of the deep pit they’ve found themselves in.

But What Would They All Do?

Jacques Lemaire has quit the Minnesota Wild, GM Doug Risebrough was fired from the Minnesota Wild, and Serge Savard is interested in buying the Montreal Canadiens.

With Bob Gainey and Doug Jarvis already there, and Guy Lafleur and Yvon Cournoyer working as team ambassadors, Montreal could have a 1970’s team all over again. If they could somehow convince Ken Dryden and Frank Mahovlich to quit politics and come aboard, Pierre Mondou and Larry Robinson to ditch the New Jersey Devils, Guy Lapointe to forget about scouting for the Wild, and Mario Tremblay to follow Lemaire out of Minnesota.

Not sure what they’d all do in Montreal, but it’s a lot of combined Stanley Cups, for what it’s worth.

Another Day, Another Loss. Why Do We Even Bother?

Doug Jarvis says the team is now concentrating on their defensive play rather than being overly offensive. This is something, he says, that needs to be fixed quickly.

It’s a good thing they’re doing that. They only let in five goals. Imagine if they weren’t concentrating on defense.

This whole thing has gotten way too old. It’s not funny. I mean, there’s slumps, and then there’s slumps. On behalf of all good Habs fans, I say this is way out of control and it’s time to put an end to it. (Bob Gainey, listen to your fans.)

And do you realize just how difficult it is to try to write a Habs blog when they lose every game? I’m thinking of changing my topic. Maybe about a day in the life of maggots and lice and cockroaches and other less appreciated and often misunderstood living creatures. It’s got to be better than a blog about the Habs, who lose every night.

Pittsburgh, the team Montreal lost to tonight, is hoping to catch the Canadiens. Montreal couldn’t have lost to a worse team tonight.

But as good Habs fans, we’re gonna stay with them, I suppose. Maybe vomit a few times, but we’re gonna stay with them.

Random Notes:

Tomas Plekanec had two goals, Andrei Kostitsyn, one, and Mathieu Schneider scored on a power play, if anybody cares.

I have a feeling we’re going to have to get used to hearing announcers say, “Schneider shoots, and misses the net.” And because I was once assistant coach of a tyke house-league team, I feel I’m qualified to offer this advice. If you hit the net, you have a chance to score.

With Robert Lang out, and Alex Kovalev in purgatory, my thoughts tonight turned to Alex Tanguay. How come he’s not back yet? It seems like he’s been out forever. 

Carey Price looked okay but not great.

Ottawa visits the Bell Centre on Saturday. Quick reminder, the game’s an afternoon game. 3pm eastern and 12 pacific. Or then again, if you didn’t feel like watching, I don’t blame you.

A Hamiltonian Tells His Jean Beliveau Story…..And Then Puts The Hammer Down On Patrick Roy

For some reason, Jean Beliveau has always got it. He understands his fans. Maybe Jean had his own heroes, and maybe he met them and they treated him right, and he learned from them. Or maybe he met his heroes and they treated him wrong, and he learned from them also. 


Most NHL players, or for that matter, most professional athletes in any sport, could learn from Jean Beliveau.


I love most of the comments that come here regarding the Habs and hockey in general. And this one came the other day after I’d posted recently a little story about owning a Jean Beliveau hockey stick. It’s from a Habs fan in Hamilton who uses the handle “Retromikey,” and it made my heart soar like an eagle.


“To me, Jean Beliveau symbolizes the true Habs player on and off the ice.
There is never a day goes by where Jean will sign an autograph or spare a few minutes to talk to a fan during his busy schdedule.
I remember back in 1993, and drove with my buddies to attend the Stanley Cup final Game 5 in 1993 in Montreal from Hamilton.
We all arrived the hotel the eve of the game and while everyone was ready to go out out and party the night away, I decided to find out if it was true or not if Jean Beliveau’s number was located in the book and would meet up with my buddies at the bar later.
Sure enough, I found his name in the book and I was curious to see if he wanted to chat with a Habs fan from Hamilton.
Before you know it, Jean answered the phone and we talked a good 30 minutes. I apologized for talking so long to him on the phone and he requested my name and address.
Several weeks later, I received a package in the mail. A beautiful 8×10 personalized signed photo of Jean with several signed postcards to be given to my friends!
To end this story, I caught up with Jean at a Toronto Expo Card show 5 years later.
The look in his eyes when I told him that I spoke to him on the eve of Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final is priceless. He remembered and gave me a solid handshake and smile that I will never forget for the rest of my life.
Jean, you are a true gentleman and will alway be a part of my life as well as other Habs’ fans as well! I salute you!”


Then, if that wasn’t good enough, Retromikey comes back a day later with his Patrick Roy thoughts regarding the post about Mike in Pickering who won’t be watching the sweater being hoisted to the rafters in November.


“Mario Tremblay gave it all as a Habs wearing the CH on his jersey for almost 12 years starting as a 18 year old rookie in 1974!
I was only 9 years old when he was a rookie and looked up to him with his grit and character on the team! He had everything going for him when he played for Montreal, looks (so my older sisters tell me), playing hard game in and out, and a team leader willing to teach anyone who wanted to learn from him.
Well he brought this as a coach of the Habs and he got the shaft when Patrick Roy got traded to Colorado.
My philosophy if I were a coach would be ” I coach, you play” attitude to the players.
This is what Mario tried to preach to Patrick but being the star that he was, he got breaks more than the other hard working players on our team when Jacques Demers was the coach.
Sorry, this other “Mikey” will not be watching the retirement jersey night as well. I stand pat as well as other Habs fans.
Let the “Pepsi Generation” fans born after 1970 have their glory that night and watch their “God” Patrick have his jersey lifted high in the rafters.
I will be sad knowing that players like Joliat, Lalonde, Durnan, Lapointe, Ironman Jarvis, etc.. deserve the honour more than Patrick.”