Last game at the Montreal Forum – March 11, 1996

Broadcast Date: March 11, 1996 On March 11, 1996, a contingent of former Montreal Canadiens captains marks the final hockey game played at the Forum. The gesture quite literally marks the passing of the torch from the historic venue to the Molson Centre, the new home of hockey’s most storied team. In this CBC News report, fans and players past and present say goodbye to the Forum, a place of great history and great emotion for the Canadiens. • During a pre-game ceremony, long-serving Habs captain Emile Bouchard (the eldest of the assembled participants) was first to carry a torch, passing it on to Maurice Richard, who in turn hands the fiery wand to the great Jean Béliveau. The pattern continued until the torch was in the hands of Pierre Turgeon, who would be the first Canadiens player to wear the “C” at the spacious new Molson Centre. • Fifty-six years prior to this historic night, in 1940, Montreal Canadiens head coach Dick Irvin undertook some inspirational redecorating at the Forum. Determined to overcome a nine-year Stanley Cup draught, Irvin lifted a line from John McRae’s First World War poem, In Flanders Fields, and had it painted on the Canadiens dressing room wall: “To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.” • Although thoughtful and inspired, the torch ceremony was not as touching as the moment at which Maurice Richard was introduced to the capacity crowd of nearly 18000. Visibly moved by what must be one of the most sustained

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