TORONTO (December 1, 2009) - A survey for the Historica-Dominion Institute, conducted by Ipsos Reid, examines Canadians’ attitudes towards the Montreal Canadiens as the team prepares to celebrate its 100th anniversary on Friday.
The survey revealed that one half (47%) of Canadians ‘agree’ (17% strongly/30% somewhat) that the ‘Montreal Canadiens are the greatest hockey team in history’. In comparison, less than half as many Canadians, just two in ten (20%), ‘agree’ (3% strongly/16% somewhat) that ‘the Toronto Maple Leafs are the greatest hockey team in history’. Two in three Canadians (65%) also agree (24% strongly/41% somewhat) that ‘the Montreal Canadiens are to hockey what the New York Yankees are to baseball’.
The poll of over 1,000 Canadians found that more Canadians consider the Montreal Canadiens to be ‘Canada’s national hockey team’ (33%) than the Toronto Maple Leafs (25%). Comparatively few believe that distinction belongs to the Ottawa Senators (5%), the Vancouver Canucks (4%), the Calgary Flames (2%) or the Edmonton Oilers (2%). Despite having NHL teams in their province, many Canadians still feel a strong attachment to the Canadiens:
“To a large number of Canadians, hockey is Canada and the Montreal Canadians are hockey’s greatest success story,” said Andrew Cohen, President of The Historica-Dominion Institute. “Our love of the Habs is strong even one hundred years after their creation, seventeen seasons after their last Stanley Cup victory and in a League with 30 franchises including 6 in Canada.”
One of the greatest rivalries in all of sport is between the Habs and the Leafs – Montreal vs. Toronto. The survey found that:
One player clearly emerges in the public’s mind as the greatest Habs player in history: 45% of Canadians believe that Maurice “The Rocket” Richard is the best of all time. Meanwhile, two in ten believe Guy Lafleur (19%) has earned that title. Others think the crown goes to Patrick Roy (13%), Jean Béliveau (13%), Jacques Plante (4%) or Ken Dryden (1%).
The Historica-Dominion Institute is a national charitable organization launched on September 1, 2009. It was created out of two organizations: The Historica Foundation of Canada and The Dominion Institute. It is the country’s leading advocate of memory, identity and democracy, dedicated to promoting a greater understanding of Canada’s history and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. Some of its signature programs are Encounters with Canada, The Memory Project, Passages to Canada and The Canadian Encyclopedia.
For more information, view detailed results.