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Montreal Canadiens

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Canadiens

Oldest logo in sports today

The Montreal Canadiens are the most successful franchise in the history of the National Hockey League, having won 24 Stanley Cups in their 100+ years. Until the New York Yankees won their 25th World Series, the Canadiens were also regarded as the most successful franchise among all four major North American sports leagues.

Because the team is from Montreal, Quebec, Canada, which is a dominantly French-speaking provence, French spelling, Canadiens, is always used. Additionally, their website appears in both French and English, their mascot is named "Youppi" (which is French for "yippee!"), and the team's main nickname is "the Habs," an abbreviation of "Les Habitants." In another point of confusion, the team's logo features a large letter C engulfing a smaller letter H, which was first used when the franchise changed its name to "Club de hockey Canadien" from Club athlétique Canadien; therefore, the "H" represents "hockey," regardless how often it is misstated that the "C" is for "Canadiens" and the "H" is for "Habs" or "Habitants."

They have been the favorite sports team of Edward Motley ever since May 1993 when Kay started watching hockey. The Canadiens won their 24th Stanley Cup in that year's play-offs, which was their last (latest?) time to win the Cup.

The franchise's entire history is the subject of a novel titled "The Montreal Canadiens: 100 Years of Glory," which is the most comprehensive account recorded to separate fact from myth. The franchise started as a scrub team for a start-up hockey association created with five teams, including another Montreal team with Anglophone appeal (English-speaking community) so the effortless "Montreal Canadiens" were named for the Francophone crowd. It was not until George Kennedy saw a potential profit in the franchise that the team became a staple of French-Canadien pride, so he offered to purchase the team. Because the team was owned by the league (and its general manager's primary focus was on another team), the sale & purchase occurred (Plan B would have been to sue the league over rights to the name "Montreal Canadiens," which Kennedy felt previously belonged to him). Quickly the Canadiens became the only team turning a profit within the hockey association. Kennedy also created the iconic team logo, which was original a large C encasing a smaller A within it, but the logo's only significant change was when the team name changed to "Club de hockey Canadien," since only the men's hockey team was turning a profit.

Originally, only players of French-Canadien decent comprised the team, but that balance was compromised in favor of winning championships, which was the only reason the Francophones continued to embrace the team. At this time, the fans began chanting, "Halte la! Halte la! Les Canadiens sont la!" (which continues today). Kay is currently reading the aforementioned book, so more details will be added as he progresses.

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