#9: Jack Laviolette
Most lists wouldn’t have Jack Laviolette in their top 10. In fact, many lists may not even place him in the top 100. But without Jack Laviolette, there may be no Montreal Canadiens.
When the Habs were first formed in 1909, Laviolette was a defenceman with the team. He was also the coach. And the general manager. And he was the original “Flying Frenchman.”
While he only played 18 games in the NHL, Laviolette was with the team during their entire existence in the National Hockey Association (NHA).
He was responsible for signing all the players during that time, players that gelled to become one of the greatest franchises in all of sports.
On the ice, he was no slouch. He could score often enough (he scored at least six goals in six straight seasons, no easy feat for a defenceman back in those days), and helped lead the team to the Stanley Cup in 1916.
In 1919, he was involved in a car accident, and lost his foot. He couldn’t play hockey again.
He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1962. He was also elected to the Canadian Hall of Fame, but for his lacrosse career, not for his hockey.
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