To continue our countdown of best/worst trades in the modern era of the Habs in order to help us get through August and into next season, we reveal the 10th best trade made by the Habs since the expansion of 1967.
June 26th 1975, Montreal trades defenceman Greg Hubick to the Toronto Maple Leafs for center Doug Jarvis.
Sam Pollock was the General Manager of the Canadiens from 1964 to 1978 and proved himself as one of the best of all time. Continuously finding the right pieces to fit with the powerhouse Habs of the time and keep them on top of the league, the Canadiens won an astounding 9 Stanley Cups in his 13 seasons at the helm.
When thinking of the great Habs teams from the seventies, a team that won 6 cups in the decade, most people attribute that success to the likes of Guy Lafleur, Steve Shutt, Larry Robinson, Serge Savard and Ken Dryden. However, without the help of the workhorses and gritty players, these Habs teams would be no match for the “Big Bad Bruins” and “Broad Street Bullies” of the time. Realizing this, Pollock was always looking for ways to improve his roster and got creative in finding players that would fit the system. He selected Bob Gainey early in the draft, even though his goal scoring was less than that of a first round pick, and plucked a young Doug Risebrough from the expansion St. Louis Blues.
Jarvis, Risebrough and Gainey would combine as a third line for the powerhouse Habs of the seventies. With Jarvis centering the two as one of the best faceoff men of the time, shutting down the top players of their opponents was their main objective. Jarvis was regularly counted on to line up against Phil Esposito and Bobby Clarke and did an admirable job, leaving the opponents lesser lines to face Guy Lafleur, Steve Shutt and the rest of the Habs offensive onslaught.
Jarvis may not have been the flashiest of the Habs at the time, but his excellent penalty killing and shut down play helped propel the Canadiens to 4 straight Stanley Cups, in his first four seasons, from 1976-79. Jarvis played a total of seven seasons in Montreal, never missing a game and is still the NHL’s reigning ironman, lacing up for 964 consecutive games, beginning with his first ever on opening night in 1975.
Most known for his defensive and penalty killing role, Jarvis also supplemented the offense respectably. As a third line center, he tallied 91 goals and 245 points in 560 games with the Canadiens. He scored ten goals every year after his rookie campaign and had his first 20 goal season during his last year in Montreal in 1981-82.
Greg Hubick, the player Montreal dealt to Toronto to get Jarvis, played only 77 games in his NHL career and had 15 points. Jarvis played more than 77 games, in 11 separate seasons including all 7 years he was in Montreal.
To trade away a career total of 77 games for one of the best shutdown players of his era, who contributed to 4 Stanley Cup Championships, not to mention the NHL’s all time ironman, makes this trade the 10th best made by the Habs in the modern era.
Follow me on Twitter! @MacMillanKen88