The Montreal Canadiens are an ice hockey team based in Montreal, Canada. They are one of the most historic and successful teams in the National Hockey League (NHL). Founded in 1909, the Canadiens boast a record of winning 24 Stanley Cups, the most prestigious trophy in the world of ice hockey. The team has been successful in its history, thanks to great players such as Maurice Richard, Jean Beliveau and Guy Lafleur. The Canadiens have faced several intense rivalries over the years, most notably with the Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Detroit Red Wings.
The club is the only one, among those currently in the NHL, to exist before the creation of the League and is one of the oldest franchises in North American sports (the only one based in the province of Quebec); is part of the Original Six. The team has boasted, in its history, players such as George Hainsworth, Guy Lafleur, Maurice and Henri Richard, Toe Blake, Jacques Lemaire, Patrick Roy (considered among the best goalkeepers in the history of the league) and, more recently, Carey Price and Brian Gionta. The team's worst rivals are the Boston Bruins, who they have faced in 7 playoff finals; another strong rivalry is the one with the neighbors the Toronto Maple Leafs, the second most successful club in the NHL. Previously, there were very heated comparisons with the fellow city teams of the Montreal Maroons and the Québec Nordiques, both teams that have disappeared.