Habs honour trio

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:29 AM ET

Three Montreal Canadiens legends -- Dickie Moore, Yvan Cournoyer and Bernie (Boom-Boom) Geoffrion -- will have the greatest respect bestowed upon them by the club.

As expected, the Habs yesterday announced they will retire No. 12, in honour of Moore and Cournoyer, and No. 5, in honour of Geoffrion.

"It's the biggest thrill of my life," Geoffrion said. "I did accomplish a lot with the Canadiens, but I did it with my teammates. I am very proud to be nominated to have my sweater retired."

The Canadiens officially will retire No. 12 on Nov. 12, before a game against the Maple Leafs, and No. 5 on March 11, prior to a game against the New York Rangers.

All three are in the Hall of Fame. Cournoyer won 10 Stanley Cups; Moore and Geoffrion won six each.

The Canadiens have retired seven other numbers -- No. 1 for Jacques Plante; No. 2 for Doug Harvey; No. 4 for Jean Beliveau; No. 7 for Howie Morenz; No. 9 for Maurice Richard; No. 10 for Guy Lafleur; and No. 16 for Henri Richard.

By contrast, the Maple Leafs have retired just two numbers -- No. 5 for Bill Barilko and No. 6 for Ace Bailey, but have honoured Nos. 1, 7, 9, 10 and 27.

The latest sweater retirements are part of the process leading up to the Canadiens' centennial, which will be celebrated in 2009.

"What's happening is unbelievable,"Cournoyer said. "I arrived at the Forum when I was 18 ... it's a dream when you play in the street (as a child) to one day play for the Montreal Canadiens. Thank you so much to all the players I had a chance to play with."

Workhorses on ice

Leafs coach Pat Quinn said he is not worried that the defence pair of Bryan McCabe and Tomas Kaberle is going to burn out because of the ice time it is getting.

"At this point, no," Quinn said.

"Everybody believes it is going to settle down as far as minutes go (coming from special teams play). You do get concerned when you have five games in seven nights."

Going into last night, Kaberle led the league with an average of 29 minutes, 40 seconds a game. McCabe was at 28 minutes, 52 seconds.


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