The retirement of number 23.
Tonight before the game between the Montreal Canadiens and the Columbus Blue Jackets, the number 23 worn by Bob Gainey will be raised to the roof of the Bell centre.
This will be the 14th jersey retirement in the history of the club. Gainey's number 23 will join the number 9 of Maurice Richard, the number 11 of Guy Lafleur and the number 4 of Jean Beliveau only to name those.
In opposition with the other great players who had their jersey retired, Bob Gainey was not an illustrious goal scorer during his career. His defensive talents and efficiency, his ability to play even injuried, marked his career with the Canadiens.
The National Hockey League instituted the Frank Selke trophy in 1978, a trophy awarded to the forward who demonstrates the most skill in the defensive component of the game. Bob Gainey has won the Frank Selke trophy four years in a row, in 1978, 1979, 1980 and 1981.
Bob Gainey will most probably have a thought for his ex-teammates during the jersey retirement ceremony. One of his main focus as a player, and now as the General Manager of the club, is about team work. Bob Gainey was a strong team player back then and he still believes in the team concept as an important aspect of the game today. For Gainey, nobody can win the Stanley cup by himself.
The personal life of Bob Gainey has also been marked by great tragidies. In 1995, his own wife lost her battle with a brain cancer and more recently in december of 2006, his daughter, Laura Gainey, was lost in the Atlantic ocean when she was swept overboard of a ship during a storm.
As for tonight's game against the Blue Jackets, head coach Guy Carbonneau will send rookie goaltender Carey Price in the net.
(Pictures: Bob Gainey, RDS.ca. Frank Selke trophy.)