Ice hockey is nothing short of an institution in Montréal, the city that arguably gave birth to the sport back in the late 19th century. Although variations of the game are said to have been played in other U.S. and Canadian cities as early as 1800, the first organized game of modern hockey was played in Montréal in 1875, and the first official team, the McGill University Hockey Club, was founded in Montréal in 1880. The city’s beloved Montréal Canadiens is the oldest club in the National Hockey League and, as Montrealers are keen to tell you, one of the most successful teams in North American sports history.
McGill University Redmen Hockey. Formed in 1877, this was the first organized hockey club in Canada. It is now one of the top university men's ice hockey programs in Canada, and the Redmen were a Canadian University cup finalist in 2011. Games against cross-town rivals the Concordia Stingers or the UQTR Patriotes are always emotional duels. Home games take place at Percival Molson Stadium. 475 av. des Pins Ouest, Downtown, Montréal, Québec, H2W 1S4. 514/398–7006; www.redmenhockey.com.
Montréal Canadiens. The team meets National Hockey League rivals at the Centre Bell from October through April (and even later if they make the playoffs). The "Habs" (the nickname's taken from Habitants, or early settlers) have won 24 Stanley Cups, although they've been struggling in the standings for several years now and haven't won a cup since the 1992–93 season. Nevertheless, Les Canadiens are a great source of pride to the city's sports fans, and tickets for their local games continue to be a hot commodity. Buy tickets in advance to guarantee a seat. 1909 av. des Canadiens-de-Montréal, Downtown, Montréal, Québec, H3B 5E8. 877/668–8269; 514/790–2525; canadiens.nhl.com.