Sunday, August 30, 2009

Captain Kirk’s days with the C were short in Montreal

Muller On August 30,1994, the Montreal Canadiens named Kirk Muller as their captain.

The Kingston native, and former New Jersey Devils captain, was chosen to take over after former captain, Guy Carbonneau, was traded to the St. Louis Blues eleven days earlier.

“This is Kirk Muller’s team now,” said coach Jacques Demers.

Unfortunately, timing is everything and for Muller his time as captain would be short.

A players strike would shorten the 1994-95 NHL season to just 48 games. The season would start on January 21, 1995.

ljcarbomuller Muller and then captain Guy Carbonneau celebrate their ‘93 Cup victory

The Canadiens struggled offensively that season, and Muller’s numbers were down.

Despite a trade made by Serge Savard to acquire Mark Recchi, the Canadiens were still desperate to make the playoffs.

Savard then made another deal, this one involved Muller, Mathieu Schneider and Craig Darby going to the New York Islanders for Pierre Turgeon and Vladimir Malakhov on April 5, 1995.

Although excited to be getting a scorer in Turgeon, fans were shocked and outraged that their captain had be sacrificed to get him.

Teammate Denis Savard said Muller was in near tears eyes when he faced the scrum of reporters and categorized his friend as being "devastated."

Muller, being the classy and professional man he was, kept his composure.

"I'm shocked, but it's a business," said he said. "I enjoyed it here, but life goes on."

In an October 2007 article, by the Montreal Gazette’s Red Fisher, Muller talked more on the trade.

"I was more shocked being traded from here than when I was in New Jersey," Muller said.

"First, I loved it here and I didn't want to go anywhere. I was learning French. We were settled here. I was just named captain. The style was for me. The numbers were there. I was happy. There were no problems. Zero."

Muller retired eight seasons later. After a season as head coach with his hometown Queen’s Golden Gaels (OUA), he became an assistant coach with the Canadiens.

Kirk_Muller2 Muller playing in the Legends Classic game in Montreal

More on Kirk Muller

My interview with him from this past July at Wayne Gretzky’s golf tournament.

Habs Eyes on the Prize looks at the revolving door of Canadiens captains in the mid to late ‘90s.

Muller also does regular speaking engagements and recently joined Montreal-based Luxury Rentals as a promotional associate.

Red Fisher’s afore-mentioned article citing the trade to get Kirk Muller was the tenth best in Canadiens History.

1 comment:

Yves said...

Captain Kirk certainly didn't last too long.

I was sad to see him go so quickly once awarded the "C"... he wasn't the only one to fall after getting that "C" in those years either.

I'm always fond of seeing those guys who were on that '93 cup winning team.

Glad he's still around in Montreal and hope he flourishes with Martin.