Why the Habs?

Having just watched my 'Canes beat the Montreal Canadiens quite handily to take their series, this question has begun to nag at me:

Why do they call the Candiens the Habs? I figure it’s related to the H that is part of their logo, but what does that stand for? Inquiring minds want to know!

From the NHL site:


A nickname for the Montreal Canadiens. The word comes from the French “habitant” (those who live here).

Raleigh, NC.

Hockeytown, USA!

The “H” inside the Canadiens’ “C” is frequently mistaken for meaning “habitant.” The emblem really stands for “Club de Hockey.” (The “C” for “Club” not “Canadien” and the “H” is for “Hockey” not “habitant.”

Correct Dignan. So doesn’t this pose the question how nickname Habs is falsely believed to be represented by the H on the jeresey?

I went on their website but the only reference I found is that when the club officially changed their name to Club de Hockey Canadien they adopted the CH logo.

See November 26, 1917 on link:


All I can say after last night’s game is:
And I don’t even LIKE sports.

More detailed info on the site about the source of the H/Habs mix-up:


I had heard something along the lines of “Habitants of the 1st division” from back when the Canadiens were perenialially (sp?) amongst the leaders of the league