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Montreal Canadiens turn the page on pocket calendars … for good

They were once a fixture at the local convenience store and ended up tucked into the pockets of Montreal Canadiens fans seeking to keep tabs on their favourite team.

But modernity has claimed the pocket calendar, as the hockey club this year became the last Canadian team to do away with the schedule.

The chief sponsor of the calendar – Molson Coors Brewing Co. – says technology and environmental considerations have rendered the calendar obsolete.

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“It’s not about the cost, it’s really an environmental question because in 2018, everyone has the calendar on their smartphone, on their computer,” Molson Coors spokesman François Lefebvre said.

Lefebvre said technology has led to a drop in interest in the tiny calendars that listed every Habs game.

“We preferred to invest in other strategic areas when it came to the Canadiens,” Lefebvre said.

The calendar remained popular despite its simplicity: Molson printed and distributed 1.1 million last season and had 250,000 returned, meaning 850,000 were snapped up.

Lefebvre said the Canadiens were the last of the Canadian NHL teams to do away with their pocket calendar.

Molson used to produce similar schedules for the Edmonton Oilers, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Ottawa Senators.

Paul Wilson, the Canadiens’ vice-president communications, said he endorsed the decision to scrap the calendar, albeit with a heavy heart.

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“I used to pick one up when I’d buy gas. We all kept a little calendar in our pockets, and it was super useful,” he told The Canadian Press. “But we’re in a world where if we want to be environmentally responsible, we’ve got to make decisions like this.”

Wilson said the team’s plan is to become paperless.

In 2017, the Canadiens added a surcharge for ticket holders wanting paper tickets, upsetting some fans.

Other subtle changes have begun in the press box, where the team is cutting down on what Wilson calls the “mind-blowing” amount of paper documents given to journalists over the course of the season – even though the information is all available online.

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