64 Facts About Maurice Richard


Joseph Henri Maurice "Rocket" Richard was a Canadian professional ice hockey player who played 18 seasons in the National Hockey League for the Montreal Canadiens.

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Maurice Richard retired in 1960 as the league's all-time leader in goals with 544.

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Maurice Richard won the Hart Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player in 1947, played in 13 All-Star Games and was named to 14 post-season NHL All-Star teams, eight on the first team.

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In 2017, Maurice Richard was named one of the 100 Greatest NHL Players in history.

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Maurice Richard was a member of eight Stanley Cup championship teams, including a league record five straight between 1956 and 1960; he was the team's captain for the last four.

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Oldest of eight children, Maurice Richard emerged from a poverty-stricken family during the Great Depression and was initially viewed as a fragile player.

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Maurice Richard was a cultural icon among Quebec's francophone population; his legend is a primary motif in Roch Carrier's short story The Hockey Sweater, an emblematic work of Canadian culture.

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In 1998, Maurice Richard was diagnosed with abdominal cancer and died from the disease two years later.

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Maurice Richard was the first non-politician to be honored by the province of Quebec with a state funeral.

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Maurice Richard was the oldest of eight children; he had three sisters: Georgette, Rollande and Marguerite; and four brothers: Rene, Jacques, Henri and Claude.

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Maurice Richard received his first pair of ice skates when he was four, and grew up skating on local rivers and a small backyard ice surface his father created.

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At 16, Maurice Richard dropped out of school to work with his father as a machinist.

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Maurice Richard enrolled in a technical school, intent on earning a trade certificate.

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At 18, Maurice Richard joined the Verdun Juniors, though as a rookie he saw little ice time in the regular season.

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Maurice Richard scored four goals in ten regular season games, and added six goals in four playoff games as Verdun won the provincial championship.

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Maurice Richard met his future wife Lucille Norchet when he was seventeen, when she was nearly fourteen.

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Maurice Richard's was the younger sister of one of his teammates at Bordeaux, and her bright, outgoing personality complemented Richard's reserved nature.

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Maurice Richard suffered a broken wrist after becoming entangled with a defenceman and crashed into the net.

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Maurice Richard made a second attempt to enlist with the military but was again turned down after x-rays revealed that his bones had not healed properly; Richard's ankle was left permanently deformed, forcing him to alter his skating style.

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Maurice Richard led the Canadiens with 32 goals and tallied 54 points, third-best in his team.

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Maurice Richard led the league with 12 playoff goals, including a five-goal effort against the Toronto Maple Leafs in a semi-final game.

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Maurice Richard was named a second team All-Star following the season.

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Maurice Richard achieved the feat despite arriving for the game exhausted from moving into his new home that afternoon.

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Maurice Richard continued scoring at an unprecedented rate, and by February 1945 was approaching Joe Malone's 27-year-old NHL record, set in 1918, of 44 goals in one season.

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Maurice Richard finished the season with 73 points, seven behind Lach and six ahead of Blake, as the Punch line finished first, second and third in league scoring.

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Maurice Richard finished second in the voting for the Hart Trophy as league MVP behind Lach.

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Maurice Richard finished second or third in the Hart Trophy voting a further five times in his career.

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One such incident occurred in the 1947 Stanley Cup Finals when Maurice Richard received a match penalty for striking Toronto's Bill Ezinicki over the head with his stick in a game two loss.

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Maurice Richard was suspended for the third game of the series, which the Maple Leafs won.

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Maurice Richard's season ended early as he missed the final games of the season due to a knee injury.

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Maurice Richard finished second in team scoring with 53 points in 53 games, but Montreal missed the playoffs.

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Maurice Richard failed to score in his following three games as frenzied fans followed each contest in anticipation of the record-breaking marker.

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Maurice Richard was among many in Quebec who believed that Campbell treated French Canadian players more harshly than their English counterparts.

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Maurice Richard retaliated by slashing viciously at Laycoe's head, then punched linesman Cliff Thompson when the official attempted to intervene.

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Maurice Richard's supporters reacted angrily to Campbell: he received several death threats and, upon taking his customary seat at the next Canadiens game, unruly fans pelted him with vegetables, eggs and other debris.

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Maurice Richard had attended the game, but left immediately following the forfeit.

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Frank Selke attempted to persuade him to return to try to disperse the crowd, but Maurice Richard refused, fearing that he would instead further inflame the passions of the mob.

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Maurice Richard never won the point title, finishing second five times in his career.

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Maurice Richard finished the season with 38 goals and 71 points, second on the team in both respects to Jean Beliveau's 47 goals and 88 points.

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Maurice Richard added 14 points in 10 playoff games as Montreal defeated Detroit to claim the Stanley Cup.

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Maurice Richard played only 28 regular season games that season, scoring 34 points, as he missed three months due to a severed Achilles tendon.

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Maurice Richard scored the overtime-winning goal in the fifth game of the finals against Boston.

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Maurice Richard scored 38 points in 42 games, but missed six weeks due to a broken ankle.

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Maurice Richard scored no points in four games in the 1959 Stanley Cup Finals, but recorded a goal and three assists in 1960.

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Maurice Richard had reported to Montreal's training camp that autumn, but Selke compelled Maurice Richard to end his playing career, fearing he was risking serious injury.

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Maurice Richard certainly has been one of the greatest players in the game and we will miss him.

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When teammate Ray Getliffe remarked that Maurice Richard "went in like a rocket" as he approached the opposition goal, Maurice Richard was dubbed "The Rocket" by a local sportswriter; both Baz O'Meara from the Montreal Star and Dink Carroll of the Montreal Gazette have been credited for the appellation.

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Prime of Maurice Richard's career was the era immediately following the Second World War, where battle-hardened players returned to the NHL and implemented a "gladiatorial" style that featured rugged, physical and often violent play.

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Pure goal-scorer, Maurice Richard did not play with finesse, nor was he known for his passing.

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Maurice Richard led the NHL in goals five times, but never in points.

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Maurice Richard was best known for dashing toward the net from the blue line and was equally adept at scoring from his forehand or backhand.

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Maurice Richard's exploits revived a Montreal Canadiens franchise that had struggled to draw fans in the 1930s.

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Maurice Richard was still an active player when Gordie Howe overtook his career record for points.

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Maurice Richard became disgruntled with a role he felt was powerless and only honorary, and resigned one year later.

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Maurice Richard grew estranged from the organization as his desire to be involved in the team's operations was ignored, and the split deepened when the Canadiens forced Frank Selke to retire in 1965.

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Maurice Richard eventually refused to allow his name to be associated with the team.

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Maurice Richard continued to use his name as a promotional vehicle for over 30 years after his retirement.

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Maurice Richard briefly returned to hockey in 1972 as head coach for the Quebec Nordiques of the World Hockey Association.

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Maurice Richard lasted only two games, a win and a loss, before finding himself unable to handle the strain of coaching.

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Maurice Richard reconciled with the Canadiens in 1981 and resumed his team ambassador role.

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Maurice Richard was appointed to the Queen's Privy Council for Canada in 1992.

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Author Roch Carrier explained the passion Maurice Richard elicited from the fans in his 1979 Canadian-classic short story The Hockey Sweater.

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Maurice Richard's popularity persisted late into his life: when introduced as part of the ceremonies following the final hockey game at the Montreal Forum, Maurice Richard was brought to tears by Canadiens' fans, who acknowledged him with an 11-minute standing ovation.

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Maurice Richard Riot has achieved a mythical place in Canadian folklore.

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