Richard Winston "Dickie" Moore - Born January 6, 1931 in Montreal, Quebec - Died December 19, 2015 in Montreal, Quebec was a Canadian professional Hockey player.
"Our family built a rink right beside our house. We used to bring the firetruck in and they'd water the rink for us. All the kids in the area used to come and skate there. My brothers taught me to skate and taught me the game,"
Moore played a partial season with the Montreal Junior Royals in 1947-48, but became a full-time member the following year. In 1948-49, with Dickie's offensive prowess more than evident, the Royals went on to become the first Memorial Cup champions from Quebec. "We eliminated the Barrie Flyers, we beat Halifax then and we beat the favoured Brandon Wheat Kings," Dickie recalls. While playing with the Royals, Moore attracted NHL attention. "Jo Jo Graboski came by. He was a scout for the Toronto Maple Leafs. He said, 'Are you interested in joining us?' I said, 'Sure.' He said, 'We'll get in touch with you.' Frankie Orlando was looking through the bus window and knew Graboski. He went to Frank Selke and said, 'Watch out! The Leafs are after Dickie!' I was working at the CPR at the time and Selke called me up and said, 'Can I see you?' I said, 'I can't get away from work.' I had a feeling why he wanted to see me and I was waiting for the Leafs to call me." Nonetheless, the Canadiens registered Dickie Moore as their property.
The next season, the NHL's Montreal Canadiens stacked their Junior Canadiens' club, with Moore moved from the Junior Royals to the Junior Canadiens. For a second straight season, Dickie collected better than a point per game, and for a second consecutive season, he was part of a Memorial Cup championship. "It was a great league. A lot of fun; a lot of challenges," smiles Moore.
The parent Montreal Canadiens summoned Dickie to join them during the 1951-52 season. "I joined the Canadiens at Christmas in '51. I joined a great line — 'Rocket' Richard and Elmer Lach." Dickie contributed 18 goals and 33 points in less than half a season in his debut NHL campaign. "I stayed there (with Richard and Lach) for awhile and then Elmer retired and Jackie Leclair centred the 'Rocket' and me and after that, the 'Pocket' (Henri Richard) came along. I played nine seasons with the Pocket and the Rocket."
Dickie flourished with the Canadiens. In his sophomore season, he was part of his first Stanley Cup championship, beating the Bruins for NHL supremacy in 1952-53. Then, from 1955-56 to 1959-60, the Montreal Canadiens won the Stanley Cup in five successive seasons.
Moore led the NHL with 36 goals and won the scoring championship with 84 points in 1957-58 despite playing the final three months of the season with a cast on his broken wrist. His resolve to carry on regardless of the hardships incurred was an integral part of his personality.
The following season, Moore was both the assist and point leader (55 and 96 respectively), Moore also led all playoff scorers with 17 points in 11 games, as his team won the Stanley Cup.
The 96-point effort broke Gordie Howe's league record and ended up as the second-highest single-season total of the pre-expansion era. Moore was selected to the NHL First All-Star Team both years he won the scoring championship.
Moore won his first Art Ross Trophy in 1958 and the second in 1959.
"It was quite an honour to be part of the Canadiens' dynasty, but the big thing was when Toe Blake became coach. He made a big difference in the team' fortunes but he made a huge difference in my career. A couple of years before, Toe Blake said, 'The best thing that could happen to you is to get traded.' The coach at that time (Dick Irvin) and he and I didn't get along too well. Toe saw this and said it would be better for me and maybe for the team." Dickie continues to express his appreciation for the role Toe Blake played in his career with Montreal. "When Toe became coach, I was elated. He kept me on the team. I was lucky to have a guy who believed in me. You're only as good as how somebody can lift you up to the heights where he thinks you can play. Toe Blake had that in him. When he joined the team, we went on to win five consecutive Stanley Cup (championships), and I was fortunate to win two scoring championships I attribute that to the coach."
Perhaps the greatest thing Moore brought to the ice was a feisty competitiveness. Though not big in stature, standing 5’ 10” and weighing 165 pounds, he earned the nickname of “Digging Dickie”. This came about as a result of his aggressive play. He could skate very well, was an excellent puck handler, and a very good shooter. He also was a pretty good scrapper who never shied away from fighting his bigger opponents.
This same aggressiveness would lead to many injuries which cut his regular seasons short. Some of the more major injuries were shoulder separations, knee surgeries, broken wrists and hands.
Despite many injuries that caused him to miss a host of regular-season games, Moore was always ready to compete in the post-season.
But after twelve seasons, six Stanley Cup championships, two scoring titles and six seasons with better than twenty goals, Dickie Moore's career in Montreal came to a conclusion. "The Canadiens were going to trade me after twelve years. I refused. I said, 'Nobody trades me. I can make a living where I am. I had started a rental business in 1961 during my career. The Canadiens were getting fed up with me and I said, 'Look, I'm giving you 100%.' That year, I had scored 24 goals, but they decided to get rid of me. My salary was up too high and they could get a kid for $7,500. That's what I started for. My final salary with the Canadiens was $21,500." Dickie was hurt by the corporate decision. Deeply hurt. "It was a surprise. I didn't think it was fair. I had scored 24 goals the previous year. I said to Mr. Selke, 'Am I the culprit? Are you blaming our loss to the Leafs on me?' I didn't think that was right. Selke gave me a lot of accolades about my career but I got mad. I drove to Ottawa to see my brother Tommy. I told him I was upset. I said, 'I'll show them. I can build a business and make a living.' I started the business in 1961. That was my goal. The business is very successful." Dickie Moore Rentals is one of the more successful companies renting, leasing and selling heavy equipment.
Dickie retired and ran his burgeoning business while his former teammates skated through the 1963-64 campaign. But a crafty Punch Imlach, general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, gambled on Moore and claimed him in the 1964 Intra-League Draft. "When Punch Imlach drafted me, the Canadiens got mad at me, thinking I had orchestrated it. I was hurt (at the suggestion). They asked me to reconsider, but I told them, 'No. You let me go. I told you I still wanted to play Hockey.' I got a call from King Clancy (of the Leafs) who told me I'd been claimed by the Leafs and asked me if I'd consider playing. I said, 'Sure, I'll consider,' and I asked to meet Punch. I had called some friends to find out about Punch Imlach. I called Jean Beliveau and I called Bert Olmstead and they gave me the lowdown. They told me he was a great person and a great coach. Let me tell you something, I never met a nicer person."
Moore played in 38 games for the Toronto Maple Leafs scoring 2 goals with 4 assists, adding 2 points it the playoffs. He retired for a second time, but came back a second time.
Away from the rink and busy overseeing his rental business between 1965 and '67, Dickie was shocked to be summoned back to the National Hockey League in December 1967. "I was playing with the Oldtimers in Montreal once a week," he starts. "During that time, I got a call from Cliff Fletcher, who was working with Scotty (Bowman) in St. Louis. I knew Cliff from the Montreal days. He said, 'Scotty wants to know if you'd make a comeback.' I said, 'I don't know, Cliff. I got my business going.' But I went around to some of my customers and they said, 'Dickie, we'll support you 100%. Go and play hockey.' I had so much support from my customers to make a comeback."
Moore worked hard to attempt a comeback with the expansion St. Louis Blues. "I lost twenty pounds to make the comeback, practicing by myself. I picked up a youngster to act as a goaltender. I did a lot of skating and decided to go play with them." The team was littered with former Canadiens, including Red Berenson, Jean-Guy Talbot and Jimmy Roberts. Scotty Bowman was behind the bench. "My first game was in Los Angeles. I flew from Montreal to Los Angeles. I had my winter coat on when I arrived at the hotel," Dickie laughs.
Moore played twenty-seven games for St. Louis, scoring 5 goals and 3 assists. But the Blues surprised all, and backstopped by veteran Glenn Hall, went to the Stanley Cup final against the familiar Montreal Canadiens. Although the Blues were swept in four straight games, they bowed out proudly with a gutsy effort, and Dickie Moore concluded his NHL career with a terrific finale.
Moore retired at the end of the 1968 playoffs, having accumulated 261 goals, 347 assists and 608 points in 719 NHL regular season games, plus 46 goals, 64 assists and 110 points in 135 playoff contests.
Dickie Moore was Inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame in 1974
- NHL First Team All-Star — 1958, 1959
- NHL Second Team All-Star — 1961
- Played in NHL All-Star Game 6 times
- Art Ross Trophy winner — 1958, 1959
- Stanley Cup Champion — 1953, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960
- Inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame in 1974
- Most regular season points in one NHL season - 96 surpassed by Bobby Hull in 1966 (97 points)
Current record held by Wayne Gretzky who scored 215 points in 1986)