Hockey Gods



Uploaded By: PRESIDENT on October 18th, 2017

Joseph Henri Richard - Born February 29, 1936 in Montreal, Quebec - Died March 6, 2020 in Laval (Montreal), Quebec was Canadian ice Hockey centre.

Henri Richard played all of his Hockey career in his hometown of Montreal, and his first junior team was the Montreal Nationale in 1951.

Henri then played with the Montreal Junior Canadiens in 1953-54 and 1954-55, Henri led the Quebec Junior Hockey League in scoring both years.

He joined the parent Montreal Canadiens at the beginning of the 1955-56 season. "Because of the age difference, I didn't think it would be possible but I played with my brother for five years (1955-1960). Maurice used to say that if I hadn't been there, he wouldn't have played that long." Yet, while the siblings shared the same dressing room and the same parents, that was the extent of things the two men shared. "We never talked about the game together. If I made a few mistakes while I was playing with him, he never complained. He never said anything. He never said, 'You should have done this or you should have done that.' There were a lot of people who told me that playing with Maurice was going to add a lot of pressure but I never felt any pressure. I never thought about my brother Maurice being a big star. It was normal for me. I was only 19 when I came up (to the Canadiens), and Montreal had a lot of great players; it wasn't just Maurice. Beliveau was there. Boom Boom Geoffrion and Doug Harvey were there. Jacques Plante was in the net. It was always a great thrill."

As it turned out, the end of the dynasty coincided with Richard entering the prime of his career. His excellence on the ice helped Montreal enjoy much success in the 1960s. They won the Stanley Cup in 1965, 1966, 1968 and 1969 to fall only one championship shy of the miraculous 1950s. On May 5, 1966, Richard notched the biggest goal of his career when he scored the winner at 2:20 of overtime against Detroit to clinch the Canadiens' second consecutive Stanley Cup.

Henri Richard proved his worth to the Montreal Canadiens' franchise time and time again. Twice, he led the NHL in assists, and Henri bettered the 50-point mark on fourteen occasions. He was a First All-Star selection in 1958 and was named to the Second All-Star Team in 1959, 1961 and 1963.

During the 1971 finals versus the Chicago Black Hawks, he showed he could still be an impact player. In the seventh and deciding game of the series, Richard scored the tying and winning goals to sink the Black Hawks 3-2 and bring Montreal its fifth Stanley Cup in seven years. Following the retirement of Jean Beliveau in 1971, Henri was named captain of the Montreal Canadiens and hoisted the Stanley Cup on behalf of his teammates in 1973.

Henri Richard was presented with the Bill Masterton Trophy after the 1974 season, which his honoured his career with 11 Stanley Cup championships.

Henri Richard retired following the 1975 playoffs, where his Canadiens were eliminated by the Buffalo Sabres.

Henri Richard was a tireless skater. Smooth and fast, the Pocket Rocket employed his superior skating ability to beat opposing teams, and was renowned for his excellent stickhandling and playmaking abilities.

Through a team record 1,256 games, all played in le bleu, blanc et rouge of the only team with which Henri ever wanted to play, he scored 358 goals, 688 assists and collected 1,046 points, third in team history behind Guy Lafleur (1,246) and Beliveau (1,219).

But even more remarkable is a record owned by Henri Richard that is unlikely ever to be broken. The skilled centre played on 11 Stanley Cup-winning teams, more than anyone else in NHL history.

Henri Richard was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1979.

Henri Richard was elected to Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 1991.

On January 1, 2017, in a ceremony prior to the Centennial Classic, Richard was part of the first group of players to be named one of the '100 Greatest NHL Players' in history.

Credited to David Bier.


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