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Hockey Legend Pocket Rocket No More

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Hockey Legend Pocket Rocket No More

At each of his appearances on the ice, Henri Richard gave everything he had in his guts to help the Canadian defeat his opponents. It was the same thing during the battle he waged since 2015 against Alzheimer’s disease which finally prevailed, on the night of Thursday to Friday, at the age of 84 years.

Four great captains of the glorious history of the Canadian, Yvan Cournoyer, Jean Béliveau, Henri Richard and Emile “Butch” Bouchard.

The one nicknamed “Pocket Rocket”, because of his difference in age and size with Mauritius, is the only player to have won 11 Stanley Cups. This is an NHL record that may never be broken.

 

There is only one player who has won 11 Stanley Cups in NHL history. This record will not be broken, said Guy Lafleur.

“Henri has always played in the shadow of Mauritius. For him, it was a double pressure to play for the Canadian. But he’s a guy who hated losing, he hated the opponent. That’s why Henri was so successful. ”

Richard ended his career with 358 goals and 688 assists for a total of 1,046 points in 1,259 games all spent in the Canadiens uniform. Besides, he still holds the mark for the greatest number of games played with the Habs.

He was also a captain from 1971 to 1975, when he decided to retire from hockey.

Character

During his career, Richard brought many great moments to fans of the Canadiens. One of these occurred in the Stanley Cup final in 1971.

At that time, number 16 already had nine champion rings on his fingers. The series against the Chicago Blackhawks did not go as planned for Richard.

His coach at the time Al MacNeil used it sporadically. The Quebec striker didn’t like it at all. During the fifth game against their big rivals, MacNeil decided to nail his veteran to the bench. Richard had not hesitated to let his trainer know his dissatisfaction.

Hockey Legend Pocket Rocket No More
Hockey Legend Pocket Rocket No More

The Canadian lost the game before inducing a final match with a win in game six. Then, during the seventh confrontation, Richard decided to leave his mark on his 10 th career conquest.

Maurice richard

His coach at the time Al MacNeil used it sporadically. The Quebec striker didn’t like it at all. During the fifth game against their big rivals, MacNeil decided to nail his veteran to the bench. Richard had not hesitated to let his trainer know his dissatisfaction.

The Canadian lost the game before inducing a final match with a win in game six. Then, during the seventh confrontation, Richard decided to leave his mark on his 10 th career conquest.

A constant effort

Like all sporting legends, Richard had that presence that set him apart from other hockey players. He hated defeat and had an unusual hatred for his opponents. A real warrior.

He did not hesitate to give sound advice to the young players on the team. He was not a fan of big talk in the locker room. Richard preferred to set an example on the ice.

“If he had something to say to someone, he did not go through all four ways. It was clear, direct, crisp and precise, said Lafleur. Some people sometimes found him cranky, but he had to be discovered and known. He was also a deadly deadpan. ”

Jean-Guy Talbot and Richard have been teammates for 12 seasons with the Canadiens. Their relationship quickly overtook sport.

“We were great, great friends, but it is rare to come back to hockey. […] When we finished playing hockey, we were still together, he said. When the club was not playing too well, we were pretty good marabouts. We had a lot of fun. ”

Small, but fiery

Born February 29, 1936 in Montreal, Henri came from a family of eight children. During his adolescence, he aimed to grow with the Canadian with his brother Maurice.

He kicked his first skate at the age of 15 with the Montreal National in the Quebec Junior Hockey League which later became the QMJHL. After two seasons, he made the jump to the Montreal Canadian junior. He has won two scoring championships in three campaigns.

Despite his exploits, his coach Elmer Lach believed that he did not have the physique (5 feet 7 inches and 160 lbs) to be successful in the NHL. In the 1950s, teams opted for the robust game to win matches. It was bad knowing who would become the “Pocket Rocket” a few years later.

Hockey Legend Pocket Rocket No More
Hockey Legend Pocket Rocket No More

He made his NHL debut at the age of 19. Despite rumors that he had received his invitation to training camp due to the presence of his brother Maurice, he demonstrated that he had the skills required to play with the best. In his first campaign, he swung a trio, flanked by Bernard Geoffrion and Dickie Moore.

To make his place in the circuit, he had not hesitated to drop the gloves several times. He had shown courage by often engaging in fights with more imposing adversaries than him. He was equally combative along the ramps. It became his trademark which followed him throughout his career.

Reactions from everywhere

The death of Richard provoked reactions in all spheres during the day yesterday.

“I offer my sympathies to the family and loved ones of our captain, our legend, Mr. Henri Richard.

The NHL commissioner also highlighted Richard’s exploits on his circuit.

“Henri Richard was one of the giants of the sport,” said Gary Bettman in a press release. The entire NHL family mourns this incomparable winner, leader, gentleman and ambassador of our sport and of the Montreal Canadiens. ”

Current Canadian striker Tomas Tatar also wanted to pay tribute to Richard during a post on Instagram.

“It was an honor to wear the No. 16 Henri Richard jersey during the warm-up earlier this season,” he wrote. To this day, Henri is still the one to have played the most games on the team and the only NHL player to have won 11 Stanley Cups. He was a true champion who played with passion and intensity. ”

No burning chapel

Jean Béliveau and Maurice Richard were given fiery chapels several days after their deaths. This will not be the case for Henri Richard.

The Canadian offered it to the family of his legend, but they preferred to live his mourning in privacy. The funeral will therefore be reserved for family, friends and loved ones.

Henri Richard takes with him an important chapter in the history of the Canadian with his 11 Stanley Cup rings. It represented well the expression “our bruised arms hold out the torch to you”. He will have left an indelible mark on the Montreal organization.

 

 

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