Richard possessed a short temper and seldom refused a challenge or left an attack unanswered. In March 1955 he struck Boston Bruin player Hal Laycoe with his stick and attacked a linesman who intervened. His suspension for the rest of the year by NHL president Clarence CAMPBELL was considered an outrage by Montréal fans. Campbell was attacked at the Montréal Forum on St Patrick's Day and the violence spilled into the streets in the worst sports riot in Canadian history. It was indicative of the passionate devotion Richard inspired.
Richard's career ended in 1960 after he suffered a severed Achilles tendon. His 544 goals in regular-season play was an NHL record on his retirement and his 82 goals in Stanley Cup play remained a record until broken by Mike Bossy in 1986. Richard was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1961, and in a Centennial ceremony was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1967. In February 1999 the NHL unveiled a new trophy, the MAURICE "ROCKET" RICHARD TROPHY, to be awarded annually to the league's highest goal scorer. The first winner was Teemu Selanne of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.
Author JAMES MARSH
Links to Other Sites
Admired in life, revered in death
A tribute to hockey legend Maurice Richard from the CBC Digital Archives.
Watch the Heritage Minute about Rocket Richard from the Historica-Dominion Institute. See also related online learning resources.
A synopsis of the book "The Rocket: A Cultural History of Maurice Richard," by Benoît Melançon. From Greystone Books.
A biography of hockey great Maurice Richard. From the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online.