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Inspiring Canadians - In Sport and Life

Honoured Member

HENRI RICHARD

Inducted in 1992

Member Details

Date of Birth: February 29, 1936
Place of Birth: Montreal, Quebec
Sport: Ice Hockey
Member Category: Athlete

Career Highlights

1955-75

won a record eleven Stanley Cups

Honoured Member HENRI RICHARD
Inspire

Story

When he first joined the NHL in 1955, Henri Richard was known simply as the smaller, less talented kid brother of the great Maurice. By the time he retired after the injury-plagued '74-'75 season, he was a sure hall of famer who had won more Stanley Cups than anyone in the game's history. Such was the career of the great "Pocket Rocket." Henri was tested every game during his rookie season. He was forced to stand up for himself, and sometimes Maurice got into the act to stand up for him and with him. Because Maurice was 15 years older, he was more an idol than a brother to Henri who never played road hockey with Maurice or shared the same bedroom or played with the same friends. But after one season and 19 goals, the league knew Henri was just as tough as his brother and although he didn't score at the same rate as Maurice, he was still a great player in his own right. Making life easier for Henri was that he was joining a team loaded with talent, from goalie Jacques Plante to brother Maurice, from Jean Beliveau and Bernie Geoffrion. Henri won his first five Cups in his first five seasons, the greatest dynasty in NHL history. Although Maurice retired in 1960, Henri didn't suffer on ice for the loss of his brother. He continued to score about 20 goals a year, and after enduring the Leafs' dynasty of the early '60s he and the Habs quietly won four Cups of their own in the same decade. Henri didn't have the same "fire in the eyes" as Maurice and he wasn't the best player inside the other team's blueline. His game centred more on overall play. Henri was a sensational passer and fine two-way player. He stayed out of the penalty box and he was quicker on his feet. Henri twice led the league in assists (1957-58, '62-'63) Henri became team captain in 1971 after the retirement of Beliveau. He also is part of the rarest of groups, having scored two Cup-winning goals, the first in 1966, the second five years later. He won only one individual award (the Bill Masterton, in 1974) and was a First Team all-star only once (1957-58), but he played at a consistently high level for 20 years and was the greatest winner the game has known. Long after he retired he remained in Maurice's shadows, but Henri was the one who reached 1,000 career points, played more games, and won more Cups. He was every bit a superstar in his own right.


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