Other Free Encyclopedias » Famous Sports Stars » Hockey » Maurice Richard Biography - Native Son Of Montreal, First Of Eight Stanley Cup Victories In 1944, Chronology, Awards And Accomplishments

Maurice Richard - Native Son Of Montreal

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Joseph Henry Maurice Richard was born on August 4, 1921 in Montreal, Quebec. The oldest child of Onesime, a carpenter for the Canadian Pacific Railway, and Alice Richard, Maurice grew up in a rough neighborhood in Montreal's north end, where the Richard family house sat next to a city jail. Richard began playing hockey in his neighborhood when he was about four years old and played in the city's athletic leagues through his teens. After playing in junior hockey leagues while studying to be a machinist at the Montreal Technical School, Richard joined the Montreal Canadiens organization in 1940 and was sent to play for its minor-league affiliate, the Montreal Royals. Although he scored a goal in his first game with the team, Richard suffered a broken ankle when his skate got caught in a rut on the ice. He sat out the rest of the season.

Returning to the Royals for the 1941-42 season, Richard lasted thirty-one games before another injury—this time, a broken wrist—put him out of action. He had healed sufficiently to rejoin the team for the playoffs, where he scored six goals. The performance was impressive enough to get Richard called up to the Canadiens for the start of the 1942-43 season. Signed as a free agent in October 1942, he was again made inactive when he broke his ankle after just sixteen games. Given the recurring injuries, Canadiens general manager Tommy Gorman had doubts about Richard's future on the team. In the midst of World War II, however, there was a lack of available players to join the roster; Richard himself had attempted to enlist twice in the Canadian Armed Forces but was deferred because of his numerous injuries. With the Canadiens mired in fourth place in the then-six-team NHL at the end of the season, there was little choice but to let Richard rejoin the team for the 1943-44 season.

Maurice Richard - First Of Eight Stanley Cup Victories In 1944 [next]

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