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Maurice Richard - Five Consecutive Stanley Cup Victories

Famous Sports StarsHockeyMaurice Richard Biography - Native Son Of Montreal, First Of Eight Stanley Cup Victories In 1944, Chronology, Awards And Accomplishments

Five Consecutive Stanley Cup Victories

The infamous conclusion of the 1954-55 season fueled Richard's desire for another Stanley Cup victory. The Canadiens indeed won the 1956 championship over the Red Wings in a four-to-one game series. Thus began one of the greatest hockey dynasties in the sport's history, as the team went on to win five consecutive championships. In all Richard contributed to eight Stanley Cup victories by the Canadiens in his eighteen years with the team.

Ironically, the Canadiens' success from 1956 to 1960 occurred when Richard's skills were being dimmed by age. At the conclusion of the 1959-60 season, Richard announced his retirement. Within a year, in contradiction of the rule mandating a five-year waiting period for retired players, Richard was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. He continued to work for the Canadiens for a brief period, but tensions with the team's owners left him disillusioned. He instead worked as a sporting goods salesman for several years until the Canadiens lured him back with an offer to serve as the team's goodwill ambassador.

Maurice "Rocket" Richard

Of course, he was much more than "just a hockey player." It wasn't just that he was a winner during his eighteen seasons with the Canadiens, it was the way he won. He could lift a team, a province, and at times even a country into a frenzy of winning. He pushed himself to the brink, and when he and the team won, "his people" imagined themselves winners as well—even if it was for only a little while. When he was Number One, they were too. When he lost, they lost. It's why "his people" erupted into what will always be remembered as the Richard Riot on March 17, 1955. The reason? After clubbing Hal Laycoe of the Boston Bruins with his stick, Richard had been suspended for the last few games of the regular season and for the entire playoffs.

With Richard, the eyes had it. They were coal-black, wet, and shining with the intensity he brought to every game. No wonder he lit up every arena in which he performed. It was the menace implicit in him each time he swooped in on an opposing goaltender, often with another player clinging to his back. It was in his arms and in the barrel of his chest which threatened to burst his sweater at any moment. It was in the tight line of his mouth, and in the snarl it formed when he was challenged.

Source: Red Fisher, Hockey, Heroes, and Me, McClelland & Stewart, 1994.

Career Statistics

Yr Team GP G A Pts PIM
Canadiens: Montreal Canadiens (NHL).
1942-43 Canadiens 16 5 6 11 4
1943-44 Canadiens 46 32 22 54 45
1944-45 Canadiens 50 50 23 73 46
1945-46 Canadiens 50 27 21 48 50
1946-47 Canadiens 60 45 26 71 69
1947-48 Canadiens 53 28 25 53 89
1948-49 Canadiens 59 20 18 38 110
1949-50 Canadiens 70 43 22 65 114
1950-51 Canadiens 65 42 24 66 97
1951-52 Canadiens 48 27 17 44 44
1952-53 Canadiens 70 28 33 61 112
1953-54 Canadiens 70 37 30 67 112
1954-55 Canadiens 67 38 36 74 125
1955-56 Canadiens 70 38 33 71 89
1956-57 Canadiens 63 33 29 62 74
1957-58 Canadiens 28 15 19 34 28
1958-59 Canadiens 42 17 21 38 27
1959-60 Canadiens 51 19 16 35 50
TOTAL 978 544 421 965 1285

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