Henri Richard, the hockey player who has won the most Stanley Cups in NHL history, died of a long illness on Friday night. He was 84 years old.
Richard’s little brother is no more. If the Rocket had broken all the individual records of the time, the Pocket Rocket, for its part, holds THE record that will never be broken: that of having won the Stanley Cup 11 times.
Back on the brilliant career of an inspiring and underestimated player.
Henri Richard is no more, but his record of 11 Stanley Cup victories will probably never be erased.
“Nobody is going to beat that, it’s impossible,” said Richard himself in 2009. I say it unpretentious. There are too many teams, 30, and the right players are too scattered.
“I was fortunate to win the Cup in my first five seasons in the National League. It starts a career well. “
To say that the Canadian had invited Henri Richard to the Canadian’s camp, in 1955, to please his brother Maurice!
“We didn’t know him at all at the start of camp,” said coach Toe Blake. But in the end, we couldn’t demote him. We only knew one thing: his reaction to the rough game. We did not want Maurice to have to continually defend himself. “
Henri Richard, at 5’7 and 160 pounds, demonstrated that he could take care of himself. He has already fought four fights in one game in Boston, in one of his 1436 matches in the National League, all under the colors of the Canadian.
“People said I couldn’t carve out an NHL position,” remembered Richard, born February 29, 1936 in Montreal. Me, I would not have thought possible, because of the 15 years of difference between us, that I would play five years with Maurice.
“Maurice was thinking of retiring, but he decided to continue because he wanted to play with me. With each conquest of the Cup, he decided to stay for another season. He retired after the fifth. “
Maurice and Henri did not act like brothers in the locker room or on the ice. “I don’t think Maurice ever said a word to me. He never told me that I had made a good game, that I had scored a beautiful goal. He never told me. “
The two were taciturn. Rudy Pilous, head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks, once asked Blake if Henri Richard spoke English. “Uh! I don’t even know if he’s talking! Blake replied.
Incompetence and competence
Maurice was above all a marker and Henri, a ferryman. Henri dominated the NHL in assists for two seasons, in 1957-1958 and 1962-1963.
Henri nevertheless scored the winning goal in the final game of the final in 1966 and 1971. In 1971, against the Blackhawks, he even managed the equalizing and winning goals in Chicago. The Canadian then wiped out a 3-2 deficit in the series and 2-0 in the tiebreaker.
Henri Richard and won the Stanley Cup on October 1 th time. “It’s the one that gives me the greatest joy,” he said to media. At the start of the playoffs, we were given so little chance that it wasn’t even funny. It is good to come from the back and plunge your head into the champagne. “
Furious at playing so infrequently, Henri Richard had created a concussion at the end of the fifth game in the final by lambasting head coach Al MacNeil, who had succeeded Claude Ruel in mid-season. “He’s an incompetent,” had launched.