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Maurice Richard

Joseph Henri Maurice Richard (August 4, 1921 - May 27, 2000), better known as Maurice "the Rocket" Richard, was a professional hockey player.

He was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and played for the Montreal Canadiens from 1942 to 1960.

- Maurice Richard -
Richard was the first to score 50 goals in one season (1944-45) (the six-team NHL had a shorter 50-game season then) and the first to player to score 500 goals in a career. He played on eight Stanley Cup teams in Montreal, and eight times was elected to the first all-star team and six times to the second team. He scored 544 career goals.

Maurice Richard was the quintessential Montreal hero in his time. He pulled off a five-goal game after a day spent moving house - including the piano - in 1944, and scored the goal that won the Stanley Cup in 1952 as blood dripped down his face from an earlier injury. In March 1955, Richard punched a linesman in a dispute during a game. NHL President Clarence Campbell suspended him for the rest of the season, wrecking the Canadiens' chances in the playoffs. When Campbell showed up for the hockey game the following night, the fans erupted into the street in the worst riot in Canadian sports history. The Canadiens indeed failed to win the Cup that year.

Richard's career began and ended before the era of huge salaries for sports figures. The biggest yearly salary he ever made was $25,000.

In 1999, the Maurice 'Rocket' Richard Trophy was donated by the Montreal Canadiens hockey club to the NHL to be awarded annually to the goal-scoring leader during the regular season.

Although long retired by the time of his death in 2000, Maurice Richard's state funeral was attended by throngs lining the streets. His jersey number 9 was retired long ago by the Canadiens. A minor league hockey team is also named after him, the Rocket de Montreal (in 2003-04 this team moved to Prince Edward Island).

On June 27, 2001, the Canadian government unveiled a monument in Jacques-Cartier Park, in Hull, Quebec honouring Maurice Richard.

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