Birthday Bio: Maurice "Rocket" Richard | Sports | CBC Sports

NHLBirthday Bio: Maurice "Rocket" Richard

Posted: Sunday, August 4, 2013 | 02:45 PM

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Montreal Canadiens great Maurice Montreal Canadiens great Maurice "Rocket" Richard waves to fans as he passes the old Montreal Forum on Mar. 15, 1996. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)

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CBCSports.ca wants to wish a happy birthday to athletes and those other individuals involved in the sports world that left a lasting legacy on their game. Today would be the 92nd birthday of Maurice Richard, one of the NHL's first superstars and cultural icons.
CBCSports.ca wants to wish a happy birthday to athletes and those other individuals involved in the sports world that left a lasting legacy on their game. Today, would be the 92nd birthday of Maurice Richard, one of the NHL's first superstars and cultural icons.

The Rocket was an integral part of the Montreal Canadiens between 1942 and 1960, winning eight Stanley Cups, capturing the Hart Trophy in 1947 and was also the first player to score 50 goals in one season. His legacy, while conceived on the ice, extended much further into Quebecois culture, and one incident in particular in 1955 highlighted his role in the 'Quiet Revolution':



Even the iconic No. 9 sweater Richard wore was a symbol of French-Canadian pride, summed up perfectly by Roch Carrier's children's book "The Hockey Sweater," which was later turned into this animated short by the National Film Board of Canada:



Richard retired in 1960, following what would be the last of an NHL-record five consecutive Stanley Cup wins. His jersey hung from the rafters of the Montreal Forum just six months later, a testament to his legendary status, as was this scene during the Rocket's appearance at the last Habs game played at the Forum in 1996:



Richard passed away in May of 2000 at the age of 78, following a two-year battle with cancer. The hockey great was honoured with a state funeral, the first in Quebec for a non-political figure:



Today, the Rocket's legacy lives on in the NHL as the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy is awarded annually to the player (or players) that score the most goals in a season.

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