Montreal Canadiens great Dickie Moore dead at 84
Habs say Hall of Famer died Saturday morning
Montreal Canadiens great Dickie Moore is dead at 84, the team announced Saturday.
The team says Moore died Saturday morning in Montreal.
The Hall of Famer spent most of his 14-year NHL career with the Canadiens, wearing number 12.
Moore played left wing for the Habs from 1951 to 1963, winning six Stanley Cups and the Art Ross Trophy for the most regular season points twice, in 1958 and 1959.
Moore scored 261 goals and had 347 assists in 719 regular season games over his career. He added 110 points — 46 goals and 64 assists — in 135 career playoff games.
There was no immediate word on the cause of death.
Team alumni association president Réjean Houle said Moore had been ill for three months and was living in a seniors home.
"We lost an idol from the 1950s," Houle said. "He won five Stanley Cups in a row. He was a great warrior."
Moore is survived by his daughter Lianne, his son John and their spouses and several grandchildren. There was no immediate word on funeral plans.
It is with great sadness that the Montreal Canadiens have learned the passing of Mr. Dickie Moore earlier today. <a href="https://t.co/S62q3KZ8bH">https://t.co/S62q3KZ8bH</a>—@CanadiensMTL
Moore 'tough and relentless'
Moore was a gritty goal-scorer and playmaker on the Canadiens dynasty of the 1950s, even if he wasn't quite
as famous as some of his legendary teammates.
His heart was almost too big for his own good. Anything less than playing all-out was unacceptable.- Red Fisher
He was too often a footnote in tales of the great Habs teams that won those five championships in a row from 1956 to 1960, a group that boasted Maurice (Rocket) Richard, Jean Béliveau, Bernard (Boom Boom) Geoffrion, Doug Harvey and goalie Jacques Plante.
That is despite the fact that Moore led the NHL in scoring twice and that some, including Boston Bruins coach and general manager Harry Sinden, said he may have been the best of them all.
While not the fastest skater, Moore was an offensive force who was also tough as nails. He spent several of his 12 seasons in Montreal patrolling the left wing on a line with the Richard brothers, Maurice and Henri.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman released a statement Saturday, saying that Moore was a player of great skill and even-greater heart.
"[He was] someone admired on the ice for his will to win and adored in the community for his commitment to good deeds. A six-time Stanley Cup winner and two-time scoring champion, Dickie Moore refused to let injuries stop him from reaching remarkable heights of success," added Bettman.
"As we mourn his passing, the National Hockey League family sends our deepest condolences to his family and his many friends inside and outside of the game."
Legendary hockey writer Red Fisher wrote this of Moore in 2005:
"Moore, the player, was like the Park-Extension district in which he grew up: tough and relentless. His heart was almost too big for his own good. Anything less than playing all-out was unacceptable. He was a grim, unflinching athlete with strong ideas of what was needed to win. If fighting was needed, Moore would fight. If playing with pain was needed, nobody had to ask him twice."
It was in 1955-56 that he blossomed into a top player under the guidance of coach Toe Blake, to whom he felt indebted.
"I was lucky to have a guy who believed in me," Moore told the Hockey Hall of Fame website. "You're only as good as how somebody can lift you up to the heights where he thinks you can play. Toe Blake had that in him."
Moore told CBC News in 2009 that he "never had a better time for 12 straight years" when he played for the Canadiens.
"We played as a team, a family really, and everybody helped each other. This was the part that made our team."
Moore retired after the 1962-63 season, came back for 38 games with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1964-65, and retired again only to make one last comeback with the St. Louis Blues expansion team in 1967-68, a Scotty Bowman-coached squad that reached the Stanley Cup final partly due to Moore's 14 post-season points.
He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1974. He and teammate Yvan Cournoyer shared the retirement of the No. 12 jersey by the Montreal Canadiens.
With files from The Canadian Press