||This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. (October 2010)|
|Hockey Hall of Fame, 1979|
February 29, 1936 |
Montreal, QC, CAN
|Height||5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)|
|Weight||160 lb (73 kg; 11 st 6 lb)|
|Played for||Montreal Canadiens|
Joseph Henri Richard (born February 29, 1936) is a former professional ice hockey player who played centre with the Montreal Canadiens in the National Hockey League (NHL) from 1955 to 1975. He was the brother of hockey legend Maurice 'The Rocket' Richard and consequently, because he was 15 years younger and three inches shorter, he was given the nickname The Pocket-Rocket.
The two Richard brothers' style of play was quite different. While Maurice shot left (left hand lower on the stick), Henri shot right. Maurice played right wing and Henri played centre. Henri led the league in assists in 1957–58 and 1962–63, a feat never matched by Maurice though the latter had led the league in goals five times. Lastly, Henri totaled over 1000 points, a mark never reached by Maurice.
Henri won 11 Stanley Cups, more than any other player in NHL history. Former teammate and predecessor as team captain Jean Béliveau has 17 Stanley Cup titles, but only 10 as a player (the other 7 as an executive). Only one other athlete in North American professional sports has achieved winning eleven championships in his respective league - Bill Russell of the NBA's Boston Celtics.
In 1957–58, he was named to the First All-Star Team and in 1959 he was named to the Second All-Star Team. In his career, he scored 358 goals and earned 688 assists in 1256 games. His 1256 regular-season games played in a Canadiens uniform are a franchise record.
He scored the Stanley Cup clinching goal at the 2:20 mark of the first overtime of Game Six in the 1966 Stanley Cup Finals against the Detroit Red Wings. In the 1971 Stanley Cup Finals, Richard scored the game-tying and Stanley Cup-winning goals in Game Seven against the Chicago Blackhawks.
He was named captain of the Canadiens in 1971 until his retirement in 1975, after his team was eliminated in the playoffs by the Buffalo Sabres. He always wore the number 16 which was retired December 10, 1975 by the Canadiens in his honour. He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1979. In 1998, he was ranked number 29 on The Hockey News' list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players. He currently serves as an ambassador for the Canadiens' organization.
Following a brilliant amateur career in Montreal with the Nationales and Junior Canadiens, Henri Richard joined the Habs as they began their run of five straight Stanley Cup wins in 1956. In his third year, 1957-58, Richard led the NHL with 52 assists and was placed on the NHL First All-Star Team. When the Habs established a new record with their fifth consecutive Cup in 1960, Richard tied teammate Bernie Geoffrion with 12 post-season points. A key realization for the "Pocket Rocket" was that he wasn't able to be as consistent a goal scorer in the NHL as he'd been in junior. As it turned out, the end of the dynasty coincided with Richard entering the prime of his career. His excellence on the ice helped Montreal enjoy much success in the 1960s. They won the Stanley Cup in 1965, 1966, 1968 and 1969 to fall only one championship shy of the miraculous 1950s. On May 5, 1966, Richard notched the biggest goal of his career when he scored the winner at 2:20 of overtime against Detroit to clinch the Habs' second consecutive Stanley Cup.
By the 1970s, Richard's production had slowed, but he remained a wily veteran whose presence in the dressing room helped Montreal stay among the elite teams of the NHL. During the 1971 finals versus Chicago, he showed he could still be an impact player. In the seventh and deciding game of the series, Richard scored the tying and winning goals to sink the Hawks 3-2 and bring Montreal its fifth Stanley Cup in seven years. A few months later, he succeeded Jean Beliveau as the Montreal captain. In the 1973 post-season, Richard made history by helping the Canadiens win the Stanley Cup. This placed his name in the record books as the only individual to have his name on the Stanley Cup 11 times as a player. Incredibly, he played on a Stanley Cup winner in more than half the seasons he played.
Richard became the ninth player in league history to score 1,000 points during a 2-2 tie in Buffalo on December 20, 1973. He retired after the 1974-75 season with 358 goals and 1,046 points to his credit. Following his last NHL year, he was presented with the Bill Masterton Trophy.
Richard had a relatively easy time adjusting to his retirement. He continued to operate the tavern he owned as a player until he sold it in 1986. He later represented the Montreal Canadiens at public events and worked in the promotions department of Carling O'Keefe breweries. He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1979 and Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 1991.
- *Stanley Cup champions
|1952–53||Montreal Junior Royals||QPJHL||46||27||36||63||55||—||—||—||—||—|
|1953–54||Montreal Junior Canadiens||QPJHL||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
- List of Stanley Cup champions
- Notable families in the NHL
- Maurice Richard
- List of NHL players with 1000 points
- List of NHL players with 1000 games played
- Henri Richard's biography at Legends of Hockey
- Henri Richard's career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
|Montreal Canadiens captain