Michel Larocque (ice hockey, born 1952)

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For the ice hockey player born in 1976, see Michel Larocque (ice hockey, born 1976).
Michel Larocque
Born (1952-04-06)April 6, 1952
Hull, QC, CAN
Died July 29, 1992(1992-07-29) (aged 40)
Hull, QC, CAN
Height 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight 185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)
Position Goaltender
Caught Left
Played for Montreal Canadiens
Toronto Maple Leafs
Philadelphia Flyers
St. Louis Blues
NHL Draft 6th overall, 1972
Montreal Canadiens
Playing career 1972–1985

Michel Raymond "Bunny" Larocque (April 6, 1952 - July 29, 1992) was a Canadian professional ice hockey goaltender who played for the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Philadelphia Flyers and St. Louis Blues in the National Hockey League.

Playing career[edit]

In his junior hockey days, he played with the Ottawa 67's of the OHA from 1968 to 1972. He led the league in shutouts for the last 3 of those years. He was also one of the most penalized goalies, and was regularly involved in fights. In 1973 he played with the Nova Scotia Voyageurs of the AHL, his first taste of professional hockey. For his outstanding play, Larocque was awarded the Hap Holmes Memorial Award with teammate Michel Deguise and was selected to the Second All-Star Team. In 1972, he was selected 6th overall by the Montreal Canadiens in the 1972 NHL Amateur Draft.

Larocque started his NHL career in 1974. He was mainly the backup for the Montreal Canadiens as Ken Dryden was one of the top goalies in that era. He dedicated himself to his role of back-up, although Larocque was considered a top backup and could have been the No.1 goalie for most NHL teams. Larocque would be co-winner of four Vezina Trophies. During that era, the trophy was given to the principal goalies on the team allowing the fewest goals in the regular season. The first three were largely because of the all-star play of Ken Dryden. In 1977, he led the NHL with a 2.09 goals against average, but with Dryden ahead of him in the Canadiens net, he only managed to play 26 games.

In 1979, Ken Dryden retired from hockey, which forced the Canadiens to find a new goalie. They picked Denis Herron and he shared his duties with Larocque. His fourth and final Vezina Trophy was shared with Denis Herron and Richard Sevigny in 1981. He won a total of four Stanley Cups with Montreal in 1976, 1977, 1978 and 1979.

Near the trade deadline in 1981, he was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs for defenceman Robert Picard. Larocque played 50 games next season with a struggling Leafs team. Michel was in net when the Buffalo Sabres scored a NHL record of 9 goals in one period in a 14-4 loss. He was again traded to the Philadelphia Flyers in 1983, for goaltender Rick St. Croix and finished his NHL career with the St. Louis Blues in 1984 after being sold by the Flyers, who'd settled on Pelle Lindbergh in goal. Larocque finally retired from hockey in 1985 after playing 13 games with the Peoria Rivermen in the IHL.

Retirement and death[edit]

After his playing career ended, he served as general manager of the Victoriaville Tigres (QMJHL) during the 1989–90 season and won QMJHL executive of the year for 1989–90. He was vice president of the QMJHL during the 1991–92 season and still held the position at time of his death.

He died of brain cancer at age 40 in his hometown of Hull, Quebec.

Awards and achievements[edit]

* Shared with Ken Dryden.

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season[edit]

Season Team League GP W L T MIN GA SO GAA
1967-68 Ottawa 67's OHA-Jr. 4 210 32 0 9.14
1968-69 Ottawa 67's OHA-Jr. 4 190 24 0 7.58
1969-70 Ottawa 67's OHA-Jr. 51 3060 185 3 3.63
1970-71 Ottawa 67's OHA-Jr. 56 3345 189 5 3.39
1971-72 Ottawa 67's OHA-Jr. 55 3287 189 4 3.45
1972-73 Nova Scotia Voyageurs AHL 47 2705 113 1 2.50
1973-74 Montreal Canadiens NHL 27 15 8 2 1431 69 0 2.89
1974-75 Montreal Canadiens NHL 25 17 5 3 1480 74 3 3.00
1975-76 Montreal Canadiens NHL 22 16 1 3 1220 50 2 2.46
1976-77 Montreal Canadiens NHL 26 19 2 4 1525 53 4 2.09
1977-78 Montreal Canadiens NHL 30 22 3 4 1729 77 1 2.67
1978-79 Montreal Canadiens NHL 34 22 7 4 1986 94 3 2.84
1979-80 Montreal Canadiens NHL 39 17 13 8 2259 125 3 3.32
1980-81 Montreal Canadiens NHL 28 16 9 3 1623 82 1 3.03
1980-81 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 8 3 3 2 460 40 0 5.22
1981-82 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 50 10 24 8 2647 207 0 4.69
1982-83 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 16 3 8 3 835 68 0 4.89
1982-83 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 2 0 1 1 120 8 0 4.00
1983-84 Springfield Indians AHL 5 5 3 2 301 21 0 4.18
1983-84 St. Louis Blues NHL 5 0 5 0 300 31 0 6.20
1984-85 Peoria Rivermen IHL 13 7 3 3 786 41 0 3.13
NHL totals 312 160 89 45 17,615 978 17 3.33

Playoffs[edit]

Season Team League GP W L T MIN GA SO GAA
1969-70 Ottawa 67's OHA-Jr. 11 4 6 1 625 36 3 3.46
1971-72 Ottawa 67's OHA-Jr. 18 8 7 3 1029 55 1 3.29
1972-73 Nova Scotia Voyageurs AHL 13 760 36 0 2.84
1973-74 Montreal Canadiens NHL 6 2 4 364 18 0 2.97
1978-79 Montreal Canadiens NHL 1 0 0 20 0 0 0.00
1979-80 Montreal Canadiens NHL 5 4 1 300 11 1 2.20
1980-81 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 2 0 1 75 8 0 6.40
NHL totals 14 6 6 759 37 1 2.92

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Steve Shutt
Montreal Canadiens first round draft pick
1972
Succeeded by
Dave Gardner
Preceded by
Ken Dryden
Winner of the Vezina Trophy
with Ken Dryden

1977, 1978, 1979
Succeeded by
Don Edwards and Bob Sauve
Preceded by
Don Edwards
and Bob Sauve
Winner of the Vezina Trophy
with Denis Herron and Richard Sevigny

1981
Succeeded by
Billy Smith