Michel Larocque

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This article is about the ice hockey player born in 1952. For the 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 Ontario Hockey Association (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 American Hockey League (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 National Hockey League (NHL) career in 1974. He was mainly the backup for the Canadiens as Ken Dryden was one of the top goalies in that era. He dedicated himself to his role of back-up, although as a top backup Larocque could have been the number one goalie for most NHL teams. Larocque was 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, Larocque 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 number one goalie. They acquired Denis Herron and he shared his duties with Larocque, leading to the fourth and final Vezina Trophy of Larocque's career, shared with Herron and Richard Sevigny in 1981. Larocque 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 the following season with a struggling Leafs team. Larocque was in net when the Buffalo Sabres scored a NHL record of 9 goals in one period in a 14-4 game. 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 had settled on Pelle Lindbergh in goal. Larocque retired from hockey in 1985 after playing 13 games with the Peoria Rivermen in the International Hockey League (IHL).

Retirement and death[edit]

After his playing career ended, he served as general manager of the Victoriaville Tigres of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (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 SV%
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 .908
1974–75 Montreal Canadiens NHL 25 17 5 3 1480 74 3 3.00 .891
1975–76 Montreal Canadiens NHL 22 16 1 3 1220 50 2 2.46 .907
1976–77 Montreal Canadiens NHL 26 19 2 4 1525 53 4 2.09 .910
1977–78 Montreal Canadiens NHL 30 22 3 4 1729 77 1 2.67 .896
1978–79 Montreal Canadiens NHL 34 22 7 4 1986 94 3 2.84 .888
1979–80 Montreal Canadiens NHL 39 17 13 8 2259 125 3 3.32 .880
1980–81 Montreal Canadiens NHL 28 16 9 3 1623 82 1 3.03 .881
1980–81 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 8 3 3 2 460 40 0 5.22 .854
1981–82 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 50 10 24 8 2647 207 0 4.69 .862
1982–83 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 16 3 8 3 835 68 0 4.89 .850
1982–83 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 2 0 1 1 120 8 0 4.00 .857
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 .811
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 .882

Playoffs[edit]

Season Team League GP W L T MIN GA SO GAA SV%
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 .909
1978–79 Montreal Canadiens NHL 1 0 0 20 0 0 0.00 1.000
1979–80 Montreal Canadiens NHL 5 4 1 300 11 1 2.20 .923
1980–81 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 2 0 1 75 8 0 6.40 .750
NHL totals 14 6 6 759 37 1 2.92 .903

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