April 6, 1952|
Hull, QC, CAN
|Died||July 29, 1992
Hull, QC, CAN
|Height||5 ft 11 in (180 cm)|
|Weight||185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)|
|Played for||Montreal Canadiens
Toronto Maple Leafs
St. Louis Blues
|NHL Draft||6th overall, 1972
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.
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
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
- Selected to the OHA-Jr. Second All-Star Team in 1971.
- Selected to the OHA-Jr. First All-Star Team in 1972.
- Hap Holmes Memorial Award winner in 1973 (shared with Michel Deguise).
- Selected to the AHL Second All-Star Team in 1973.
- Vezina Trophy winner in 1977*, 1978*, 1979*, 1981 (shared with Denis Herron and Richard Sevigny).
- Stanley Cup championship in 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979.
- John Horman Trophy winner in 1990.
* Shared with Ken Dryden.
|1972–73||Nova Scotia Voyageurs||AHL||47||—||—||—||2705||113||1||2.50||—|
|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|
|1983–84||St. Louis Blues||NHL||5||0||5||0||300||31||0||6.20||.811|
|1972–73||Nova Scotia Voyageurs||AHL||13||—||—||—||760||36||0||2.84||—|
|1980–81||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||2||0||1||—||75||8||0||6.40||.750|
- Career statistics and player information from NHL.com, or Hockey-Reference.com, or Legends of Hockey, or The Internet Hockey Database
|Montreal Canadiens first round draft pick
|Winner of the Vezina Trophy
with Ken Dryden
1977, 1978, 1979
Don Edwards and Bob Sauve
and Bob Sauve
|Winner of the Vezina Trophy
with Denis Herron and Richard Sevigny