www.whyville.net Jan 30, 2008 Weekly Issue

Whyville Columnist

Hockey: Canada's Game

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First off, since not many people have been reading this column I have decided to only write it for special events like the trade deadline. The last installment of my column is dedicated towards all hockey fans through the world especially those of the Montreal Canadians. Why you ask? Well, I received a suggestion from Smiles449 to write about the life and career of Maurice “Rocket” Richard.

To start, Richard is best known as the first person to score 50 goals in 50 games or less than 5 hours after helping his family move form one side of Montreal to the other, he scored five goals an eight assists for a total of eight points. At the time that was a record but it would later be surpassed by Darryl Sittler (10 points, 6 goals 4 assists).

Maurice Richard was born August 4, 1921 in Verdun, Quebec. He played right wing and played for the beloved Habs for his entire career. He was also the first player to reach 500 goals in a career.

After you read this, if you have grandparents that are hockey fans ask them if they remember anything about the Richard Riot. On March 13, 1955 Richard was given a match penalty for deliberately injuring Hal Laycoe in a game against the Boston Bruins. He struck linesman Cliff Thompson unconscious in the melee, and as that was his second attack on an official that season alone.

A hearing was held in which Richard was suspended for the balance of that season and the playoffs. Public outrage from Montreal soon poured in. NHL President Clarence Campbell did not budge, and announced that he would be attending the Canadians' next home game against the Detroit Red Wings in four days. Midway through the first period, Campbell arrived and was immediately pelted with eggs and other objects. The throwing of objects stopped after a tear gas bomb was set off inside the arena. The Montreal Forum was evacuated and Campbell ruled the match forfeited to the Red Wings. A riot ensued outside the Forum. This resulted in 500,000 dollars in damage. To think that all this happened because of one hockey player.

Richard was more than a hockey hero. He was also a family man who cared about his friends and the fans. He would do anything if I meant he was helping someone else.

Maurice Richard died at age 78 after a long hard battle with cancer. He was awarded a state funeral.

God bless you Maurice Richard. You will always be in our hearts. May you rest in peace.



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