This is Henri Richard. True, he is carrying the Stanley Cup in an unconventional pose, but when you have won hockey's most famous trophy more times than any other player, you have the right to carry it any way you want to.
"The Pocket Rocket" won the Stanley Cup an amazing 11 times. That is a record that is almost certain to stand forever.
With 11 Stanley Cup championships to cherish, you would think it would be hard to pick one as your favorite. But maybe not for Henri. He was quoted as saying the 1971 championship, his 10th, was his favorite.
"The best - the best of all ten Stanley Cups I've won," he said as he drank champagne out of the Cup in the Montreal dressing room on the night of May 18, 1971.
Then he added, "I hope we forget everything except that we won."
Richard was extremely relieved, and for good reason. For all his victories and great career, he found himself in the middle of a great controversy the spring of 1971, a controversy that threatened to taint his legacy. True to Richard's wish, the Cup victory erased most memories of all that.
Richard was a veteran player on that 1971 Montreal team, and his ice time was not what he was used to. After game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals with Chicago Richard boiled over, calling Montreal coach Al MacNeil "incompetent" and "the worst coach I've ever played for."
That's never good, and in Montreal the issue turned political. MacNeil was an anglophone coach. The separatist politicians and media jumped all over the comments and turned it into a French vs. English debate.
MacNeil received death threats and he and his family were assigned body guards. Meanwhile Richard lamented "I should have kept my mouth shut until the finals were over. There is so much pressure on me and the coach. We have to win."
And win they did, with Richard leading the way. Montreal won the sixth game 4-3. In the decisive game seven it was Richard who scored the Stanley Cup winning goal early in the third period, giving Montreal a 3-2 victory.
MacNeil was replaced after the season by a new coach. His name - Scotty Bowman.
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