Accompanied in this image by Butch Bouchard, the photo is part of a Charles Wilkins snapshot of the Rocket in the May 2006 edition of Outdoor Canada magazine. The article gives a great insight into Maurice Richard the man, not the hockey player, and his other passion. His love of fishing many times exceeded his love of hockey. At his funeral the Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte's final good bye was "Maurice Richard enjoyed fishing. So I think he won't be bored very long in heaven because Jesus' disciples were also fishermen. I can imagine Maurice fishing with them, and having lots to talk about. Good fishing, Maurice."
I tried finding an online link to the Outdoor Magazine article, but I had no luck. I was able to find Outdoor Canada archived articles on the fishing adventures of Mike Richards, Kris King, Brendan Morrison, Johnny Bower, and most notably Bill Barilko. The legend of Bill Barilko grew on his final fishing trip. His plane would disappear and mystery would ensue.
I am sure a lot of NHLers nowadays spend a lot of their summer time off fishing. I know quite a few of the NHL general managers head up my way en route to Langara Lodge on Haida Gwaii.
Old time hockey players never had all summer to fish or golf or vacation. No, many of them had to work regular jobs to keep the family household afloat. Here's just a few examples I could think of off of the top of my head:
- Gordie Howe worked at a golf course
- Johnny Bower operated "Bower's Big Boy" restaurant.
- Alf Pike was a licensed mortician.
- Glen Harmon worked in his wife's hat store.
- Butch Bouchard was a bee keeper and honey farmer.
- Phil Esposito - worked on construction site.
Speaking of fishing and summer, GreatestHockeyLegends.com and HockeyBookReviews.com will both be pretty quiet for the rest of the month as I go on vacation. I will not be updating the site during this time, but there is no shortage of pieces to read here in the mean time.
For new and regular readers alike this is a great time to explore the more than 1300 players profiles and the deep archive of feature stories I've written over the past few seasons. It is also a great time to look ahead at the coming 2010 class of hockey books.
See you in August everybody!