October 17, 2011

Pierre Larouche Collection Up For Bids

Pierre Larouche was the 8th overall selection by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1974 NHL Amateur Draft following one of the most impressive junior seasons. Playing with the Sorel Black Hawks, Larouche scored 94 goals and 157 assists for 251 points in 67 games!

Larouche stepped right into the Pittsburgh lineup the following season and excelled. He scored 31 goals and 68 points and led the Penguins to the second round of the playoffs. The following season Larouche took the league by storm, scoring 53 goals and 111 points. Seemingly Larouche was on top of the hockey world.

However Larouche would take a step backwards the next season, scoring only 29 goals and 63 points and for the first time there was rumours he was available on the trade market. As skilled a skater and shooter as he was, Larouche also needed to have a map to find his own defensive zone. So when Larouche got off to a bad start the following season, the Pens traded Larouche to Montreal 20 games into the season. Larouche was moved for Pete Mahovlich and Peter Lee.

Larouche would battle injuries and the pressures of being a Francophone playing in Montreal for the first two seasons in Montreal. But by 1979-80 he was healthy and burst out with a 50 goal campaign for the Habs, adding 41 assists. However a poor playoff again had his critics rumbling.

His critics (and in Montreal, everyone is a critic) weren't impressed by another injury riddle season to follow up the 50 goal campaign and by 1981-82 he was traded to Hartford in a deal involving lots of draft pick switching (Montreal ended up with Petr Svoboda). Larouche enjoyed playing without the pressure of the media in Hartford, finishing the season with 25 goals in 45 games.

However, (you guessed it!) Larouche would again battle injuries in 1982-83 and was not resigned by the Whalers. Larouche went to Broadway where he signed with the New York Rangers. In New York, he fell two goals short of becoming the only player in NHL history to score 50 goals with 3 different teams. Larouche scored 48 times, 19 of which were power play goals.

"Lucky" Pierre Larouche scored 395 goals, 427 assists for 822 points in 812 career games.

Classic Auctions has several interesting items from Larouche's career up for grabs.

1 comment:

Graham Clayton said...

"In New York, he fell two goals short of becoming the only player in NHL history to score 50 goals with 3 different teams. "

I presume you mean 50 goals in a season with three different teams?