Skip to main content

Rocket Richard: Newspaper Man

Did you know that in the early 1950s Maurice "Rocket" Richard had a newspaper column called Tour de Chapeau (Hat Trick) in the weekly paper Samedi-Dimanche. The column was actually written for him by a ghost writer who would interview the Rocket.

As you may have expected, Richard was as fiery in print as he was on the ice. And it got him in trouble.

In 1953, Richard wrote a scathing criticism of NHL President Clarence Campbell's suspension of Boom Boom Geoffrion. The Boomer had broken the jaw of New York Rangers' player Ron Murphy in a vicious stick swinging duel. Richard called the suspension a "farce" and Campbell a "dictator" and added that "if Mr. Campbell wants me out of the league for daring to criticize him, let him do it."

Mr. Campbell was not amused. He is said to have called the column "an attack on my personal integrity and an attack on the office of the NHL president." Campbell never did suspend Richard but demanded a retraction and apology in print.

The following issue had Richard's retraction, though it is believed to have been written by Canadiens general manager Frank Selke. It was the last column Maurice Richard wrote for this newspaper.

(I have seen reports that Campbell did not fine Rocket Richard and that he did fine Richard as much as $1,000 for the article.)


Popular posts from this blog

100 Greatest Hockey Players Of All Time

What follows is a listing of the 100 greatest hockey players of all time, in my opinion. As discussed earlier, the definition of greatness is a very personalized endeavor and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
While there is no way of ever truly ranking the top 100 definitively, it is important for the creators of such lists to be open and transparent of how the came to their conclusions. That accountability allows the reader to better understand the process. 

Although admittedly I'm using a completely unscientific formula, I weigh career achievements (era statistics, awards, championships) and legacy (impact on and off ice, peak dominance) equally high. I rank player ability as the third most important ingredient, as first and foremost as a tie breaker. Hence, I'm not necessarily looking for the better player, as in text book definitions of what a hockey player should be, but for players with the greatest careers and greatest legacies. Therefore the best player is not n…

Top Ten Junior Players Of All Time

Let's take a look at the Top Ten junior players of all time. For the purposes of this list we will at players in the WHL, OHL and QMJHL only.

10. Pat Lafontaine, Verdun, QMJHL Rookie-record 104 goals, 234 points in 1982-83; major junior player of the year.

9. Denis Potvin, Ottawa, OHL 254 games, 95 goals, 234 assists, 329 points. Broke Bobby Orr's junior records.

8. John Tavares, Oshawa, OHL 215 goals, 433 points in 247 games; most goals in OHL history; eligibility rules changed to admit him at 15; 2006 major junior rookie of the year, 2007 major junior player of the year; two world juniors, named 2009 all-star, top forward and MVP.

7. Sidney Crosby, Rimouski, QMJHL 120 goals, 303 points in 121 games; two-time major junior player of the year; silver and gold with Canada at two world juniors.

6. Eric Lindros, Oshawa, OHL 97 goals, 216 points in 95 games; one Memorial Cup victory; three world junior tournaments; major junior player of the year in 1991.

5. Mike Bossy, Laval, Q…

Greatest Hockey Legends: M