Skip to main content

Wildor Larochelle

From 1925 through 1934 Wildor Larochelle was a mainstay with the Montreal Canadiens. He played in 11 straight seasons - a real streak of longevity in any era but especially back then.

Described as "tough and strong despite his 5 foot 8 inch frame," Larochelle was a productive right winger during his long career. Including two seasons with Chicago late in his career, Larochelle played in 474 games, scoring 92 goals and 166 points.

The Sorel, Quebec native cracked the Montreal Canadiens’ lineup for the first time in 1925-26. He was only 19 years old when he first put on the Habs jersey.

Like many young players Wildor had to bide his time for the first few seasons, but by 1929 he emerged as a confident and physical presence who could be counted on to score, as well. Playing along side Pit Lepine and Georges Mantha, Larochelle helped Montreal win the Stanley Cup in the spring of 1930.

Larochelle and the Canadiens repeated as Stanley Cup champions in 1931, with Larochelle scoring a key overtime goal to close the oppening series against Boston.

"The entire Canadiens team jumped to the ice and almost smothered Larochelle," wrote L.S.B Shapiro in the morning paper. "After a few seconds of wild struggling he was lifted to the shoulders of his exhausted teammates and carried to the dressing room . . . It was a stirring finish and took place to the roar of a capacity crowd."

That goal advanced Montreal to the final against Chicago. They would narrowly defeat the Hawks three games to two.

"It was called the "One million dollar goal," recalled Larochelle's nephew Yvan Joly, referring to the hefty pay raise Larochelle got that summer - from $2000 a year to $3500. "He often had me the story of that goal. He also told me of the time he got broken collarbone and nose when he was dumped by Eddie Shore of the Boston Bruins. These are memories that remain to me always like when players of the caliber of Howie Morenz and Newsy Lalonde came home in Sorel."

Larochelle, now flanking Lepine and Armand Mondou, scored a career-high 18 goals in 1931-32 and finished 1933-34 with 27 points, second best on the team only to the legendary  Howie Morenz.

Thirteen games into the 1935-36 campaign, Larochelle was sold off to the Chicago Blackhawks, where he wound down his NHL career. He opted to retired in 1937 rather than report to the minor leagues.

Wildor Larochelle worked in the hotel business with his father until 1951. He then contracted tuberculosis and was admitted to a convalescent home for the last 13 years of his life. He died in 1964, though it was cancer that claimed him. He was just 58 years old.

Though he left us nearly half a century earlier, the city of Sorel still honoured him and other local hockey heroes in 2013.

"He was a very affable man with a big heart who loved children, especially his nieces and nephews. He had no children, so he spoiled us in droves. It was he who kept us when my parents left. And it was a hockey player!" recalled his nephew Yvan Joly.


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