One of the greatest hockey players in the history of the game, Henri Richard, has passed away at the age of 84. Richard spent his entire 20-year career in the NHL playing for the Canadiens, from 1955 through 1975. Nicknamed 'The Pocket Rocket,' Richard also earned a whopping 11 Stanley Cup victories in that time, setting a record for the most wins by an individual player.
His death was first announced in a statement by the Montreal Canadiens, according to TMZ.
"The Montreal Canadiens are saddened to learn of the passing of one of the organization's greatest legends and ambassadors, Henri Richard, this morning," Friday's statement read. "Our thoughts and sincere condolences go out to the Richard family."
"The family would like to sincerely thank the staff at CHSLD Résidence Riviera for their wonderful care," the team continued. "They demonstrated incredible professionalism and humanity. The family would also like to thank the public for their heartfelt condolences and kindly requests that its privacy be respected during this difficult time."
In addition to his 11 Stanley Cup Wins, Richard also holds the record for most games played in franchise history at 1,258. Additionally, he was named in the NHL's 100 Greatest Players of All Time back in 2017.
"The entire National Hockey League family mourns the passing of this incomparable winner, leader, gentleman and ambassador for our sport and the Montreal Canadiens," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said of Richard's passing, calling him "one of the true giants of the game."
He also served as captain of the Canadiens from 1971 until his retirement in 1975, at which time the 16, which he wore, was retired by the team in his honor. He'd later be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame four years later in 1979.0comments
After news of his passing, Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante took to Twitter, calling him "one of the greatest ambassadors" to the city.
Montréal, le Québec et le monde du hockey perdent une légende et l’un des plus grands ambassadeurs des @CanadiensMTL et du sport montréalais. Henri Richard aura marqué notre histoire comme peu l’ont fait. Mes pensées accompagnent sa famille et ses proches. pic.twitter.com/BtCaglWKLj— Valérie Plante (@Val_Plante) March 6, 2020
Richard was born in Montreal, Quebec on Feb. 29, 1936, and is the younger brother to fellow Canadiens legend and Hockey Hall of Fame member Maurice Richard.