Maurice Richard’s career spanned from 1942 to 1960 and in that time he won the Stanley Cup eight times and won the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s MVP in 1947. He set numerous scoring records, including being the first player to score. 50 goals in 50 games. and the first player to score more than 500 goals in his career. Maurice Richard ended his career with his last Stanley Cup victory in 1960 and 544 goals in the regular season.
There was only one player at the time, who was close enough to break Richard’s career goals record, and of course that was Gordie Howe, who was still playing long after Richard retired. In fact, it took Gordie Howe only a few years to reach that number, as it appears that Gordie Howe had reached his prime in the early 60s.
An interesting game brought this record to the forefront when the Detroit Red Wings hosted the Montreal Canadiens at the Detroit Olympia on October 27, 1963, more than four years after Maurice Richard’s retirement. However, Maurice Richard’s younger brother Henri Richard was in the game and played a pivotal role in allowing Gordie Howe to tie Maurice Richard’s record.
The Montreal Canadians played with few players like John Ferguson, who was sitting in the penalty area and Gordie Howe was in the power game. Henri Richard, who was always a specialist in defense, was one of the four Habs who killed the penalty. During the play, the Pocket Rocket was called to the bank, or assumed it was called to the bank, and thus entered the Habs door. However, there was some confusion, and he was not replaced on the ice, leaving the Montreal Canadiens in a five-on-three situation, retreating into their own zone. Gordie Howe had the puck and he worked his way around Gilles Tremblay and scored on his old friend Gump Worsely.
Needless to say, the fans in Detroit went wild, and I’m sure no one felt worse than Maurice with his little brother, the Pocket Rocket: Henri Richard.