On October, 19, 1957, Montrael Canadiens right winger, Maurice “Rocket” Richard, became the first NHL player to score his 500th career goal.
Richard’s 20-foot shot past Chicago Blackhawks goalie Glenn Hall helped the Canadiens with a 3-1 victory.
Richard is regarded as one of hockey’s greatest. He played his entire 18 season career in Montrael and won eight Stanley Cups with the team. He was named to 14 All-Star teams and was awarded the Hart Memorial Trophy following the 1946-47 season.
Richard’s power and sheer intimidation allowed him to be the first goalie to score 50 goals in a season. At the time, the hockey season was 50 games. It was 20 years before Bobby Hull scored 54 goals in a 70 game season.
While French speaking Quebec was becoming increasingly alienated, Richard rose as a star and representative within the Canadian province. One reporter equated him to a combination of Babe Ruth and Jackie Robinson for Americans.
In 1955, N.H.L. president Clarence Campbell suspended Richard for the last three regular-season games plus the entire postseason because he’d punched a linesman during a fight on the ice on Boston.
Richard was suspended for three games plus an entire postseason by N.H.L. President Clarence Campbell for punching a linesman during a fight in Boston. His influence on Quebecois was shown when Campbell showed up in Montreal to find people rioting.
Richard retired in 1960, was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1961 and passed away in 2000.
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