Tag Archives: Hugette Richard

The Rocket And The No. 9 Thing

Recently on Hockey Night in Canada, host Ron Maclean told viewers a little story about how Maurice Richard asked to change his number from 15 to 9 during the 1942-43 season in honour of his new baby girl Hugette, who weighed in at 9 pounds.

Wikipedia also says the same thing. Along with everywhere else you look.

But the number 9 must have already held a soft spot in Rocket’s heart, because as you can see in the lineup below, he was wearing it when he was playing senior hockey, a year before he joined the big club.

Is it possible that the traditional claim from Maclean, books, and the Internet, about choosing 9 because of his baby’s weight at birth, is strictly something that took on a life of its own over the years?

Not that I want to throw cold water on the time-honoured story.

Here’s my program from the 1941-42 season in the Quebec Senior Hockey League, featuring a game between the Montreal Senior Canadiens and the Montreal Royals. Further down, the Rocket in the lineup for the Senior Canadiens, a year before he joined the Habs, and with his number 9.

Maybe he simply liked the number, and along with his 9-pound baby, convinced himself that he wouldn’t mind having it again.

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Also playing on this particular night for the Montreal Royals was Bill Durnan, who of course became a legendary goalie for the Canadiens shortly after, from 1943 to 1950, and Glen Harmon, number 12 for the senior Canadiens, who joined the Habs the following season and played for them from 1942-51.

Below, from my scrapbook, the Richard family circa 1958.

From left to right, Maurice Jr, Hugette, Lucille, dad and Suzanne, Norman (who’s my age, and whom I spoken to on the phone a couple of times), and Andre. Two others, Paul and Jean, had yet to arrive.

Rocket And Little Rockette Share A Moment

It wasn’t all scoring, fighting, getting suspended and carrying an entire province on his back. Because Maurice Richard was also a great dad. Here he is with little Suzanne, the fifth of seven kids of Rocket and Mrs. Rocket (Lucille); the others being Hugette, Maurice Jr., Normand, Andre, Paul and Jean.

Suzanne is 51 now..

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You Didn’t Think It Would Happen. Fascinating Facts Are Back!

 
Fascinating Fact #1…..Kyla Bremner, a woman wrestler competing for Australia in this year’s Beijing Olympics, is a native of my town, Powell River, BC. She’s on the Australian team because her mother is Australian. But make no mistake, she’s a Powell Riverite.

Fascinating Fact #2……I recently saw a documentary on Russian Czar Peter the Great. Peter would often go incognito to Europe, with a shaved mustache and old hat, and the documentary showed a painting of him in this mode. And lo and behold, he looks a dead ringer for deceased Russian hockey star Valeri Kharlamov.

 

Fascinating Fact #3….Maurice Richard wore number 15 before he changed to number 9, which was the weight of his daughter Hugette when she was born. (9 pounds). (I think you already know this, though.)

 

Fascinating Fact #4……When the Rocket was playing for the Verdun juniors in 1939, he took boxing lessons in the off-season. He became so good at it that he was entered into a Golden Gloves competition, but a damaging punch in the nose by his coach prevented him from participating.

 

Fascinating Fact #5…..New York Astrologer and psychic Monte Farber, bragging about the accuracy of his predictions, claims to have predicted that the New York Giants would beat the Green Bay Packers and win the Super Bowl. I’ve saved the clipping about his other prediction, which I’ve kept on my fridge since the spring, because I’m curious if he’s going to be right or not. He predicts the New York Yankees will face the San Francisco Giants in the 2008 World Series. Right now the Yankees are about five games back, and the Giants ten.

Fascinating Fact #6…..Leaf star Darryl Sittler and his wife Wendy were staying at Paul Henderson’s house and looking after their three daughters when Henderson scored those big goals during the 1972 Canada-Russia Summit Series.