Mr. Speaker, hockey is the tie that binds the country together. Today we have lost a link that united all hockey fans. Maurice “The Rocket” Richard was not only loved and respected by all Canadians. He was a hero, a symbol of all that is great and good about this spectacular sport. His No. 9 sweater has been woven into the fabric of the Canadian conscience.
As a child growing up in a family crazy about the Montreal Canadiens, Richard was an inspiration. When he touched the puck his eyes glowed the Rocket's red glare. He was the first player in history to score 50 goals in 50 games. His playoff record of six overtime goals still stands today.
Most Canadians were not even born when Richard played. He retired after the 1960 season, after another Stanley Cup victory. It has been 40 years since the late Maurice “The Rocket” Richard thrilled with his skills, but the impact he made has spanned generations. His legend will never die.