By Charles Foran

Biography from "Great Canadians" sequence by way of Charles Foran of hockey legend Maruice "The Rocket Richard".

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They flowed from enthusiasts leaving the discussion board replacing money owed of a excellent aim, or the CBC radio announcer or, larger nonetheless, Michel Normandin, the hypereloquent, florid Radio-Canada play-by-play host, filling the eyes of listeners accrued round their radios in Bordeaux and Laval, Lac St-Jean and Rivière-du-Loup, with bright, unforgettable “pictures” of the Rocket in motion. regardless of the resource, beginning within the mid-1940s the on-ice marvels of Maurice Richard started getting into cultural lore. activities legends—of scoring 5 pursuits after relocating residence, of sporting a defenceman on his again like a sack of grain—were hence born through the oldest procedure recognized: oral storytelling, the stories turning out to be taller and taller with each telling. THE past due Nineteen Forties observed THE CANADIENS WIN yet one more Cup, in 1946, after which fight to compare the firepower of first the Toronto Maple Leafs after which the Detroit pink Wings. As were anticipated, the league replaced complexion as soon as the already tricky males again from the struggle that rather more toughened. besides the surging expertise point within the NHL got here the enshrinement of gladiatorial hockey. First the Leafs below the martial Smythe, after which the pink Wings instructed by means of “Terrible” Ted Lindsay and the younger Gordie Howe, performed challenging every one evening. in addition they performed tough and, like armies at warfare, hired an arsenal of strategies to intimidate, humiliate, and at last defeat the enemy. No region was once given; all of the now sixty regular-season video games used to be a conflict of abilities performed out below the consistent possibility of actual attack and mental battery. to a couple, this model of hockey—nurtured at the prairies and in smalltown Ontario, its proponents in general farm boys and the sons of mill employees and miners, brawny and raw-boned, disavowing flash or aptitude, respectful younger males off the ice yet foul-mouthed, stick-wielding terrors on it—stood in stark distinction to how the game used to be performed in Quebec. There, the “Flying Frenchmen” encouraged delight with their rapid skating and expert puck-handling, their end-to-end dashes that introduced fanatics to their ft. The distinction mirrored the diversities among the 2 Canadas, the 2 cultures, even the 2 languages. within Quebec, how Gordie Howe or Ted Lindsay performed hockey, or extra precisely how they performed hockey opposed to our boys, additionally the sons of miners and mill staff, spoke to the divide among that “other Canada,” a continent-wide land mass comprising, it sounds as if, millions of miles of wheat fields and one other thousand of mountains, and the Saint Lawrence River valley and Saguenay, the Beauce and the Gaspé. just some of those perceptions have been actual. The Habs themselves have been nonetheless a majority English squad, or even many years into the long run, with the items of the dynastic workforce in position, may proceed to add key avid gamers with names like Harvey and Moore. Nor have been the contrasts in “English” and “French” taking part in kinds that huge, or the allegiances of fanatics in English Canada, particularly within the West, in any respect bound to immediately help the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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