The Sports Archives History Lesson – Rocket Richard Riot

The anglophone and the francophone have shared a history in Canadien hockey.  Perhaps in the 1950s, there was more of a rivalry then one cared to notice.  The francophone Maurice “The Rocket” Richard did more than score goals, he also amassed many penalty minutes for his rough style of play.  Consequently, he was handed down many fines and suspensions from the NHL President and anglophone, Clarence Campbell, as disciplinary action.

On March 13, 1955, in a game between the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens, Richard injures a Bruin in deliberate fashion and punches a linesman.  Campbell responds harshly, suspending Richard for the rest of the season.  This causes quite a stir because Richard was seeking to win the scoring title and the Canadiens were in first place seeking another Stanley Cup.

Well, Campbell must have had a death wish, because he goes and attends the next Montreal home game at the Montreal Forum and that was just too much for the Habs.  They throw food at him and a riot ensues inside and outside the Forum, complete with looting and tear gas.  So goes the “Rocket Richard Riot” of St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 1955.

More about “The Rocket” and the riot here.

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One Response to The Sports Archives History Lesson – Rocket Richard Riot

  1. Pingback: The Sports Archives – A Brief History of Ice Hockey! | The Sports Archives Blog

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