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The Pie and Bovril Dead Pool 2020


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Week 10 update

Nothing up this week, so I'm going to carry on last year's partial tradition of posting about someone who died this week who you might not know about. Intrigued as I am looking at Wikipedia's list of deaths and seeing a man named Tom Turnipseed, today you're going to learn about a man named Henri Richard: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8083701/Montreal-Canadiens-great-Henri-Richard-dies-84-long-battle-Alzheimers.html

There's usually been an old, terminally ill NHL player in my Dead Pool team. I didn't bother going looking for one this year, so I'm quite upset by this. I also thought he was dead already. Here's what his old team had to say: https://www.nhl.com/canadiens/news/former-canadiens-captain-henri-richard-passes-away-at-age-84/c-315927748

Quote

Born in 1936 in Montreal, Henri spent his entire 20-year NHL career with the Canadiens. He was the only player, along with teammate Jean Béliveau, to accomplish this feat. Prior to making the jump to the NHL and joining brother, Maurice, with the CH, Henri starred with the Montreal National, recording 55 points in 49 games in 1951-52. He moved on to the Montreal Junior Canadiens where he would wear number 9, winning the scoring championship two seasons in a row. 

Henri made his NHL debut with the Canadiens in 1955-56, recording 19 goals and 40 points in his rookie season and winning his first Stanley Cup. His first five seasons with the club concluded with a Stanley Cup championship. Henri is one of 12 players on the Canadiens to have been a member of the five consecutive Cup-winning teams, an NHL record, along with teammates Dickie Moore, Jacques Plante, Jean Béliveau, Doug Harvey, Bernard Geoffrion, Tom Johnson, Claude Provost, Jean-Guy Talbot, Don Marshall, Bob Turner and his brother, Maurice. In his 20-year career, Henri Richard etched his name on the Holy Grail 11 times, an NHL record that is unlikely to ever be surpassed.

A tenacious player with incomparable determination and perseverance, Henri did not let his size dictate his play and he went on to lead the franchise in games played (1,258) and ranked third in Canadiens history in assists (688) and points (1,046). His 388 career goals in the regular season (including 53 game-winning goals and 47 on the power play) rank third among centermen in team history, surpassed only by Jean Béliveau and Jacques Lemaire. In 1973, he became the ninth player in NHL history to reach 1,000 career points.  

To give you some context for the history of the structure of the NHL, from the late twenties up to 1967 the league only had six teams. Montreal and Toronto, the only Canadian teams, effectively had a cabal on all the young players in the country. If you think Rangers and Celtic have been a stiflingly dominant force in Scottish football for the past 100+ years, imagine what it would be like if they only had a handful of teams to compete against for most of that. 

As the league expanded and player rights improved, Montreal's dominance over the game waned. They won five consecutive Stanley Cups to end the 1970s. They've won two since. Now imagine what it would be like if both Old Firm teams spent several decades without winning anything. But imagine at the same time they still had the same amount of fans, driven increasingly insane by the lack of achievement relative to their perception of their team. The entitlement. The slavish devotion to 'traditions'. The Canadiens even get to practice their unique variety of discrimination, because if you don't speak French as a player, coach, management, in-arena beer vendor, well that's the root cause of the problem really. 

With all that in mind and with me not knowing what the NHL was until it had thirty teams in it, it can be nice to take a trip down memory lane and see when teams like this were respected, successful and had good players. To celebrate the league's centenary in 2017 they named the 100 greatest players, and both Henri and brother Maurice were featured:

 

That's nearly 100 points down the drain for me. RIP.

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Great tribute to "The Pocket Rocket" Henri Richard.  RIP

Quick correction though, Montreal didn't win 5 straight cups in the 70's, only 4 straight but they won 6 in total during the decade.  Prior to the introduction of the modern Entry draft system in the late 1960's, Montreal had first dibs on players from Quebec which helped fuel their dominance.  Even after the draft came in, they still had the best scouts and the most clever general manager in Sam Pollock which still allowed them to draft legends like Guy Lafleur, Larry Robinson et al 

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11 minutes ago, Fullerene said:

Grim Reaper appears and does stuff.

Yip, as a Plague spreads throughout Europe....

 

Fitting Times for his demise.

 

Rip, thoughts+prayers, flowers to family, Lund BK scarf on my fence etc etc 

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1 hour ago, charon said:

Yip, as a Plague spreads throughout Europe....

Fitting Times for his demise.

Rip, thoughts+prayers, flowers to family, Lund BK scarf on my fence etc etc 

I should have guessed this was right up your street.

I'm just a carbon allotrope but as well as being a very large moon of Pluto you are also a ferryman for the dead.

Yikes.

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