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Elmer Lach

Born:January 22, 1918Draft:Undrafted
Hometown:Nokomis, SaskatchewanPosition:C
Known For:“Punch Line”Shoots/Catches:Left
National Team:N/A

Elmer James Lach (January 22, 1918 – April 4, 2015) was a Canadian professional ice hockey player who played 14 seasons for the Montreal Canadiens in the National Hockey League (NHL). A center, he was a member of the “Punch Line,” along with Maurice Richard and Toe Blake. Lach led the NHL in scoring twice, and was awarded the Hart Trophy in 1945 as the league’s most valuable player.

He won three Stanley Cups with Montreal. When Lach retired in 1954, he was the league’s all-time leading scorer and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame twelve years later. His number 16 was retired on December 4, 2009, during the Montreal Canadiens centennial celebrations. In 2017 Lach was named one of the ‘100 Greatest NHL Players’ in history.

Maurice Richard Elmer Lach Toe Blake
Maurice Richard, Elmer Lach and Toe Blake – the Punch Line. (THW Archives)

Elmer Lach Statistics

Deeper Dive

Achievements

  • Hart Memorial Trophy — 1945
  • Art Ross Trophy — 1948 (also led league in scoring in 1945, prior to trophy’s creation)
  • NHL First Team All-Star — 1945, 1948, 1952
  • NHL Second Team All-Star — 1944, 1946
  • Selected to Three All-Star Games — 1948, 1952, 1953
  • Led NHL in Assists — 1945, 1946, 1952
  • Led NHL in Points — 1945, 1948
  • Stanley Cup Champion — 1944, 1946, 1953
  • Inducted Into Hockey Hall of Fame — 1966
  • Inducted Into Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame — 1967
  • No. 16 Jersey Retired by Canadiens — 2009

Sources