Quotes of the Week: Legendary Canadiens

This week, a short collection of quotes by and about some of the great Montreal Canadiens–and some of the greatest ever to play the game.

The Rocket (Library and Archives Canada)

The Rocket put me in the Hall of Fame. [3]
Elmer Lach

Rocket was so competitive, and he was stronger than a horse. [1]
Gordie Howe

I never knew in advance what I was going to do on any given play. Everything I did was done spontaneously, without any forethought. [4]
Maurice Richard

There are goals, and there are Richard goals. [6]
Dick Irvin

All of Maurice was in his eyes. [4]
The Archbishop of Montreal, at the funeral for The Rocket

We represent all of French Canada, and we know that a lot of people are counting on us. [5]
Jean Béliveau, during the 1967 Stanley Cup Finals

Le Gros Bill

Jean Béliveau would love to play the game anonymously. He appreciates respect and admiration but it embarrasses him because at heart, he thinks he’s just an ordinary fellow who happens to be able to play hockey. [4]
Senator Hartland de Molson

When I picked up [the Stanley Cup] I couldn’t believe it. The thing is lighter than a feather.[4]
Henri Richard

Guy Lafleur has more moves than a monkey on a mile of vine. [2]
Lynn Patrick

If I could be a forward, I would want to be Bob Gainey. [7]
Ken Dryden

Bob Gainey is the greatest hockey player in the world. [4]
Anatoli Tarasov

There’s no stop to hockey—you can’t pause and recharge your courage. [4]
Bob Gainey


1. Swift, EM. “Love That OT.” Sports Illustrated, 9 May 1994.
2. Mulvoy. Mark. “To Pick A Golden Flower.” Sports Illustrated, 1 Mar 1971.
3. Stubbs, Dave. “On Elmer Lach and Émile (Butch) Bouchard retirement ceremony.” Montreal Gazette, 7 Dec 2009.
4. Bonander, Ross. Hockey Talk: Quotations about the great sport of hockey, from the players and coaches who made it great. Delabarre Publishing (2011).
5. Axthelm, Pete. “Winning One For The Rocket.” Sports Illustrated, 24 Apr 1967.
6. Wind, Herbert Warren. “Fire On The Ice.” Sports Illustrated, 6 Dec 1954.
7. Dryden, Ken. The Game.  Wiley Press (2003).