Canadiens legend Henri Richard dies at age 84

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The Montreal Canadiens announced on Friday morning that Hall of Famer Henri Richard died at 84.

Richard played 20 years for the Canadiens between 1955 and 1975 and was one of the organization’s brightest stars and most successful players.

Along with scoring 358 goals and tallying more than 1,000 career points, Richard was simply one of the NHL’s greatest winners. During his two decades with the team the Canadiens won 11 Stanley Cups (and appeared in a 12th Stanley Cup Final).

In two of those championship series, Richard ended up scoring the Stanley Cup clinching goal. The first of those goals came during the 1966 series against the Detroit Red Wings when he scored in overtime of the team’s Game 6 Cup-clinching win.

In Game 7 of the 1971 series against the Chicago Blackhawks, he scored the game-tying goal in Game 7 and then later scored the winning goal.

He also appeared in 10 All-Star games during his career and was MVP of the 1967 game.

Richard retired from the league in 1975 and had his No. 16 immediately retired by the Canadiens.

He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame four years later, and in 2017 was named by the league as one of its 100 all-time greatest players.

Richard ‘a true giant’

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman released the following statement on Friday:

“Henri Richard was one of the true giants of the game. The entire National Hockey League family mourns the passing of this incomparable winner, leader, gentleman and ambassador for our sport and the Montreal Canadiens.

“Beloved by teammates as much for his determination and character as for his brilliant playmaking, he won more Stanley Cups (11) as a player than anyone in NHL history – including five straight while skating on a line with his older brother, Maurice ‘Rocket’ Richard. A 10-time NHL All-Star, the gifted centerman who came to be known as the ‘Pocket Rocket’ ranks third on the Canadiens’ all-time scoring list, won the Bill Masterton Trophy in 1974 and was voted one of the NHL’s Top 100 Players in 2017.

“When his 20-year playing career came to an end in 1975, Richard devoted himself to representing his beloved Canadiens and the game of hockey with the same tirelessness and class that he brought to the ice. We will miss him terribly and our sincere condolences go out to his wife Lise, their children Michèle, Gilles, Denis, Marie-France and Nathalie, 10 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren and his countless friends and fans.”

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.