The CMC Maurice
The Maurice "The Rocket" Richard Collection at the Canadian Museum of Civilization commemorates one of the most important figures in the history of Canadian hockey. From 1942 to 1960, Maurice Richard dominated the sport. His "fire on ice" style awed journalists and won the hearts of fans. He blazed his way into the record books with 626 career goals and other scoring triumphs.
Here you will see the sticks used by The Rocket to score milestone goals, and the awards and trophies he received for setting record after scoring record. You will also find the stories behind the important goals, photographs of The Rocket in action, and images of numerous other artifacts that hint at how important a figure he would prove to be, not only to hockey but to Canada's history and sense of itself.
Why is the Rocket being shown here?
The Rocket was more than a hockey player. No other athlete has had an impact on Canadian society like The Rocket. He was a French Canadian hero in an era when French Canada had no other to place on the world stage. Revered and adored, The Rocket was the focus of a street riot in Montreal in 1955 now considered a manifestation of modern Quebec's ambition to be master of its own destiny. To students of society as well as sport, Maurice Richard helped define his time and place at a turning point in Canadian history.
Richard's unique status outlasted his playing career. Quebeckers never forgot what The Rocket had meant to them, and by the end of his life, far from losing his heroic stature, Richard had become a living legend. His Number 9 hockey sweater took on a life of its own as a Canadian icon.
In May 2002, some two years after The Rocket passed away, his lifelong collection of personal memorabilia was put up for sale. To prevent the loss to Canada of an important part of its material history, the Department of Canadian Heritage, at the urging of then Minister Sheila Copps and with the cooperation of the Government of Quebec, stepped in. It purchased 57 objects sticks and sweaters used in games, trophies, and other significant memorabilia that represented most of the milestones of The Rocket's hockey career. The objects were deposited in the Canadian Museum of Civilization to ensure that they would forever be a legacy for the Canadian people.