Henri Richard: Another Hall of Famer, childhood hero is gone

First, a personal reflection. One night in the summer of 1971, my father arrived home with his lunch pail in hand and told me had heard on the radio that Henri Richard was appearing that night at the Evan’s Lumber store in my hometown of Sudbury and we’d better get going if we wanted to see him.

My 8 1/2-year-old self could hardly believe I was going to see an NHL player, and the guy who just months before had scored the Stanley Cup-winning goal for my favorite team to boot, up close and in the flesh. And I was going to get a signed picture! We arrived just as the event was just wrapping up. I approached Richard with all the courage I could muster and asked if I could have a picture for him to sign. “There aren’t any left,” Richard said, putting his hand on my head and mussing my hair. “But I’ll give you this instead.”

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