On today’s date in 1953, Maurice “The Rocket” Richard scored the 325th goal of his career to become the all-time leading goal scorer in National Hockey League (NHL) history.
A Montreal native, Richard played 18 season with the Montreal Canadiens from 1942-60, during which time he became the first player to score 50 goals in one season (1944-45) and the first player to reach 500 career goals (1957). In 1947, he won the Hart Trophy as the league’s most valuable player. Altogether, he played in 13 All-Star Games and was named to 14 post-season All-Star Teams.
Richard retired in 1960 after helping the Canadiens win five consecutive Stanley Cup Championships. At the time of his retirement, he was the NHL’s all-time leader in goals with 544 career goals.
In 2005, the Royal Canadian Mint issued a four-coin set featuring Richard and his fellow former Canadiens Jean Beliveau, Guy Lafleur and Jacques Plante. Mint engravers used photographs supplied by the Hockey Hall of Fame to capture the players in iconic poses. Each of the 50-cent coins, which were part of the Mint’s Hockey Legends issue, had a mintage of 25,000. These sterling silver coins contain 92.5 per cent silver and 7.5 per cent copper and have a diameter of 27.13 mm and a weight of 9.3 grams. The obverse features the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.