OTD: Maurice Richard signs with WHA’s Québec Nordiques

On today’s date in 1972, former Montréal Canadiens legend Maurice Richard was hired to coach the Québec Nordiques hockey team in the first season of the World Hockey Association (WHA).

On July 20, 1972, Marius Fortier—one of the Nordiques’ six founders—offered Richard a job as the team’s head coach. Richard saw this as a chance to fulfill his dream of coaching hockey and accepted the position; however, after losing his first game 2-0 on the road against the Cleveland Crusaders, Richard handed in his resignation.

He told Fortier: “It’s that simple: I’ll die behind the bench, and I love life too much to do that.”

Fortier convinced him to stay for another game while he found a replacement, but Richard was unable to follow the tempo during his team’s second game, this at home against the Alberta Oilers. Defenceman Jean-Claude Tremblay managed the line changes and team strategy.

On Oct. 14, 1972, La Presse reported that during the game against Alberta, who were losing handily to the Nordiques after a “brilliant performance”, Richard was “nervous, shaking occasionally like a leaf.”

Richard finally quit on Oct. 14 and was replaced by Maurice Filion.

The Mint’s 2005 set – dubbed Hockey Legends – also featured Jean Beliveau, Guy Lafleur and Jacques Plante.

2005 FOUR-COIN SET

In 2005, the Royal Canadian Mint issued a four-coin set featuring Richard alongside his fellow former Canadiens teammates 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 millimetres as well as a weight of 9.3 grams.

The coins’ obverses feature the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.

Leave a Reply

Keep up to date with the numismatic community

Sign up to receive our newsletter.

Canadian Coin News

Canada

Canadian Coin News is Canada's premier source of information about coins, notes and medals.

Although we cover the entire world of numismatics, the majority of our readers are Canadian, and we concentrate on the unique circumstances surrounding collecting in our native land.

Send Us Your Event

Running an event? Send it to us and we will display it on Canadian Coin News!

Submit Event →

Subscribe To 26 Issues For Just $47.99/year

Subscribe today to receive Canada's premier coin publication. Canadian Coin News is available in both paper and digital forms.

Subscribe Now

We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Periodical Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage.