Since the formation of the National Hockey League® in 1917, generations of Canadians have trained, practised and played their hearts out for a chance to skate in the NHL®. Our deep connection with the game explains why Canada has created so many legendary players. Maurice Richard claimed three famous firsts and captured the imagination of fans across the country. A national icon, Jean Béliveau retired with the most points in the history of the Montreal Canadiens®. Gordie Howe, who embodied the game so completely that he was nicknamed “Mr. Hockey,” played longer as a professional than anyone before or since. Bobby Orr was the greatest defenceman the League had ever seen, while “The Magnificent One” – Mario Lemieux – thrilled fans in Pittsburgh with 17 seasons of effortless scoring. And of course, Wayne “The Great One” Gretzky claimed over 60 NHL records and left an enduring mark on the game.
Issued to coincide with the NHL’s 100th anniversary, these stamps commemorate six players whose names, numbers and achievements recall legendary moments in the history of the game that are sure to inspire Canada’s next generation players.
Maurice (Rocket) Richard played 18 NHL seasons with the Montreal Canadiens. In 978 regular-season games, he scored 544 goals, 422 assists and 966 points. The Rocket had three famous firsts: 50 goals in a season; 50 goals in 50 games (1944-45); and 500 career goals. He won eight Stanley Cup Championships, including five in a row from 1955-56 to 1959-60, and the Hart Trophy as the League’s most valuable player in 1946-47. He led the League in goals five times and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1961. The Canadiens retired his No. 9 in 1960.
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