Last chance to send greetings to Pocket

Henri Richard, a true Canadiens great
David Bier Studios, Gazette files

If you haven’t yet added your birthday greetings for Canadiens great Henri Richard – and many of you have, from around the world – do it now!

The legendary Pocket Rocket turned 18 on Friday, celebrating one birthday every four years as a leap-year baby.

Born on Feb. 29, 1936, Richard won a record 11 Stanley Cups during his illustrious 20-season career with the Canadiens, a standard that will never be matched in today’s expanded NHL and in an era of free-agency.

Inside/Out reader habfan53 had a fine idea: Why not a thread so folks could send along their birthday greetings to the great Pocket Rocket? You’ve got until 2 p.m. today to add yours, and I’ll print the thread and take it to tonight’s Bell Centre game to get it into the Hall of Famer’s hands.

89 Comments

  1. Habhopeful says:

    Congratulations On finally being able to have a beer after all those 11 stanley cup wins on your behalf, Hope you have a good one…

    Happy Birthday!

    Renato

  2. NightRyder says:

    I’d still take Pocket today over Smolinski!

    Happy Birthday.

  3. doug says:

    Happy Birthday Monsieur Richard- You’re a legend on the ice and 100% class off of it. Thank you and your teammates for adding so much joy to my life.

  4. G-Man says:

    Happy Birthday to the only person on the planet with enough Stanley Cups for all his fingers (thumbs included) with one extra!
    Your pride and fierce determination lifted us from our seats time and again. All the best to you and your family, Henri!

    Gilbert

  5. sakusteam says:

    Happy 18th Birthday Mr Richard !!!!!!!!
    Too bad Montreal is playing in Buffalo on your Birthday. I sent e-mails to Montreal and Buffalo suggesting that they help celebrate your Birthday. Hopefully Montreal listened to my suggestion to have a party in the Molson zone for you. Eleven Stanley cups but not able to have a beer. Sounds pretty funny.

    Jeffrey

  6. Bash says:

    Hello Henri!

    One of my fondest hockey memories is playing against the NHL Oldtimers..a fundraiser in NL some years ago.

    Our lines were matched up the whole night and I was smiling from ear to ear as I chased you around the ice!*

    You remain one of my favourite players..I will never forget that come from behind victory in Chicago when you practically carried the team on your back in the third period.

    *BTW…I had two assists in an 11-3 loss but was -3 for the night!

  7. carmine007 says:

    Happy Birthday Henri!!!

    We share the same month!

    It’s NEVER over til it’s OVER!

  8. Kenny says:

    Happy Birthday Mr. Richard!

  9. Dan23 says:

    Joyeux anniversaire M. Richard ! Je vous souhaite mes meilleurs voeux. Go Habs Go !

  10. krob1000 says:

    Please send me a lottery ticket Henri…….I know it would be a winner…..it would have to be if you touched it. Midas has nothing on you. Happy Birthday Henri. Although I am only 31 years old I still refer to you nearly every time I get into it with a Leaf fan. I always bring up the fact that you have as many Stanley Cups yourself as the Leafs have ever won….it is my finishing move….there is no defence against a statement like that.

  11. Habs64 says:

    Happy Birthday to the Pocket Rocket!! Enjoyed watching him play when I was a youngun!

  12. Shan says:

    Joyeux Anniversaire, M. Richard!
    I guess now you can vote!

    Take care
    Shan (a Habs fan in Toronto)

  13. Guy21 says:

    A Very Happy Birthday,Henri-You were always one of the best Habs……Your parents must have been so proud of her boys…

    GO HABS GO

  14. Richard B says:

    Thats a nice story,
    Happy birthday Mr. Richard
    From Richard in Newfoundland

  15. smiler2729 says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY Pocket Rocket! When I first started collecting hockey cards and watching HNIC way back in 1971 on Nun’s Island, you were one of the first Habs to capture my imagination and to this day your number 16 is always played anytime I pick 6 numbers for the lottery, I don’t know why but it seems to be as lucky to me as 7.

  16. habfan53 says:

    P.S. Thanks Dave

  17. habfan53 says:

    To my favorite player “Bonne st Heureuse Anniversaire”

    I have been fortunate to have met M.Richard on several occasions. My favorite was around 1972 I was caddying at the Elm Ridge Golf Club outside Montreal. It was their annual golf tournament and I WANTED his bag. Because I had been in a dispute with the caddy master he gave me somebody elses. It cost me 20.00 to buy his bag back so effectively I caddied for nothing. About an hour after the round finished I was hitching a ride home. Who should stop to pick me up but Henri himself. As we drove I told him he was my favorite player he said I was lucky to get his bag then, I explaind what happened and he laughed. He drove me all the way home and then tried to pay me my 20.00 back. I said thanks but it was a real pleasure to carry his bag he would not accept no and placed the money in my shirt pocket. I later found an extra 10.00.

  18. Shoowtime says:

    Happy B-Day Rocket

  19. Corio says:

    Happy Birthday Rocket! :)

  20. fuhgawz says:

    Happy B-Day Pocket —— and many many more to come —– wish i would have been alive to see you and your brother play but the stories i have been told and have read is what makes this team a thing of legend. Proud to be a fan and proud we have you guys still around as amazing ambassadors to hockey and especially this team.

    GO HABS GO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Cape Breton says:

    Henri, I have many fond memories of your great career. My best being in 1971 when you scored twice in Game 7 against Chicago to bring home the Cup. Happy Birthday & many happy returns

  22. BeliveauFanScott says:

    I certainly want to add my very best wishes to Monsieur Richard for this special day. I believe the only person to have more championship rings than fingers!
    Best wishes for many more.
    Happy Birthday…

    BeliveauFanScott

  23. V. says:

    Bonne fete Henri! Je n’ai jamais eux la chance de vous voir jouer (j’ai 21 ans), mais j’ai toujours entendre des beaux choses a propos de vous. (excuse mon francais, je suis francais mais je ne utilise pas souvent) Bonne annee aussi!

    Vanessa, d’Oka.

  24. Robert L says:

    Now that he’s 18, the Habs can use that pick they got from Washington to draft him!

  25. the_larry says:

    Happy Birthday Mr. Richard. All the best to you and your family in 2008! Cheers to good health.

    – Andrew, London ON

  26. 1010 says:

    They talk about #99 and his 50 goals in 39 games being a record for the ages. But 11 cups in 20 years. That’s insane. Happy Birthday POCKET ROCKET!
    Geeeez…. how many classy legends can one team have? Come to think of it, that’s a record for the ages.

    GO HABS.

  27. kiwihabsfan says:

    All the best on your birthday, may 2008 be a wonderful year for you and your family.

    Happy Birthday,

    – Sarah Ward
    Auckland, New Zealand

  28. Ali says:

    Happy Birthday Mr. Richard!

    It’s an honor to have had such a classy and dignified person represent our beloved city and team!

  29. GrimJim says:

    Happy Birthday, M. Richard. I remember watching you play and I was always impressed with your style, hard work and sheer enjoyment of the game. You and your compatriots taught me to love the best game on earth.

  30. A. Berke says:

    Bonne et joyeux anniversaire M. Richard. Wish you and your family the best.

    It was a great pleasure to see you play. Thank you for the memories.

    PS: Now that you turned 18 (i.e. old enough to play), will you come back to the team for a 12th Cup? :-)

    Ali B.

  31. gazeux says:

    Happy Birthday Henri!

    Manny
    Poughkeepsie, NY

  32. ddawwidd says:

    Happy birthday to a living symbol of my beloved Canadiens! You were one of the people who made this team great. I wish you 100 birthdays!

    I’m 22 and I’m jealous when I see how much you accomplished before turning 18 :)

    Joyeux anniversaire de Pologne!

  33. The Teacher says:

    Happy Birthday Mr. Richard.

    “Are the Habs ready to pay the Price?”

  34. habitual says:

    Dear Henri: The player who has won the most Stanley Cups, and treasured hockey legend! Many thanks for carrying that torch so long and high.

  35. dano010 says:

    Bonne Fete Henri. Merci pour tout les bonne memoire.

  36. boomslanger says:

    Happy 18th Birthday, Pocket!

  37. Peter Young says:

    Many happy returns of the day, Henri, and may you enjoy many more birthday celebrations in good health.

    I remember when you broke into the NHL in October, 1955. The media said you were 19 and quoted new coach Toe Blake as saying he had to keep you on the team because no one could get the puck away from you in training camp. I remember all the speculation about whether your older brother Maurice would blow up coming to your defence, and then it turned out you knew how to look after yourself very well even if you weren’t the biggest fellow around. Most of all I remember your skating and puckhandling; they were dazzling. I loved to read this in the game scoresheets: M. Richard (H. Richard, Moore). You spent 20 years in the NHL, and now it’s 33 years–a third of a century!–since you retired. But you packed enough into those 20 years to give us memories for a century or more. Thank you, Henri, for all you did for the club and all the joy you brought to the fans.

  38. RudeMood19 says:

    Happy Birthday Pocket Rocket!

    _____________________________________________________________
    1. February 19th, 2008, a day which will live in sublimity.

  39. Blitzen says:

    Monsieur Richard,

    Je n’ai malheureusement pu vous voir qu’à la toute fin de votre carrière mais mon père m’a amplement parlé de vos prouesses légendaires.

    C’est avec grand plaisir que je vous souhaite un joyeux 18ème anniversaire, et plusieurs autres!!
    _____________________________________________________
    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

  40. Higgins21 says:

    Henri,
    As a boy growing up on PEI in the 60s, you were my idol. I wore #16 as a peewee and in high school. Earlier this month, my son and I went to the Bell Center for a game. I purchased a T-shirt with #16 and your name on the back. My son bought your brother’s #9.
    Happy Birthday and many more.

    Go Habs Go!

  41. Dintrox says:

    Happy 18th Birthday Mr. Richard..

  42. moser17 says:

    Bonne Fete, M. Richard!

    I grew up with a poster of you skating in your Canadiens uniform, hanging on my bedroom door. My father had it when he was a boy, and he gave it to me when I was about 10 years old. I was very proud of that picture, and I felt it connected me to earlier generations of Canadiens players and fans. Thank you for those memories.

  43. RGM says:

    Happy birthday, Henri. You are a class individual and you represent this organization so very well in so many ways.
    All the best,
    Richard

    See you April 5th at the Bell Centre!

  44. POPS says:

    Bonne Fete M.Richard!I wish you great health and happiness!

  45. grrrreg says:

    Joyeux anniversaire Mr Richard, meilleures pensées à vous depuis la France!

  46. HABZ24 says:

    Hello mr.legend, your a young pup of 18!! lace em up and get out there big man !! wish it were possible.happy birthday and many thanks for all youve done for our habs and for the joy youve brought our fine hockey mad city over the years!! merci henri.mike.p.

  47. TC says:

    One of the greatest to ever put on the sweater. And while others have more goals, assists etc.. nobody has more Cups and nobody had more heart. Having been lucky enough to spend some time with the man I can confirm to all that he is even more classy and gracious than you can imagine.

    http://www.habsworld.net/article.php?id=1568&PHPSESSID=280598066d49eee2582113581c1fcd0c

    I notice that many have mentioned the 1971 Cup clincher, let’s also not forget that Henri scored the Cup winner in overtime against Detroit in 1966.

    Happy 18th Mr. Richard and here’s to eighteen more.

    T.C.
    tc.denault@habsworld.net

  48. bernardlebovits says:

    i got the chance to meet my hero last year. what a gentleman,a true example of what a great athlete is.

    henri was my inspiration as a kid to play sports,event though i was on the small side. but i took on bigger and stronger athletes in many sports.

    i showed the same true grit and determination as my hero.

    my birthday is feb 28 and i turned 52 yrs old yesterday.

    through someone who knows henri and myself, i got the best birthday present i could imagine–a phone call and birthday wishes from henri himself.

    to my hero, your kindness and your example of being a genunine hero, i want to wish you l’chaim-a long and healthy and joyous life–happy 18th birthday

  49. Infanteer says:

    Bonne Fete, Henri, from the Royal Canadian Regiment!

  50. Sulemaan says:

    Records are meant to be broken. However, the figure of 11 Stanley Cups that were won by you Mr. Richard will probably stand the tests of time. Many happy returns.

  51. OhioHab18 says:

    A Joyous Happy Birthday to you Monsieur Richard.
    To you and all your loved ones a long and happy life.
    A thank you for all the enjoyment you brought to this Habs fan.
    To one class individual and a heck of a hockey player.
    Bon Anniversaire!

    Chris
    Toledo, Ohio

  52. Shobud says:

    One of greatest to play the game. Proof that you don’t need to be a big man to win. Just have a big heart. Happy birthday Henri and many more

  53. ZepFan2 says:

    Bonne Fete M. Richard!

    Ahh to be 18 again. ;)

    11 cups in 20 seasons…WOW

  54. N.B.habs fan says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my favourite player of all times.I met him in Fredericton N.B. WE chatted for 1 half hour and he is a class act gentleman.

  55. dicktracy says:

    Have a great day today, tomorrow and every day, you have given so many people great moments to remember Henri. Thank you. Happy Birthday

  56. coutNY says:

    So he should be available in this years draft, now that he’s 18?

    Happy Birthday ~ Mr. Richard

  57. Habs_008 says:

    Being born in the 80’s i never had the Privilege to see you play. But i have heard the stories. 11 cups, truly amazing. Happy Birthday from the biggest hab fan in Ontario….I’m sure other Ontario hab fans will beg to differ. I like that. GO HABS GO! Happy Birthday.

  58. lillypad_33 says:

    Happy Birthday Henri!
    Gretzky has many records that they say will never be broken, but your 11 cups before your 18th birthday is untouchable in my eyes!

  59. otter649 says:

    Happy Birthday Henri & many more….

    Martin

  60. J.T. says:

    With your posture still so regal
    and your snowy cap of hair,
    and your dress as neat and dapper
    as your banner hanging there,

    Time’s passage has been gently kind,
    but I still wish this for you:
    May you still look like you’re eighteen
    the day you’re seventy-two.

    From all of us who cheered you on
    or who never saw you play,
    long life, much love and happiness
    on a very special day.

    http://habsloyalist.blogspot.com

  61. VTHabsFan says:

    Happy Birthday to a great man. You are a treasure to Montreal and to the game of hockey. Have a great birthday!

    GO HABS GO!!

  62. Moey says:

    Bonne Fete Henri,

    I had the good fortune to have seen you play with the Habs, 11 cup rings is a fantastic legacy.

    May you have many more healthy and prosperous years.

    Best regards,

    Maureen (a Hab fan for 40 years).

  63. RetroMikey says:

    Happy Birthday Mr. Henri Richard!!!!

    “We will win the Cup only with Carey Price in the nets”

  64. Sami says:

    A joyous Happy Birthday Henri!!!
    With many more to come. Here’s wishing you and your family the very best in health and happiness.
    I enjoyed watching you play hockey, golf, and having a few beers with you at your Tavern and at the Fantasy Camp.
    Thanks for the memories and for all you have done for our Club de Hockey Canadien, your are truly a treasure.
    Sue/MV

  65. Robert L says:

    Joyeuse fete, Henri!

    Henri – your passion, attitude, and perseverance has defined my outlook as a Canadiens fan.

    Je veut te dire un gros “Merci” pour m’avoir donner cela.

    Je suis un fan des Canadiens depuis 1971, quand j’avais seulement 9 ans. J’ai fait du coaching avec des enfants de douze a seize ans, et maintenant j’ai une fille dans le hockey depuis 1999.

    Dans ma couer, je te dois plus qu’un simple merci.

    Tes deux buts, le 18 mai, 1971, on faite un impression pour toujours dans mon coeur de ce qui est un hockeyeur complet.
    C’etais un match qui reste imprimée sur ma memoire pour la vie.

    Bonne fete, Henri!

    J’espere sincerement que tout va bien avec vous et votre famille.

    Tous mon amour,

    Robert L

    Eyes On The Prize

    http://wwwrealitycheckeyesontheprize.blogspot.com/2008/02/happy-18th-henri.html

  66. Cable Guy says:

    Wishing you a Happy 72nd Birthday Mr. Richard.

  67. johnnyhab says:

    Happy Birthday Mr. Richard all the best!!!

  68. tony d says:

    happy birthday pocket!!!
    18 huh? quite the leap
    thanks for the memories

  69. sadave says:

    Cher M. Richard,

    Recalling that Feb 29th was your birthday and reading the many birthdays wishes from your fans, old and new, brought back sweet memories for me growing up as a Canadiens fan cheering for you and all our players — road hockey, every afternoon after school, till well past dark, skating at the neighbourhood rink in all kinds of weather (mostly sub-zero!), and the glorious feeling of being bone tired after many hours of both — all proudly wearing my #16 Montreal sweater.

    Please add my voice to the many who honour and respect you — and who wish you the happiest of birthdays. Joyeux anniversaire!

  70. Wops says:

    Bonne fête Henri!
    _______________________________________
    CH is for Chris Higgins

  71. Chuck says:

    Happy 18th birthday, Henri Richard!

    Though small in stature you played with the size of a giant, and in doing so set an NHL record that may never be broken. Eleven Stanley Cups! Most players would give their left arm to see their name inscribed on it just once.

    A while ago I had the good fortune to aquire one of your old jerseys. Though I’ve never met you, I can still envision you flying up the Forum ice in that bleu, blanc et rouge woolen wonder. It is a reminder of your greatness that I will treasure forever.

    Your dedication and the success that you brought to the Montreal Canadiens will never be forgotten.

    Again, happy birthday from Southern Ontario!
    Chuck

    .
    .

    ______________________________________
    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  72. Hoegarden says:

    Monsieur Richard,

    A Happy 72nd Birthday to you sir, a true legend, a man that would not know the meaning of “quit”, and a winner in every sense of the word.

    Many players dream of having their names inscribed on the cup one day. Yours is on there 11 times. This is one record you have that will never be approached.

  73. joel says:

    Bonne Fete Henri!
    Happy Birthday Henri!
    all the best and many more
    i have nothing but great memories of Henri,,,of one of the greatest hockey players anywhere, anytime!!!
    THANK YOU !!!
    MERCI !!!

  74. randmoe says:

    Happy Birthday Mr. Henri Richard. May you have many more healthy and happy years.

  75. DownwithBobBarker says:

    Bonne Fete Henri, et merci pour tous que vous avez faite pour nous les partisans. Le Pocket Rocket sera toujours une legende a Montreal.

  76. Sbah Reverof says:

    Bon anniversaire, Monsieur Richard!
    Now that you’re 18, is it too early to start talking about Cup #12?

  77. havok says:

    Bonne fete Mr. Richard!

    Fete ca en grand!
    Merci pur tous ce que vous avez fais pour le CH , surtout pour la communaute et votre benevolat

    Eric

  78. MCHC24 says:

    Happy Birthday Henri.

    You remain a shining example of all that is great on and off the ice.
    Many Happy Returns!!!

    J MacBeth
    Peterborough (now Ottawa)

  79. Habsnumber1 says:

    Happy 18th birthday Henri!
    I have never seen you play but from what I know and heard you were and still are the best! I’d like to wish you health and happiness.Best wishes!
    Vous etes un vrai heros et une inspiration aux athletes de tous les sports!

    GO HABS GO!
    Habs fan for life!
    Maria

  80. Kelly says:

    Henri,

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY.

    Thank you for the memories of you playing the game with so much skill and even greater passion! At the time I was wahtching you and other great Canadiens players, I did not realize how forunate I was as a fan.

    As a lifelong Canadiens fan I was born in Montreal but raised in Detroit(of all places).

    I was fortunate to be at the Olympia Stadium, the night, in 1966, when you scored the over-time Cup winner against Roger Crozier. I was content to watch on TV as you scored another Cup winner in 1971 against Tony Esposito
    in Chacago.

    Game in and game out, all Hab fans were fortunate to have seen you play so many great games that it’s difficult to mention them all.

    Again, thanks for the memories. May God bless you with good health,

    Dr. Brian Kelly
    Edmonton, Alberta

  81. Richard1984 says:

    Happy Birthday Henri, and all the best!

  82. RCMP486 says:

    Happy Birthday Henri!

  83. The M says:

    you the man rocket

  84. the Maritimer says:

    Happy Birthday Mssr. Richard!

    I can still see you scoring the winning goal against Tony Esposito back in 1971.

    Glenn Stanton
    Saint John, NB

  85. habfan53 says:

    That one and the one in ’66 against Crozier

  86. Odie Cleghorn says:

    Monsieur Richard,

    Felcitations and may you enjoy many, many more. You’ve set a magnificent standard for all young people across the country – 11 Stanley Cups before your tenth birthday. Indeed, your proficiency at hockey is the sign of a well spent youth.

  87. Eric37 says:

    Bon anniversaire Henri! From a Habs fan in Toronto.

    E.

  88. Rtnrlfy says:

    Happy Birthday, Henri! I sure wish I could have seen you play.

    Lesley, Shippensburg, PA

  89. Ed says:

    Happy Birthday, to you Mr. Henri Richard, the Pocket Rocket. I am old enough to have been listening to the radio and watching T.V. when you played for the Canadiens in those glorious, wonderful days. You were an inspiration to watch, as I loved to play hockey too, and like you, I was smaller than most of the other players. You always played with class, and determination. You were a hero to me, and to a lot of other Canadiens’ fans. God bless you and your family, and may you enjoy many more birthdays together.


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