Ray Getliffe, 94, succumbed to liver cancer on the weekend.
A left winger who broke into the NHL with the Boston Bruins, Getliffe joined the Canadiens for the 1939-’40 season, his first of six in Montreal. He is responsible for giving Maurice Richard his nickname.
"Reporters stood behind the bench during practice at the Forum in those days," Getliffe told The Gazette’s Ian Macdonald in a 2004 interview. "Elmer Lach threw a puck over to this new kid, who flew in from the blue line. I said, ‘Look at that, he’s like a rocket.’
"Dink Carroll (a long-time sports columnist at the time) heard me and the next day it was in The Gazette. That’s how Richard became Rocket."
With Getliffe’s passing, Lach, who’s 90, becomes the oldest living Canadien.