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NO110 (14)

Week 8.docx

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Wilfrid Laurier University
North American Studies
Kevin Spooner

Week 8: Maurice ‘The Rocket’ Richard March 6, 2013 Maurice Richard (1921-2000)  Seriously injured twice, but still picked up by the Montreal Canadians  Despite injuries, in 1944-1945, scored 50 goals in 50 games  Known to be fiercely competitive – played best in the playoffs o Still holds the record for the number of playoff game winning goals (18)  His enthusiasm for hockey made him a hero, but he also had a short temper  Just under 1300 penalty minutes in his career  “Richard Riot” – March 1955, Canadians were playing the Bruins o A Bruins player cut Richard with his stick across his forehead o Then flew into a rage and starter beating up the guy that cut him o Ref pulls him off finally, Richard punches him  NHL president (an Anglo) suspends him for the rest of the season, including the playoffs (first time this happened)  Tension between Anglophones and Francophones o President (Campbell) decides to go to an NHL game in Montreal  People throwing stuff at him  Someone throws can of teargas towards him – ppl have to evacuate  Campbell then declares that the Canadians forfeited the game to the other team  Caused riot – many people injured  Hockey is more than a game – is a symbol of Quebecois identity  Richard becomes an iconic figure  Dies in 2000 – given a provincial state funeral in Quebec o More than 100,000 people attended  Richard and hockey symbolize the beliefs that Canadians hold about out character o Northerness, toughness, survivors, violent aggression that is played out in a c=good Canadian way (a game) Historical context of hockey  Today’s version of Hockey is created by McGill University students in 1870s  1877 in Montreal Gazette there are published rules of hockey  Lord Stanley donated a trophy (Stanley Cup) to be given to amateur hockey champions every year  Hockey parallels the historical narrative of Canada’s development o From a colony, to a nation, perhaps back to a colony  Canada’s emergence was a slow one, developing from the British empire into a world that is greatly dominated by the US  Initially hockey rejected and replaced 19 century British cultural norms o Hockey was new, northern, rugged, independent, distinctive, aggressive o Becomes a symbol of Canada’s coming of age Hockey as Popular Culture  People begin to realize money can be made, once people start associating themselves with their local teams o Start charging admission to games  Locally, emergence of identification between hockey and the community  Early 20 century, telegraph appears –transforms newspapers
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