Born: Aug. 4, 1921, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Died: May 27, 2000 (aged 78), in Montreal, Quebec
NHL career: 18 years (1942-60)
Teams: Montreal Canadiens
Bottom line: Sportswriters didn't call Maurice Richard "The Rocket" just because of his power and speed game.
Rival goaltender Glenn Hall noted, "What I remember most about Rocket was his eyes. When he came flying toward you with the puck on his stick, his eyes were all lit up. It was terrifying."
Perhaps the most dominant scorer of the NHL's first half-century, the Montreal Canadiens superstar also was a cultural touchstone in the province of Quebec. When Richard passed away in 1998, he became the first non-politician to be honored with a state funeral.
"The Rocket" was a nickname so good, it’s been successfully revived twice. Richard’s younger brother, Henri Richard, was dubbed "The Pocket Rocket" because of his smaller stature. The Richard brothers played together for five seasons.
Then, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, spellbinding scorer Pavel "The Russian Rocket" Bure burst onto the scene.
All three "Rockets" are members of the Hockey Hall of Fame.