Red Fisher is a legendary Montreal journalist who has been covering the Habs since 1954. He is the longest-serving beat writer presently covering an NHL team.
He is being inducted into the Quebec Sports Hall of Fame and counting down the top 10 moments of his career.
Here is #6 :
an article he wrote about the hazing he received in 1956
at the hands of the Habs after he talked back to Maurice Richard.
"The initiation of rookies is a tradition at the professional level. Rookies don't win veterans' trust or confidence simply by being there. There are tests to be endured, rites of passage to experience, and woe to anyone who tries to avoid them. When the Canadiens travelled by train, the sleeping car always was where the initiation -involving a bucket of ice, wet towels, warm water and an electric shaver -took place. First-year players normally had to go through them -and so did rookie reporters. No exceptions. My initiation didn't take place until my second season on the beat.
"We were looking for you on the train the other night," Maurice Richard said to me after a practice during the 1956-57 season. "The guys were wondering where you were."
"Forget it, Rocket," I said. "Now and then, I'm flying home. Anyway, the first guy who comes close to me gets punched in the jaw."
This, needless to say, was a big mistake. Nobody, not anyone, talks to the Rocket that way -even in jest. He meant too much to everyone, including me."