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The Richard Riot

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Old
01-18-2007, 04:52 PM
  #1
Randall Graves*
 
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The Richard Riot

Why were Habs fans so outraged?

Richard intentionally injured Hal Laycoe and knocked an official unconscious, he was then suspended for the season. President Campbell was then harassed by habs fans in the form of being nailed by objects. I don't see why Habs fans were so outraged, if that happened today the same thing would probably happen, yet they rioted into the night causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage(alot for that time) is there some conspiracy here i'm missing?

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01-18-2007, 04:58 PM
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I think it was more of a people getting mad because of the events heading up to that particular event.

Nobody protected Richard and he had to do it on his own. He finally stood up for himself, and thats what happened.

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01-18-2007, 07:06 PM
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raleh
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This could turn ugly...this could be a topic that ends up locked.

I've read different accounts of the same event, and the people I've talked to that were there are fairly biased. However, almost all the accounts I have heard involve the ref holding Rocket's arms while someone punched away. The ref most likely should not have jumped in until everything was over. And the suspension of the Rocket was just one event in a large series of seemingly unfair ones. To the French Canadian fans, the Rocket was much more than a hockey player; whether he liked it or not.

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01-19-2007, 12:42 AM
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Quiet Robert
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From all that I've read on the affair, there is no conclusive account of what actually happened. Even Geoffrion, who from what I've read, was on the ice at the time, doesn't give an accurate account of the events. There was a confrontation between Richard and Lycoe for sure, but as to what exactly happened, even Richard's teammates disagreed as to how it went down.

I've read somewhere that Richard broke 3 sticks on Lycoe head and was still mad enough to come after him for more. When a linesman tried to restrain him, he punched him in the face and went after Lycoe again. On the other hand there's the story that Lycoe hit Richard in the head with his stick, drawing blood. When no penalty was called, Rocket went berserk and went after Lycoe, but was held back by an official. As he was held back, Lycoe landed a good number of punches shots. Richard broke free from the official, pushed him away and went after Lycoe.

The truth probably lies in between, but regardless, it was seen as excessive punishment. Remember that there had been previous encounters between Rocket and Campbell. The stories of fans from all over sending him money to pay his fines to the point where he would get 5X more what the league fined him. Or Gordie Howe's quote about people bowing down to him in department stores. Tongue and cheek of course, but it shows what effect Richard had on the population. He was the "petit gars de chez nous" dominating the league. Campbell was seen as a symbol for the Anglo-Saxon, Protestant "bosses" and fans lashed out against it.


Last edited by Nalyd Psycho: 01-21-2007 at 02:20 AM.
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01-19-2007, 03:52 AM
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I think the major problem and injustice was that Lycoe went unpunished.

But really, it has nothing to do with hockey, the Quebecois were a sleeping dragon with resentment building over centuries. It just so happened that Richard was the unifying force. It was an inevtiability that happened to play out through hockey.

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01-19-2007, 06:35 AM
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mcphee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RallyKiller View Post
Why were Habs fans so outraged?

Richard intentionally injured Hal Laycoe and knocked an official unconscious, he was then suspended for the season. President Campbell was then harassed by habs fans in the form of being nailed by objects. I don't see why Habs fans were so outraged, if that happened today the same thing would probably happen, yet they rioted into the night causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage(alot for that time) is there some conspiracy here i'm missing?
There have been many accounts written about this and I think you've read one . QR is right in that there are many versions, even from eye witnesses. I've heard the same thing from witnesses to crimes in that 10 people can give 10 descriptions.

Sociological factors aside, there was a buildup of resentment towards Richard in the league office, and in team front offices. The party line was that he was too quick to take the law into his own hands.

There is a thread somewhere in the archives of this board that our poster, ClassicHockey contributed to that gives a very good account of the lead up to the issue. He's active in compiling historical information and has spoken to many that were there. He dis-pelled some of the myths, and reported what I considered a pretty un-biased account. I wish I knew the specific thread, but it would give you a more balanced idea of the entire event.

Oh, and Realm, I hope you're a young guy because you'll have time to get smarter.

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01-19-2007, 07:59 PM
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Here is the actual ruling from then NHL President Clarence Campbell who noted that Richard had resorted to his stick (recovering it several times to pursue the attack) in attacking another player and had punched out another official earlier in the season:
Quote:
I have no hesitation in coming to the conclusion that the attack on Laycoe was not only deliberate but persisted in the face of all authority and that the referee acted with proper judgment in accordance with the rules in awarding a match penalty. I am also satisfied that Richard did not strike linesman Thompson as a result of a mistake or accident as suggested. There is singularly little conflict in the evidence as to important relevant facts. Assistance can also be obtained from an incident that occurred less than three months ago in which the pattern of conduct of Richard was almost identical, including his constant resort to the recovery of his stick to pursue his opponent, as well as flouting the authority of and striking officials. On the previous occasion he was fortunate that teammates and officials were more effective in preventing him from doing injury to anyone and the penalty was more lenient in consequence. At the time he was warned there must be no further incident. It was too bad that his teammates did not assist officials instead of interfering with them. The time for probationary lenience has passed, whether this type of conduct is the product of temperamental instability or willful defiance of the authority of the game does not matter. Richard will be suspended from all games both league and playoff for the balance of the current season.
BTW Laycoe was already being assessed a penalty for the high stick when Richard went after him.

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01-20-2007, 04:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raleh View Post
This could turn ugly...this could be a topic that ends up locked.

I've read different accounts of the same event, and the people I've talked to that were there are fairly biased. However, almost all the accounts I have heard involve the ref holding Rocket's arms while someone punched away. The ref most likely should not have jumped in until everything was over. And the suspension of the Rocket was just one event in a large series of seemingly unfair ones. To the French Canadian fans, the Rocket was much more than a hockey player; whether he liked it or not.
I am aware of some of the history involving Richard but I think President Campbell had no choice but to suspend him, too bad there's no video of this so we could see if the ref was intentionally holding his arm back or if he was just trying to prevent a fight.

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01-20-2007, 04:38 AM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcphee View Post
There have been many accounts written about this and I think you've read one . QR is right in that there are many versions, even from eye witnesses. I've heard the same thing from witnesses to crimes in that 10 people can give 10 descriptions.

Sociological factors aside, there was a buildup of resentment towards Richard in the league office, and in team front offices. The party line was that he was too quick to take the law into his own hands.

There is a thread somewhere in the archives of this board that our poster, ClassicHockey contributed to that gives a very good account of the lead up to the issue. He's active in compiling historical information and has spoken to many that were there. He dis-pelled some of the myths, and reported what I considered a pretty un-biased account. I wish I knew the specific thread, but it would give you a more balanced idea of the entire event.

Oh, and Realm, I hope you're a young guy because you'll have time to get smarter.
Hate to use a T.O comparison but was Richard viewed as that type of guy? How did his teammates view him?

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01-20-2007, 08:39 AM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RallyKiller View Post
Hate to use a T.O comparison but was Richard viewed as that type of guy? How did his teammates view him?
No, not even similar. I assume you mean a wide receiver and not Terry O'Reilly, who carried the initials with more dignity. Ownes craves attn., and finds controversy that will keep his name fresh. Richard was uncomfortable with attn, and prferred to do what he loved best, score goals. From all accounts I've read, he was pride driven, but uncomfortable in the public eye.

There's never just one factor or reason for something. Richard would fight his own battles. Every coach/GM knew that and would send out guys to provoke,slash, punch, racially insult, whatever it took. That's what I've always read, and I pretty well believe it, though, how severe was it may be another question. Richard wasn't a turn the other cheek kind of guy. Some have compared his style to Iginla in another thread, well imagine players and fans taunting Iginla's color, mixed race parentage, and the league saying/doing nothing.

Richard came to think, 'hmm, I'm filling your rinks, and you treat me like a poor ignorant French Canadian ' He had lost respect and regard for the league administration.

Now the fire got fueled by his coach, Dick Irvin. He thought an angry Richard was a winning Richard. The level of anger he got out of Richard was over the top though. He pushed every button and did it for a long time.


I noticed ClassicHockey's back posting and he has given the best account of that game that I've seen on this board, separating the myth and the event. No, the linesman wasn't holding him so a Bruin could punch Richard. He probably made a mistake and held on while the B was free and didn't react properly. I don't think the ref was knocked out like in the movie, I don't think the bench was handing the Rocket new sticks to swing every 10 seconds like Geoffrion tells it either. Hockey fights then weren't 2 guys pairing off like today. More often, it was crowded,more close quarters, as players piled in. My understanding in things I've read was that richard swung at the linesman in the middle of the mass confusion of the brawl. it was intentional, I'm sure, but it wasn't the way it was made to look in the movie.

If Red Storey was reffing that night, he would've called the linesman a dummy and told him never to do that to a player.


So, no, there is no similarity to that clown Owens. Richard was loved by his teammates. Some of the characaters in teh movie were with him until the end. Elmer Lach,Butch Bouchard. I think Lach was one of his pall bearers, though I'm not sure, he would've been about 80. No one ever called Richard selfish.

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