Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Pierre Larouche
In terms of pure offensive talent, centre Pierre Larouche had few peers. He was at his best when allowed to rag the puck or use his quick release around the net. The tricky forward recorded ten 20-goal seasons in the NHL and was one of the most prolific scorers to ever play junior hockey in Canada.

Larouche spent most of his two junior seasons with the Sorel Black Hawks where he was one of the greatest scorers in the history of the QMJHL. In 1973-74, he scored 251 points to set a league record that lasted until Mario Lemieux arrived a decade later. After his record setting year, "Lucky Pierre" was chosen eighth overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The slick pivot scored 31 goals as a rookie and finished runner up to Eric Vail in the Calder trophy voting. The next year he hit the 53-goal mark while centring Rick Kehoe and Vic Hadfield. The highlight of his season in 1976-77 was being a part of Team Canada when it returned to the World Championships. The next year he was off to a slow start but realized a dream when he was acquired by the Stanley Cup-champion Montreal Canadiens for Peter Mahovlich and Peter Lee.

Larouche did not see as much ice time as he would have liked under coach Scotty Bowman. His lack of interest in playing defence was a source of friction between the two, but Larouche still managed to see some action in the playoffs and win two Stanley Cup rings. When the Habs retooled in 1979-80, Larouche's offense was rekindled under Bernie Geoffrion and Claude Ruel. He hit the 50-goal mark for the second time in his career though he faced criticism after scoring only one goal when the club was eliminated in the quarter-finals.

Following his tenure in Montreal, Larouche joined the Hartford Whalers for a couple of seasons where he contributed eleven power play goals in 1981-82. Prior to the 1983-84 season, he was signed as a free agent with the New York Rangers where he recorded one 40-goal performance and hit the 20-goal mark three times. In 1985-86, he started the season in the minors and ended up being one of the few players to scored twenty goals in two different leagues the same year. Larouche retired after dressing for ten games with the Rangers in 1987-88.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1972-73 Quebec Remparts QMJHL 20 6 7 13 0 10 7 6 13 2
1972-73 Sorel Eperviers QMJHL 43 47 54 101 44 10 7 6 13 2
1973-74 Sorel Eperviers QMJHL 67 94 157 251 55 13 15 18 33 20
1974-75 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 79 31 37 68 52 +2 9 2 5 7 2
1975-76 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 76 53 58 111 33 +4 3 0 1 1 0
1976-77 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 65 29 34 63 14 -10 3 0 3 3 0
1976-77 Canada WEC-A 10 7 8 15 16
1977-78 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 20 6 5 11 0 -13
1977-78 Montreal Canadiens NHL 44 17 32 49 11 +32 5 2 1 3 4
1978-79 Montreal Canadiens NHL 36 9 13 22 4 +3 6 1 3 4 0
1979-80 Montreal Canadiens NHL 73 50 41 91 16 +36 9 1 7 8 2
1980-81 Montreal Canadiens NHL 61 25 28 53 28 +13 2 0 2 2 0
1981-82 Montreal Canadiens NHL 22 9 12 21 0 -3
1981-82 Hartford Whalers NHL 45 25 25 50 12 -17
1982-83 Hartford Whalers NHL 38 18 22 40 8 -24
1983-84 New York Rangers NHL 77 48 33 81 22 -15 5 3 1 4 2
1984-85 New York Rangers NHL 65 24 36 60 8 -17
1985-86 New York Rangers NHL 28 20 7 27 4 -6 16 8 9 17 2
1985-86 Hershey Bears AHL 32 22 17 39 16
1986-87 New York Rangers NHL 73 28 35 63 12 -7 6 3 2 5 4
1987-88 New York Rangers NHL 10 3 9 12 13 -3
NHL Totals 812 395 427 822 237 64 20 34 54 16


QMJHL - Rookie of the Year (1973)
QMJHL Second All-Star Team (1974) Played in NHL All-Star Game (1976, 1984)
Traded to Montreal by Pittsburgh with future considerations (rights to Peter Marsh, December 15, 1977) for Pete Mahovlich and Peter Lee, November 29, 1977. Traded to Hartford by Montreal with Montreal's 1st round choice (Sylvain Cote) in 1984 Entry Draft and Montreal's 3rd round choice (later traded to Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh selected Bruce Racine) in 1985 Entry Draft for Hartford's 1st (Petr Svoboda) and 2nd (later traded to St. Louis - St. Louis selected Brian Benning) round choices in 1984 Entry Draft and Hartford's 3rd round choice (Rocky Dundas) in 1985 Entry Draft, December 21, 1981. Signed as a free agent by NY Rangers, September 12, 1983.