Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Jacques Richard
As a junior phenomenon with the Quebec Ramparts of the QMJHL, Jacques Richard was blessed with an overabundance of natural talent and a set of wheels fit for the Indianapolis 500. His teammate with the Ramparts was Guy Lafleur and some observers of the day speculated that Richard might prove to be the brighter light of the two at the NHL level.

But before testing the big-league waters, the two all-stars pooled their resources to bring the Memorial Cup to Quebec City in 1971. By the following season, Richard was labeled a "can't miss" prospect on the strength of netting 71 goals and 89 assists in only 61 games.

He was selected 2nd overall by the Atlanta Flames in the 1972 Amateur Draft. He joined the club straightway and was touted across the state as the next "Richard" as in "The Rocket" or "The Pocket Rocket." Needless to say, when held up against such high standards, Richard proved to be a disappointment.

Once he got a taste of the NHL's high life, he began to consume higher levels of alcohol, gamble to excess and, later, consume cocaine. He had a very likeable personality, but after three less-than-stellar seasons, the Flames unloaded him to the Sabres.

On the ice, he was used very sparingly. As a result, his confidence collapsed as he lived in fear of making mistakes. After 21 games with the Sabres, he was dispatched to play for the Hershey Bears of the AHL. In 1978, he put in one full campaign back in Buffalo. But at season's end the club decided not to offer him a contract.

Instead, Richard signed as a free agent with the Quebec Nordiques, the original domain of his junior triumphs. He took some time to regain his confidence, but when he did, in 1980-81, he exploded for 52 goals and 51 assists.

The real Jacques Richard appeared to have finally arrived in the NHL. But his success was short-lived. His off-ice behaviour continued to take its toll on Richard the athlete. His numbers fell into decline the following season, and by 1983, he was washed up.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1967-68 Quebec Remparts QJHL 50 18 18 36
1968-69 Quebec Remparts QJHL 50 23 40 63 78
1969-70 Quebec Remparts QMJHL 53 62 64 126 170 15 11 14 25 30
1969-70 Quebec Remparts M-Cup 12 17 10 27 48
1970-71 Quebec Remparts QMJHL 55 53 60 113 120 14 18 17 35 42
1970-71 Quebec Remparts M-Cup 7 6 7 13 8
1971-72 Quebec Remparts QMJHL 61 71 89 160 100 15 11 26 37 23
1972-73 Atlanta Flames NHL 74 13 18 31 32 -24
1973-74 Atlanta Flames NHL 78 27 16 43 45 -18 4 0 0 0 2
1974-75 Atlanta Flames NHL 63 17 12 29 31 -16
1975-76 Buffalo Sabres NHL 73 12 23 35 31 +4 9 1 1 2 7
1976-77 Buffalo Sabres NHL 21 2 0 2 16 -3
1976-77 Hershey Bears AHL 44 20 25 45 42 6 3 0 3 2
1977-78 Hershey Bears AHL 54 25 23 48 29
1978-79 Buffalo Sabres NHL 61 10 15 25 26 +8 3 1 0 1 0
1979-80 Rochester Americans AHL 37 13 23 36 37
1979-80 Quebec Nordiques NHL 14 3 12 15 4 -7
1980-81 Quebec Nordiques NHL 78 52 51 103 39 -9 5 2 4 6 14
1981-82 Quebec Nordiques NHL 59 15 26 41 77 -9 10 1 0 1 9
1982-83 Quebec Nordiques NHL 35 9 14 23 6 0 4 0 0 0 2
1982-83 Fredericton Express AHL 19 16 15 31 16
NHL Totals 556 160 187 347 307 35 5 5 10 34


QJHL First All-Star Team (1971)
QMJHL First All-Star Team (1972)
Traded to Buffalo by Atlanta for Larry Carriere and Buffalo's 1st round pick (later traded to Washington - Washington selected Greg Carroll) in 1976 Amateur Draft and cash, October 1, 1975. Signed as a free agent by Quebec, February 12, 1980.
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