|5 ft 7 in (0 m)|
172 lb (78 kg)
Drummondville, QUE, CAN
|Pro Career||1963 – 1979|
|Hall of Fame, 1982|
Cournoyer was born in Drummondville, Quebec. He was nicknamed "The Roadrunner" due to his small size and blazing speed, which he credited to longer blades on his skates. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1982.
Professional career[edit | edit source]
Cournoyer's hockey career began in 1961 with the Montreal Junior Canadiens of the Ontario Hockey Association (OHA). By the time he was eighteen years old, his legs had become so muscular that he required specially tailored pants. He led the OHA in goals scored in 1963-64 with 63.
Cournoyer was initially regarded by Canadiens head coach Toe Blake as a defensive liability and undeserving of a regular shift, though he was still frequently used on the powerplay. That changed in the 1967-68 NHL season when he scored 28 goals and 32 assists. After Blake's departure following the 1968 Stanley Cup Championship, incoming coach Claude Ruel granted Cournoyer more ice time. Cournoyer went on to have his first forty-goal season and was named to the NHL's Second All-Star Team.
Cournoyer scored a career high 47 goals in the 1971–72 season. In 1973, he had his best postseason ever, scoring 15 goals and tallying 10 assists in 17 games, earning the Conn Smythe Trophy following the Canadiens' defeat of the Chicago Black Hawks in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Cournoyer was named captain of the Canadiens in 1975 following the retirement of Henri Richard, pushing him to play harder in his new leadership role. Cournoyer would become only one of the Habs' two captains to win Stnaley Cups throughout his entire (2+ year) tenure as captain, the other one being "Rocket" Richard. The speedy Cournoyer's ability to stay true to his form in his older age was a favorite topic of discussion of the Montreal fans and hockey media, however, and he did slow down due to a disc in his back that was pressing on a nerve and causing him great pain. Cournoyer eventually had to have surgery on his back and missed the entire 1977 postseason.
Cournoyer returned for the 1978 season and played in 68 games, scoring 24 goals and collecting 29 assists to match his previous season's total of 53 points, though it was evident his back still bothered him. He managed to perform in the playoffs again, however, with seven goals and four assists in fifteen games en route to Montreal's third consecutive Cup. However, he was forced to retire in 1978 after playing in fifteen games. When he retired, he only trailed Lafleur, Maurice Richard, and Jean Beliveau on the Canadiens' all-time scoring list. Cournoyer won a total of 10 Stanley Cups as player, second only to Henri Richard. His name was engraved on the cup in 1965-66-68-69-71-73-76-77-78-79.
Cournoyer played for Canada in the 1972 Summit Series, scoring three goals (including one in the final game), and is part of the famous picture wherein Paul Henderson jumps into his arms after scoring the game (and series) winner.
Career statistics[edit | edit source]
|1961–62||Montreal Junior Canadiens||OHA||32||15||16||31||0||—||—||—||—||—|
|1962–63||Montreal Junior Canadiens||OHA||36||37||27||64||0||—||—||—||—||—|
|1963–64||Montreal Junior Canadiens||OHA||53||63||48||111||0||—||—||—||—||—|
Misspelling[edit | edit source]
Cournoyer's name was often mispronounced or misspelt in the English-language media. But none was worse than his first appearance in a newspaper.
In an October 4, 1961, article in the Montreal Gazette about the upcoming Montreal Junior Canadiens' season, the then 17-year-old was named as Yvan Cornway of Lachine. He was described as a miniature Pocket Rocket (Henri Richard).
Photo Gallery[edit | edit source]
|Montreal Canadiens Captains
1975 – 79
|Winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy
|This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Yvan Cournoyer. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).|