Yvan Cournoyer
Position Right Wing
5 ft 7 in (1.7 m)
172 lb (78 kg)
Teams Montreal Canadiens
Nationality Canadian
Born November 22,1943,
Drummondville, QUE, CAN
Pro Career 1963 – 1979
Hall of Fame, 1982

Yvan Serge Cournoyer (born November 22, 1943) is a retired Canadian right winger who played in the National Hockey League for the Montreal Canadiens from 1963 to 1979.

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

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 made his professional debut with the Montreal Canadiens in the 1963-64 NHL season. In that season he scored 4 goals in 5 NHL games, including two in a game when Bobby Rousseau scored five.

He earned a full-time spot with the club in 1964-65 NHL season after just seven games with the American Hockey League's Quebec Aces.

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 (#12) hugs Henderson after the Summit Series-winning goal.

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.

Cournoyer was an assistant coach to the Canadiens during the 1996–97 season. He currently serves as an official ambassador for the Montreal Canadiens.

Career statistics Edit

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1961–62Montreal Junior CanadiensOHA321516310
1962–63Montreal Junior CanadiensOHA363727640
1963–64Montreal Junior CanadiensOHA5363481110
1963–64Montreal CanadiensNHL54040
1964–65Quebec AcesAHL72130
1964–65Montreal CanadiensNHL55710101231400
1965–66Montreal CanadiensNHL651811298102352
1966–67Montreal CanadiensNHL6925154014102356
1967–68Montreal CanadiensNHL64283260231368144
1968–69Montreal CanadiensNHL76434487311447115
1969–70Montreal CanadiensNHL7227366323
1970–71Montreal CanadiensNHL6537367321201012226
1971–72Montreal CanadiensNHL734736831562132
1972–73Montreal CanadiensNHL6740397918171510252
1973–74Montreal CanadiensNHL674033731865272
1974–75Montreal CanadiensNHL76294574321156114
1975–76Montreal CanadiensNHL7132366820133694
1976–77Montreal CanadiensNHL602528538
1977–78Montreal CanadiensNHL682429531215741110
1978–79Montreal CanadiensNHL152572
NHL totals 968 428 435 863 255 147 64 63 127 74



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 GalleryEdit

Preceded by
Henri Richard
Montreal Canadiens Captains
Succeeded by
Serge Savard
Preceded by
Bobby Orr
Winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy
Succeeded by
Bernie Parent
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