I have a oil on wood painting of Maurice "Rocket" Richard that was painted back in the 1950's. I purchased it from his estate auction after he passed a few years ago and it has since hung proudly in my hockey shop overlooking about 5000 sq. ft. of hockey gear. I just had an older gentleman that came in to get his skates sharpened and noticed it hanging on the wall. He puffed out his chest proudly and said to me "I saw him play back in '58." "Really?", I said, a little surprised since that was almost 50 years ago.
He goes on to tell me the story, "I had just gotten off a plane in Montreal at 7:00pm and the Canadiens were playing at 7:30. The airport was about 20 miles from the old Montreal Forum and I was worried that I wouldn't get there in time. I got in a taxi and told the driver where I wanted to go and he said in a heavy French accent, "the Rocket play tonight, I get you there on time" and he proceeded to expertly navigate his way through the streets of Montreal as fast as his taxi would let him and sure enough, we pulled up to the Forum at 7:30 on the dot." The man goes on to say that Bobby Orr was the best player that he ever saw play but "the Rocket was the best player from the blue line in. He would wait for the puck near the offensive zone and he would skate in and score at will."
What a great story, and myself being much younger than he is, can only imagine what it was like to experience a game from that era. I wonder if Scoop ever saw him play, lol?