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Remembering Ray Getliffe (1914-2008)

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
Ray Getliffe played six seasons with the Canadiens, winning the Stanley Cup in 1943-44.
MONTREAL – The oldest living player in Canadiens history, Ray Getliffe, passed away over the weekend at the age of 94.

Born in 1914, Getliffe, was already an established NHLer when he came to Montreal. Acquired from the Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins prior to the 1939-40 season, the gritty left winger was a mainstay for the Canadiens over the next six seasons.

Getliffe played 265 regular season games in a Montreal uniform, recording 99 goals and 97 assists for the team. He also picked up 14 points in 26 postseason appearances, etching his name on the Stanley Cup for a second time in the spring of 1944, by helping lead the Canadiens to a sweep of the Blackhawks in the Cup final.

The 5-foot-11, 175-pounder was among the speediest forwards in the league, a skilled two-way performer, equally adept at attacking the enemy net or playing in a defensive role.

The native of Galt, ON, was also responsible for coining one of hockey’s legendary nicknames. While watching a young teammate take a pass from center Elmer Lach and break for the net Getliffe remarked upon the youthful right winger’s drive from the blue line, likening it to a rocket. The comment was overheard by a local writer Dink Carroll and Maurice Richard would be known as The Rocket from that day forward.

Getliffe is survived by his wife of 74 years, Lorna, son John and daughter Laura. He also leaves behind seven grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
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