Goalie desires notwithstanding, the snow jobs have gone smoothly, and the NHL may now require them during the regular season and early playoff rounds. "We're looking for a shovel sponsor," says Peter Luukko, president of Comcast-Spectacor, which runs First Union Center in Philadelphia. "This could be a revenue opportunity."
Richard and B�liveau
Battling to Beat Cancer
Maurice (Rocket) Richard and Jean B�liveau have been linked in many ways: They played together on five Canadiens Stanley Cup winners, from 1956 through '60; they both have jobs as ambassadors for the team they served so well; they both are hockey legends and, in Canada, cultural icons. Last week they started sharing another bond—cancer. On May 15, the day Richard returned to a Montreal hospital with a reoccurrence of the abdominal cancer that he had battled for two years, B�liveau announced he had a malignant tumor on his neck.
The 78-year-old Richard retired 40 years ago yet still is idolized by generations of Quebecois, even those who never saw him play. The Rocket was the first player to score 50 goals in 50 games, the first to score 500 career goals and arguably the best player ever from the blue line in, but his legacy extends beyond his having his name on the trophy given to the NHL's leading goal scorer, which the league inaugurated last season. On March 17, 1955, after Richard had been suspended by NHL president Clarence Campbell for assaulting a linesman, Canadiens fans rioted inside and outside the Montreal Forum, an event now viewed by many historians as a forerunner to Quebec's Quiet Revolution of the 1960s, when French Canadians seized firmer control of political and cultural power in Quebec.
If Richard raised voices, B�liveau quieted them. At 68 the once exquisitely proficient center is a man who can stop conversations simply by gliding into a room. B�liveau, who, like Joe DiMaggio, grew into his looks, has a regal bearing. He could have been regal, too, when Canadian prime minister Jean Chretien asked B�liveau in 1994 if he would serve as the governor-general, Queen Elizabeth's representative in Canada. Citing family responsibilities, B�liveau declined. He remained active, however, in charity work and as the Canadiens' �minence grise. Any opposition to the team's abandoning of the hallowed Forum for a new arena in the early 1990s was cut off when B�liveau, then a team vice president, said it was appropriate to move on.
His word was good then. We hope his words—"I intend on winning this battle," he has told friends—are good now.