Montreal Canadiens Legend Elmer Lach Dies at 97

It's been a tough year for the lineage of the Montreal Canadiens, as another legend has passed away. Elmer Lach had died at the age of 97. Lach of course, was the center for the feared "Punch Line" of the 1940's, centering Maurice Richard and Toe Blake. The three-time Stanley Cup champion won the Hart Trophy in 1945.

Gary Bettman issued the following statement on Lach's passing: "The National Hockey League deeply mourns the passing of Elmer Lach -- center on Montreal's legendary 'Punch Line' with Toe Blake and Maurice Richard, owner of the sole assist on Richard's 50th goal in 50 games in 1944-45 and someone who, at 97 years of age, was just a few months younger than the League itself. The League sends heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of this three-time Stanley Cup champion, two-time scoring champion and 1945 Hart Trophy winner."

At the time of his retirement in 1954, Lach was the NHL's all-time leading scorer with 623 points in 664 games. He added 64 in 76 playoff games.

As we know, Jean Beliveau passed away late last year, Claude Ruel earlier this year, and now the centerpiece of Montreal's Punch Line.


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Montreal Canadiens Legend Elmer Lach Dies at 97