Claude David Larose (born March 2, 1943 in Hearst, Ontario) is a retired former professional player who played 943 career NHL games for the Montreal Canadiens, Minnesota North Stars and St. Louis Blues. He also served as an assistant coach for the Hartford Whalers after his retirement. He won 6 Stanley Cups during his career 1965, 1966, 1968, 1971, 1973 (as a player with Montreal), 2006 (as a Scout) with Carolina.
Prior to his joining the Montreal Canadiens, the team suffered from a lack of toughness. Claude Larose was one of those players Sam Pollock thought could add toughness without sacrificing speed and scoring and he was right. Over a 16-year career, 10 with the Canadiens, Larose scored 226 goals and added 257 assists for 483 points in 943 NHL games. He also had 887 career penalty minutes and led the Canadiens in penalties during the 1971 Stanley Cup Playoffs, when Montreal upset both the defending champion Boston Bruins and the powerful Chicago Black Hawks. "We became the toughest team in the League in 1963–64, which dismayed the opposition," Canadiens captain Jean Beliveau wrote in his autobiography.
Statistics say some things about a player, but not everything. Claude Larose was instant chemistry for his linemates. Many players of that era had their best years while skating with Larose. Ralph Backstrom finished second in Montreal scoring in Larose's rookie year. Danny Grant won the Calder Memorial Trophy with Larose on his line. Playing on a line with Minnesota North Stars teammates Grant and Danny O'Shea, Larose scored the tying, final goal in the 1969 NHL All-Star Game.
Returning from an injury in 1974, Larose was thrown onto a line with Frank Mahovlich and Peter Mahovlich, and scored four goals against the Pittsburgh Penguins' Gary Inness. He got a hat trick the next game while playing the right wing with Jacques Lemaire and Steve Shutt. Paired with them again, he got two goals the following game.
"I think that's still a Canadiens' record, nine goals in three games," Larose said recently. "I'd just come back from the broken leg I suffered the year before. I started playing around Jan. 15. Yvan Cournoyer then got hurt and they put me in his place. A lot of people still remind me about that. We couldn't figure out what was happening. I'd shoot, they'd go in. We were playing for Scotty Bowman. You know, if he thought you were too hot, he'd put you on another line!
Today he is a pro scout for the Carolina Hurricanes.
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