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Michel Raymond 'Bunny' Larocque (April 6, 1952, in Hull, Quebec, Canada - July 29, 1992) was a Canadianmarker professional ice hockey goaltender who played for the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Philadelphia Flyers and St. Louis Blues in the National Hockey League.

Playing career

In his juniour hockey days, he played with the Ottawa 67's of the OHA from 1967–68 to 1971–72. He led the league in shutouts for the last 3 of those years. He was also one of the most penalized goalies, and was regularly involved in fights. In 1972–73 he was with the Nova Scotia Voyageurs of the AHL. In 1973–74, he began his NHL career with the Montreal Canadiens.

Larocque would be co-winner of four Vezina Trophies. During that era, the trophy was given to the principal goalies on the team allowing the fewest goals in the regular season. The first three were largely because of the all-star play of Ken Dryden, although Larocque was considered a top backup and could have been the No.1 goalie for most NHL teams. In 1976-77 he led the NHL with a 2.09 goals against average, but with Dryden ahead of him in the Canadiens net, he only managed to play 26 games.

His final Vezina Trophy was shared with Denis Herron and Richard Sevigny in 1981.

He was part of another Vezina-winning team in the 1975–76 season; Larocque and Dryden also combined to let in the fewest goals of any team during the season, but Dryden was the solo winner of the trophy because Larocque played only 22 games, three fewer than the 25 needed to qualify for the award.

He won four Stanley Cups with Montreal in 1976, 1977, 1978 and 1979. Near the trade deadline in 1980–81, he was traded to Toronto for defenceman Robert Picard. He was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers in 1982–83, for goaltender Rick St. Croix and finished his NHL career with the St. Louis Blues in 1983–84 after being sold by the Flyers, who'd settled on Pelle Lindbergh in goal.

Retirement and death

After his playing career ended, he served as general manager of the Victoriaville Tigres (QMJHL) during the 1989–90 season and won QMJHL executive of the year for 1989–90. He was vice president of the QMJHL during the 1991–92 season and still held the position at time of his death.

He died of brain cancer at age 40 in his hometown of Hull, Quebec.

Career statistics

Season Team League GP W L T MIN GA SO GAA SV%
1970–71 Ottawa 67's OHA 56 3345 189 5 3.39
1971–72 Ottawa 67's OHA 55 3287 189 4 3.45
1972-73 Nova Scotia Voyageurs AHL 47 2705 113 1 2.50
1973–74 Montreal Canadiens NHL 27 15 8 2 1431 69 0 2.89
1974–75 Montreal Canadiens NHL 25 17 5 3 1480 74 3 3.00
1975–76 Montreal Canadiens NHL 22 16 1 3 1220 50 2 2.46
1976–77 Montreal Canadiens NHL 26 19 2 4 1525 53 4 2.09
1977–78 Montreal Canadiens NHL 30 22 3 4 1729 77 1 2.67
1978–79 Montreal Canadiens NHL 34 22 7 4 1986 94 3 2.84
1979–80 Montreal Canadiens NHL 39 17 13 8 2259 125 3 3.32
1980–81 Montreal Canadiens NHL 28 16 9 3 1623 82 1 3.03
1980–81 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 8 3 3 2 460 40 0 5.22
1981–82 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 50 10 24 8 2647 207 0 4.69
1982–83 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 16 3 8 3 835 68 0 4.89
1982–83 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 2 0 1 1 120 8 0 4.00
1983-84 Springfield Indians AHL 5 5 3 2 301 21 0 4.18
1983–84 St. Louis Blues NHL 5 0 5 0 300 31 0 6.20
1984-85 Peoria Rivermen AHL 13 7 3 3 786 41 0 3.13
NHL totals 312 160 89 45 17,615 978 17 3.33


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