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'89-90 Mongeau Gamer and tragic story. Update with more tragedy - Mr Jacques Richard


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Saw this on ebay and didn't think much of it other than being a relatively cheap no-name gamer, but after doing a bit of research, I found out the history of the man who wore it is quite interesting, not to mention tragic.

Taken from this write-up -

"Despite scoring 71 goals and 180 points in just 72 games in his last year of junior hockey, Michel Mongeau was never drafted by the National Hockey League.

Why? Well, he had a number of strikes. Offensively gifted without doubt, Mongeau, who was an overaged junior and hadn't show enough in his prior 2 junior seasons to impress NHL scouts, was puny at just 5'9". Also, many wrote off Mongeau's fine season on account of his more prolific teammates - Mario Lemieux early in his junior career, and later Vincent Damphousse.

Mongeau signed on as a free agent with the IHL's Saginaw Generals, and turned in a strong rookie year. He found the net 42 times while assisting on 53 other goals en route to winning the Garry F. Longman Memorial Trophy as the IHL's top rookie. Yet Mongeau was still disappointed as his fine season still translated into zero interest from the NHL.

Frustrated, Mongeau took an offer to play in France for a year in 1987-88, but returned to the IHL in 1988-89. This time he stepped up his play even higher. He led the league with 76 assists and was near the top with 117 points.

This time the NHL noticed, specifically the St. Louis Blues. The Blues signed the elusive skater to a contract, though Mongeau must have known that he would most likely be returned to the IHL for most of the year. And that's exactly what happened. Mongeau had a monster season in 1989-90, leading the IHL with 78 assists and 117 points. He was named to the First All Star Team and won the Leo Lamoureux Trophy as the top scorer and the James Gatschene Trophy as the league's Most Valuable Player! He will always be remembered as one of the greatest players in IHL history.

Mongeau also realized a dream, as he was recalled by the Blues late in the season. He responded well, scoring one goal and 5 assists in 7 games. He looked right at home on a power play unit that included Brett Hull. Mongeau even got into two NHL playoff contests, contributing 1 assists in 2 games.

Unfortunately Mongeau couldn't make the next leap. He played only 7 games for the Blues in 1990-91, instead returning to Peoria of the IHL. His stats slipped just slightly, falling to "just" 106 points. But Mongeau had a dominant IHL playoffs. In 19 games he scored 10 goals and a league leading 16 assists for 26 points en route to winning the IHL championship. For his efforts, Mongeau was rewarded with the Bud Poile Trophy as the IHL's playoff MVP.

Mongeau got his best shot in the NHL in 1991-92. After again tearing up the IHL in stints which accumulated to 32 games, Mongeau spent half a season in the NHL with the Blues. In 36 contests he tapped in 3 goals (2 on the power play) and 12 helpers for 15 points. He was used primarily as a power play specialist, as his size and lack of defensive play (he was okay defensively, but not great) really hindered him at the NHL level. Mongeau described his NHL stint as "too short" but had no regrets.

The Tampa Bay Lightning claimed Mongeau from St. Louis in the 1992 expansion draft. Many though that Mongeau would get a good shot with a lowly expansion team, but he only appeared in 4 contests with the Bolts, and spent most of the year in the minors. In February 1993 he was sent with fellow Francophone Martin Simard and Steve Tuttle to the Quebec Nordiques in exchange for big winger Herb Raglan. However Mongeau never appeared in a Nords jersey.

By 1993-94 Mongeau returned to Peoria, this time without an NHL affliation. He was tired of bouncing around and wanted to return to site of his best years. He would also move on to continue his career in Europe
In the mid 1990s, Mongeau was the victim of a terrible on-ice incident involving Chris Tamer, a future NHLer.

"I was skating toward the goal and I stopped to fake a shot on goal. That’s when Tamer caught up with me and cross-checked me from behind. I fell head first on the goal post and got 7 fractures to the face : upper-jaw, left cheek, nose and both eye sockets. I now have 3 metal plates in my face. The rehab was very difficult and painful. My jaw was wired for a month and my face was very sensitive. Eating with a straw is quite an adventure and a very good way to lose weight... It took 10 months before I could play again and it changed my style drastically." said Mongeau.

Mongeau sued Tamer for damages, but got no compensation.

"At the first trial, we got no result because a ‘strong woman’ in the jury made it turn into a mistrial. At the second trial, the jury side with me but also decided that it was an accident. Go figure. I didn’t get any compensation and my lawyer got $60,000 in debt."

Mongeau returned to Laval where he continued to play senior hockey until 2004.

In May 2010 Mongeau succumbed to skin cancer. Survived by his wife and two children, he was just 45 years old. He will forever be remembered in hockey circles as a scoring machine."

Posted by Joe Pelletier

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The jersey has hardly any wear at all which is pretty much what you would expect since he only played 3 games at home in '89-90, but I found this pic and checked out the jersey to see if I could pick up anything...do you think it's a stretch that the small loose thread on the blue part at the top/right of the rear 1 is a match?



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If anyone here has one of his score rookies, can ya send me a super high res scan? Would be much appreciated.


The crest shows some wear so I might be able to match it that way.

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Geez what a bummer. Might be tough to do but maybe try to track down the family? Could be something they'd love to have.

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Geez what a bummer. Might be tough to do but maybe try to track down the family? Could be something they'd love to have.

Yup, I was thinking that.

Someone commented on the story -

"Michel also played a lot of hockey with his 6ft2 tall son who is doing pretty good in hockey..hope he will be lucky and have a chance with the NHL for his father's sake."

So let the detective work begin.

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That would be an unbelievable gesture, and would likely be an amazing lift to that young man. Further proof that hockey players and fans, while outwardly tough, are among the classiest of all athletes.

Hopefully your detective work will be successful.

Let us know if you need any help!

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Well, I'm kinda surprised, but despite finding/getting in touch with the family and offering them the jersey as a gift, it was a bit of a bust.

I found both, Michel's 18 yr old son (who's a hockey player and huge hockey fan), as well as his wife on Facebook, so I proceeded to message the wife the following (I wrote to her in french, and elaborated much more about the whole scenario, but this is just the shortened/translated version) -

Hi (wife),

First off you'll have to excuse my poor french, it's been 18 years since I've attended a french school.

Second I just want to say that I hope I don't upset you at all since I know what you've alredy been through with Michel was probably very difficult.

I wasn't aware of Michel's story until recently when I obtained one of his game-worn jerseys (Iinked her to pics and gave her the details), and decided to do some research and found a few articles that outlined everything.

After reading the articles, I thought that maybe this jersey should belong to you/your family, and perhaps more appropriately, to your son.

Let me know what you think, and if you'd like we can keep it a secret from your son and you could surprise him with the gift.

I live in Ottawa, but will be in Montreal soon, so stopping by to drop it off wouldn't be a problem (they live close).

Let me know your thoughts and how you think we should proceed.


- Chris

So two hours or so later, and this was the reply I received -

Thanks a lot, but (my son) already has one of the Blues that Michel framed before...your french was excellent...thank you, I will let you know.


Obviously I don't know them or their history other than what I learned of Michel, but I definitely expected something better than that.

Somewhat dejected by her lack of enthusiasm, I just replied with the following -

Oh, ok. As long as he already has one, then, I guess he may not care for another?? I thought maybe he didn't have one and that it would be something special to him.

Sorry for your loss, and I'm very happy I got to know the history of your late husband.

- Chris

Not quite sure what to think, but I guess I'll be keeping it now? I almost feel as though, if she gets back to me now and says she'll take it, it'll only be because she spoke with the son and he informed her it might be worth something and that maybe she should have jumped all over it. I don't know, but I was really surprised that she didn't seem to care more, if not for the jersey itself, at least for the gesture...maybe I'm just overthinking things? Probably...I tend to do that.

Damnit!! This was supposed to be my good deed for the year.

Oh well, maybe I won't be getting into heaven after all.


*laughs as he totally ruins this thread for everyone with another gay vampire pic*

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Wow. This thread went from endearing to creepy in 9.5 posts.


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that really is a buzzkill. so when she talks to her son, it will be an afterthought.

"oh by the way, some guy from the internet is willing to give you one of dad's old game worn jerseys if you're interested. what should i tell him?"

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Kind of brings to mind that old saying,

"No good deed goes unpunished."

Certainly not "punishment", but a bit disappointing and anticlimactic, nonetheless.

You really tried to do something very nice, and I salute you for it.

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God forbid anybody else in the family could have appreciated having it.

Now I need to find out who to leave all my jerseys to in case I go unexpectedly.

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He has one so I can see why they might not need another.

that's fair, but she still should have been more appreciateive of the gesture

in this day and age, who volunteers to give a complete stranger something worth a couple of hundred bucks?

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He has one so I can see why they might not need another.

I dunno I have like 6 Eric Fehr jerseys and I definitely need another. (and we're not even related)

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It was a very nice gesture to reach out to the family, and worth a try, but I don't think you should feel rejected. Not everybody is as crazy about jerseys and mementos as those of us on this forum, not everyone is a collector. They already have the one shirt which seems to be sufficient enough. You did your part, that was cool, so no regrets there. If they're not interested then just enjoy for yourself the piece of hockey history you collected.

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  • 7 months later...

Figured I'd re-use this thread since it involves more hockey tragedy...holy Donnie Downer, Slim!

Was looking for an early 80s Nords, and when I find this '82-83 Richard at a good price, I snagged 'er up.



But then I did a bit of research, and first found that Richard had some weird stats going on; he was a stud in the Q, a slow starter as a rc, put up a respectable 27 goals as a sophomore, but then floundered for 7 straight years bouncing between the NHL and AHL. Then, in '80-81 dude puts up 52 goals and 51 assists for a career 103 pts year, and then disappears -

Season   Team                        Lge    GP    G    A  Pts  PIM  GP   G   A Pts PIM--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------1968-69  Quebec Jr. Aces             QJAHL   0   23   40   63    01969-70  Quebec Remparts             QMJHL  53   62   64  126  170  15  11  14  25  301970-71  Quebec Remparts             QMJHL  55   53   60  113  125  14  18  17  35  421971-72  Quebec Remparts             QMJHL  61   71   89  160  100  15  11  26  37  231972-73  Atlanta Flames              NHL    74   13   18   31   32  --  --  --  --  --1973-74  Atlanta Flames              NHL    78   27   16   43   45   4   0   0   0   21974-75  Atlanta Flames              NHL    63   17   12   29   31  --  --  --  --  --1975-76  Buffalo Sabres              NHL    73   12   23   35   31   9   1   1   2   71976-77  Hershey Bears               AHL    44   20   25   45   42   6   3   0   3   21976-77  Buffalo Sabres              NHL    21    2    0    2   16  --  --  --  --  --1977-78  Hershey Bears               AHL    54   25   23   48   29  --  --  --  --  --1978-79  Buffalo Sabres              NHL    61   10   15   25   26   3   1   0   1   01979-80  Rochester Americans         AHL    37   13   23   36   37  --  --  --  --  --1979-80  Quebec Nordiques            NHL    14    3   12   15    4  --  --  --  --  --1980-81  Quebec Nordiques            NHL    78   52   51  103   39   5   2   4   6  141981-82  Quebec Nordiques            NHL    59   15   26   41   77  10   1   0   1   91982-83  Quebec Nordiques            NHL    35    9   14   23    6   4   0   0   0   21982-83  Fredericton Express         AHL    19   16   15   31   16  --  --  --  --  ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------         NHL Totals                        556  160  187  347  307  35   5   5  10  34

Of course it wasn't just a coincidence that his AS year came at the same that a couple of HOF Slovak brothers decided to take over the Nords franchise, but i wanted to learn more about Mr. Richard, and specifically why he wasn't able to continue on a line with the Stastny brothers...and then I read the following wiki info -


Richard had a spectacular junior career with the Quebec Remparts, scoring 186 goals and 213 assists for 399 points in only 169 games. At the time Richard was considered by some hockey experts to have equal, if not more, pro potential than teammate Guy Lafleur. At one time, Rampart management was negotiating to trade Richard to the Rosemont Nationals, a team in the same Quebec Junior A league for 3 players and $6,000 in return. However, the deal became public and the reaction by fans, for whom Richard had become an idol, was so violent that the deal was annulled.


For the 1972–73 season the NHL added two teams, the Atlanta Flames and the New York Islanders, with a coin toss in June 1972 deciding which team would get the first choice in the draft. Concerned that the new WHA might sign the two top prospects, Billy Harris and Jacques Richard, the two expansion teams held their own "clandestine" coin toss in advance. New York won that toss and chose Harris. This allowed the teams to begin immediate negotiations with the players.

His rookie year in Atlanta was a disappointment. Richard rarely spoke to anyone that first year, perhaps a clue to problems adapting to the NHL. In February, after a game in Toronto which the coach had sat him out, Richard left the team to return to his home in Quebec City. He missed a couple practices apparently without the permission of the coach. Richard's uncle and agent said Richard "just reacted like a mixed-up kid. He got a little mad in Toronto, a little upset. Now he's realized he was wrong. He has decided he wants to play hockey again." Richard returned but finished the season scoring only 13 goals.

Teamed in his second season with Tom Lysiak his prospects seems brighter as he scored 27 goals. Next season, in October 1974, Richard suffered facial fractures, fracture of the right orbital bone and nose, in a game against Detroit. As his career in Atlanta progressed, his play would eventually prove inadequate and he would begin to find himself shuffled between the NHL and the minors. After three years with Atlanta, he was traded to Buffalo.

At the time, some hockey people thought the presence of several fellow French Canadian players on the Buffalo team might help Richard. However, in his first season with Buffalo, Richard scored only 12 goals. Early in his second season, a team-mate accused Richard of not giving a good effort during practices. In November, Richard was arrested for driving while intoxicated. Although Sabre management said the two were not connected, Richard was then sent to minors in Hershey. Buffalo Sabre General Manager Punch Imlach in his book Heaven and Hell in the NHL recalled his travails dealing with Richard's drinking. On one occasion, Richard was forced to miss a game due to a sprained wrist which had been hurt in a bar fight. On another, he barely missed being shot in a Quebec bar. The bullet went through his pant leg. Imlach describes Richard as "a nice kid, good hockey player" but he was "wasting his talent". Richard spent the next five seasons alternating between the NHL and playing full seasons in the minors. In February 1980, Buffalo terminated Richard's contract, which left him free to sign with any team.

Immediately after being released by Buffalo, Richard signed with the Quebec Nordiques. Then in his eighth year as a pro and back in the city of his junior triumphs, the promise shown as a junior appeared to finally be realized. In the 1980–81 season playing on a line with the Stastny brothers, Richard tallied 52 goals and 51 assists for 103 points, to finish 10th in the league in points and 7th in goals. However, this was to be the only time he was to show this potential. The next season he was moved off the line with the Stastnys and his mediocre play returned.

Jacques Richard retired in 1983. He would be remembered in hockey's history as a superb junior player who ultimately finished as one of the NHL's "One-Season-Wonders."

Retirement and death

Richard's misfortunes seemed to follow him into retirement. In 1989 he was arrested for attempting to smuggle cocaine, with an estimated street value of $1.5 million, into Canada. He was sentenced to seven years in prison. Then, on October 8, 2002, driving home from his 50th birthday party, Richard was killed in a single-vehicle accident when he drove his car into a culvert.

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Not sure that this trend of owning gamers of former junior stars who've gone on to mediocre pro careers, only to end things by dying too young and too tragic, will stick.

Actually it's kinda creeping me out.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think Daigle would be right at home with these guys...minus the death and severe injuries...

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