December 28, 2015 - 6:30 PM
MONTREAL - John Moore told those gathered at a funeral service for his legendary father on Monday that Dickie Moore was a lucky man.
Standing over a coffin draped in a red, white and blue flag emblazoned with a Canadiens logo in the middle, John said his father always enjoyed listening to people weigh in on the state of the team. After helping Montreal win six Stanley Cups — including five in a row in the late 1950s — Moore had a lot of fans.
"He made sure to respond (to letters) with a signature they could read," John said. "Yes, lucky he was. But I was especially lucky — Dickie Moore was my dad."
Several former NHL players, including Habs greats Guy Lafleur, Serge Savard and Yvan Cournoyer, were in attendance at Mountainside United Church to remember Moore, who was described as a humble and loyal family man who was always generous with his time.
Moore died Dec. 19 at age 84.
He played alongside some of the biggest names in hockey history including forward Maurice (Rocket) Richard and goaltender Jacques Plante, and won the first of his two scoring titles while playing with a cast on a broken wrist.
After leaving the game, Moore settled into the business world. His construction equipment rental company became a big success. But despite his off-ice riches, his funeral service left little doubt as to what part of his life overshadowed the rest.
Next to his flag-draped coffin stood a wreath of flowers in the shape of the Canadiens logo, dwarfing the holy cross positioned nearby. The first page of the funeral booklet was dominated by a picture of Moore smiling next to six shiny Stanley Cups.
Rejean Houle, a former player and general manager with the Canadiens, said Moore "was always there to help with the older Canadiens alumni. Before we had an emergency fund, he was always there to help."
Houle's lips quivered a bit when he discussed how Moore was one of several "legends" who have died in recent years.
"We lost another guy," Houle said outside the church. "After Jean Beliveau, Gilles Tremblay, Henri (Richard) is sick, it's tough for us when we lose some of our legends."
Beliveau died last December, just a few days after Tremblay's passing.
Lafleur said Moore had success in business because he was a smart man who came from a time when NHL players couldn't rely on money made playing the game.
"I think at the time, these guys played in the NHL and worked in the summertime," Lafleur said. "They didn't make that much money. (Moore) was a hard worker. Even when he was 75-80 years old he was at the office at seven in the morning. He was a workaholic and that's all he did. It started on the ice and it continued after."
Moore grew up in Montreal and came from a family of 12 children. He was the youngest of nine boys.
Houle has said that Moore had been ill for several weeks before his death and had been living in an area seniors home. Moore was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1974 and shared the retirement of the Canadiens' No. 12 jersey with Cournoyer.
His goal and point production rank third among left-wingers in team history. Over 14 NHL seasons, he had 608 points (261 goals, 347 assists) in 719 regular-season games.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2015