1972 NHL Entry Draft Pick
Round Overall
1 2
Jacques Richard
Selected by Atlanta from Quebec (QMJHL)
Atlanta Flames Quebec Remparts
Jacques Richard

5-foot-11, 170 pounds

Left-hand shot

Left Wing

Pre-Draft Statistics

Year Team League GP G A TP PIM
1969-70 Quebec QMJHL 53 62 64 126 170
1970-71 Quebec QMJHL 55 53 60 113 125
1971-72 Quebec QMJHL 61 71 89 160 100

Pre-Draft Notes

Won Memorial Cup with Quebec (QMJHL ) in 1971.  ... Also played baseball.
Canadian • Born Oct. 7, 1952 in Quebec City, Quebec • Hometown: Quebec City • Died Oct. 8, 2002

Career Vitals

First contract: July 7, 1972
Debut: October 7, 1972
(Atlanta at N.Y. Islanders)
Final NHL game: April 19, 1983
(Quebec vs. Boston) (playoffs)
Retired: 1983
Stanley Cup: Never won
Numbers worn: 15 (Atlanta); 9 (Buffalo);
23 (Quebec)

Career NHL Statistics

Team: Atlanta, Buffalo, Quebec
Years: 1972-1983. Playoffs: 1974-1983

Regular Season
10 years 556 160 187 347 307
Stanley Cup Playoffs
6 years 35 5 5 10 34
Complete statistics available at NHL.com 

Pre-Draft Highlights

Also played center during his junior career. ... Joined Quebec Remparts (QJHL) as a 14-year-old in 1967 and had 18 goals and 18 assists for 36 points in 50 games as a rookie in 1967-68. ... Had 23 goals and 40 assists for 63 points in addition to 78 penalty minutes at age 16 with Quebec (QJHL) in 1968-69. ... Led all players in Memorial Cup tourney with 48 penalty minutes in 1970. ... Served as Quebec (QMJHL) alternate captain in 1970-71. ...  Named to QMJHL All-Star First Team with Quebec in 1970-71. ... Won QMJHL Jean Beliveau Trophy as league's leading scorer with 160 points for Quebec in 1971-72. ... Led QMJHL with 71 goals for Quebec in 1971-72. ... Led QMJHL playoffs in assists (26) and points (37) in 1972. ... Named to QMJHL All-Star First Team with Quebec in 1971-72.

Career Highlights

Also played right wing during his NHL career. ... Played on first Atlanta Flames team in Atlanta/Calgary franchise's inaugural 1972-73 season and made his NHL debut in team's first game on Oct. 7, 1972, at N.Y. Islanders. He picked up his first NHL point in the game with an assist on a goal by Rey Comeau at 2:12 of the third period to give Atlanta a 2-1 lead in a game the Flames went on to win 3-2 for the first victory in franchis history. The game was played on Richard's 20th birthday. ... Scored his first NHL goal at 16:09 of first period of Atlanta's Oct. 25, 1972, game at California, pulling Flames into 1-1 tie on way to a 4-3 win. The goal came against Golden Seals netminder Marv Edwards, and Richard later picked up an assist on Keith McCreary's game-winner for a 4-2 lead at 9:00 of the third period. ... Played on first Quebec Nordiques NHL team during Quebec/Colorado franchise's inaugural 1979-80 season.

Historic Night vs. Montreal

Richard became the first player in Quebec/Colorado franchise history to score 50 goals in a season during the Nordiques' March 29, 1981, game vs. visiting Montreal. The goal, his second of the game, came against Montreal goalie Richard Sevigny at 17:23 of the third period to close out the scoring in a 4-0 win. "With everything that's happened to me in my career, I never thought I'd get to score 50 goals in one season," Richard said. "That's why I'm so happy." In that same period, Richard also became the second player in franchise history to reach 100 points in a season with his first of the two goals. The 100th-point goal came at 10:37 of the third for a 2-0 lead. Earlier in the game, Richard's linemate Peter Stastny became the first player in franchise history to score 100 points in a season with an assist on a goal by Michel Goulet at 19:10 of the second period. Richard credited Quebec coach Michel Bergeron for having the confidence to use him as one of his top forwards in the 1980-81 season. "I've never felt so supported by my coach before," Richard said. "I feel so confident now, that I'm no longer worried about making mistakes all the time."

Significant Injuries

Missed part of 1974-75 season with broken nose and fractured cheekbone, suffered when he was hit by opposing goalie Jim Rutherford's stick in a goalmouth scramble during Atlanta's Oct. 16, 1974, game at Detroit. The injuries required plastic surgery, and he did not return until Atlanta's Nov. 8, 1974, game vs. Chicago. ... Missed part of 1974-75 season with the flu, diagnosed on Nov. 9, 1974. He did not return until Atlanta's Nov. 12, 1974, game at Washington. ... Missed remainder of 1979-80 season with knee injury, suffered during Quebec's March 16, 1980, game vs. Vancouver. Prior to the injury, he had three goals and 15 points in his first 14 games with the Nordiques.

Team Awards and Honors

(with Atlanta)
1973-74:Three-Stars Leader, Goals Leader (27)
(with Quebec)
1980-81:Goals Leader (52)

Team Records

Quebec.Colorado Records
Most points in one
season by a right wing:
103 in 1980-81
Most goals in one
season by a right wing:
52 in 1980-81


100 Point-Seasons:1980-81 (103)
50-Goal Seasons:1980-81 (52)

Transaction History

Oct. 1, 1975 -- Traded by Atlanta to Buffalo in exchange for Larry Carriere, 1976 first-round pick (later traded), and cash. Feb. 13, 1980 -- Signed with Quebec as an unrestricted free agent following prearranged release by Buffalo organization.

Life Outside the NHL

Nickname: "Cousteau"

Other Post-Draft Teams: Hershey (AHL); Rochester (AHL); Fredericton (AHL)

Career Beyond Hockey: Remained in Quebec and was active in old-timers' hockey after his retirement.

Criminal Conviction in 1989

Richard was sentenced to seven years in prison after pleading guilty to bringing more than five pounds (2.8 kilos) of cocaine from Colombia to Canada on Feb. 13, 1989. He was arrested by Canadian customs officials at Montreal's Mirabel Airport after they found more the 80 percent pure cocaine in the bottom of his golf bag. The cocaine's estimated street value was $1.5 million in Canadian currency. On March 8, 1989, at a criminal court in St. Jerome, Quebec, Richard entered his guilty plea on a charge of importing illegal narcotics, and he was sentenced to prison on April 12, 1989. In a pre-sentencing report, Richard was described to the judge as a heavy drug user without a reputation for having been a major dealer. Richard admitted to having snorted up to four grams of cocaine per day at one point during his retirement and was reported to have spent up to $100,000 per year on his cocaine addiction. Richard was released from prison in 1990 after serving 14 months of his seven-year sentence. Three years later, in 1993, Richard's troubles in retirement continued as he was charged with shoplifting a pair of sneakers from a Zellers discount store.

The Death of Jacques Richard

Just one day after he turned 50 years old, Richard was killed in an automobile accident late in the evening of Oct. 8, 2002. The fatal single-vehicle accident occurred when he lost control of his car late at night and crashed into a culvert near Issoudun, Quebec. Alcohol and drugs were never specifically mentioned as a cause of the crash, but police said they found five grams of cocaine in Richard's wrecked car. During his playing career, Richard, who was kown for his love of sports cars, was arrested on a DUI charge on Nov. 11, 1976. At the time of the arrest he was in the second year of a five-year contract with Buffalo that paid him $150,000 per season. One day following the arrest, he was sent to the minor leagues for the first time in his career. Only five months earlier on June 1, 1976, Richard had survived being shot at during a late-night shooting incident in a Quebec City bar.The gunman's bullet passed through the leg of Richard's pants without hitting him.


Selected by Quebec Nordiques in 1972 WHA Draft -- the first-ever WHA Draft, February 1972. Raised in Quebec City as oldest of nine children whose father was a cab driver and tour guide. Was the No. 8 overall pick and Quebec's first choice in the 1972 WHA General Player Draft. Signed with Flames amid rumors he might join Quebec for WHA's initial season in 1972-73.
Was represented by his uncle when he signed his first NHL contract with Atlanta. Played on line with rookie center Tom Lysiak for Atlanta during 1973-74 season. Feuded with Atlanta coach Bernie Geoffrion after he was taken off No. 1 line in 1974-75. Demoted to Hershey on Nov. 12, 1976, and spent bulk of 1976-77 and all of 1977-78 in the AHL.
Played center on a line with Jamie Hislop and Michel Goulet for Quebec in 1979-80. Played right wing on a line with Peter and Anton Stastny for Quebec in 1980-81. Regarded as one of best golfers in NHL and best on Nordiques during his playing days. Named by Canadian Hockey League to LW slot on all-time QMJHL All-Star team in 1999.
Total Selected: 152
Forwards: 88
Defense: 47
Goaltenders: 17
Major Junior: 121
College Players: 25
Canadian: 139
Euro-Canadian: 2
American: 11
Born in USA: 10
Reached NHL: 67
Won Stanley Cup: 11
Hall of Fame: 2
All-Star Game: 13
Year-end All-Star: 3
Olympians: 1
Picks Traded: 24


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