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Geoffrion, Moore, Cournoyer to have jerseys retired

MONTREAL -- Bernie Geoffrion, Dickie Moore and Yvan
Cournoyer will have their jerseys retired by the Montreal Canadiens
this season.

Geoffrion, the second player in NHL history to score 50 goals in
a season, won six Stanley Cups with Montreal from 1950-64. His No.
5 remained in circulation following his trade to New York and nine
other players subsequently wore the number, including All-Star
defenseman Guy Lapointe from 1970-82.

The number, which was most recently worn by Stephane Quintal,
will be retired in Geoffrion's honor in a March 11 ceremony prior
to a game against the Rangers, who Geoffrion finished his career
with in 1967-68.

"At the beginning, I was happy for the guys," Geoffrion said
about his number's continued use. "My name wasn't there, but my
number was. But I said to [my wife] Marlene, 'They would not have
done that to the Rocket, they would not have done it to Henri, they
wouldn't have done that to other players. Why me?'

"That was the question that I always had, but now, I know why.
They were waiting for a special event, and it's happening. And I'm
the happiest guy in the world."

Geoffrion's wife is the daughter of Canadiens legend Howie
Morenz, whose No. 7 was the first retired by the team following his
death in 1937.

"When I first dated him he once said, 'See your father's number
up there? One of these days, mine is going to be there,'" Marlene
Geoffrion said. "After the first 10 years or so after he retired,
he said, 'I guess it's never going to happen.' So finally, it did,
and he's very happy."

Maurice "Rocket" Richard's No. 9, Jean Beliveau's No. 4, Henri
Richard's No. 16, Guy Lafleur's No. 10, Doug Harvey's No. 2 and
Jacques Plante's No. 1 have also been retired by Montreal.

The Canadiens will retire No. 12 prior to their game against
Toronto on Nov. 12, honoring both Moore and Cournoyer. It marks the
first time Montreal has retired the same number to honor two
players.

"Yvan carried the torch so high, he brought it even higher than
I did," Moore said. "I never expected this to happen for me, but
I'm really honored."

Moore was a member of the same six Stanley Cup-winning teams as
Geoffrion, including the Canadiens' NHL record five straight
championships from 1956-60. The NHL's leading scorer in consecutive
seasons in 1957-58 and 1958-59, he recorded 594 of his 608
regular-season points with Montreal from 1951-63, including 254
goals. Moore, who also played for Toronto and St. Louis, had 38
goals and 94 points in 112 playoff games with the Canadiens.

Cournoyer, a speedy winger nicknamed the Roadrunner, inherited
Moore's number as a rookie in 1963 and won 10 Stanley Cup titles
during his 16-year NHL career with Montreal. With Cournoyer as
captain, the Canadiens won four straight Cups from 1976-79.

"When I was told my number was going to be retired, my whole
career ran through my head," Cournoyer said. "I first went to the
Forum as a 17-year-old and I retired at 35. I thought, 'Wow! Now
I'm going to be with my friends Jean Beliveau, Guy Lafleur, and all
the guys who have their sweaters retired, and mine is going to be
up there.' It's something so special."

Darcy Tucker most recently wore No. 12 in 1997-98.

"I was very proud to watch a hockey player wear my number,"
Moore said. "Mike Keane wore it with so much pride that it made me
even prouder. This is even more special. To have your sweater
hoisted to the rafters with all the greats, Doug Harvey, Maurice,
Plante and Henri, I'm back with all the brothers again. Hope they
pass me the puck, once in a while."