Number 19 – Claude Larose
Claude Larose was born in Hearst on March 2, 1943.
Claude was an undrafted right wing playing for the Hull-Ottawa Canadiens of the Eastern Provincial Hockey League (EPHL). The EPHL was a minor professional league that only played for four seasons. Claude’s coach was the legend, Scotty Bowman.
As a side-note; North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury all had teams in the league.
Claude Larose – Playing Career
Claude was a consistent goal scorer who averaged 15 goals a year while playing for the Montreal Canadiens.
Montreal was his home team for 11 of the 17 seasons during his playing career.
Brought in to Montreal to add toughness, Claude was able to maintain the speed of play which the Canadiens were accustomed to.
Claude has five hat tricks to his name; scoring nine goals over a three game span in 1974. The nine goals were scored playing on a line with Frank and Pete Mahovlich (also from Northern Ontario).
Claude is a 5-time Stanley Cup Champion; winning all five with the powerhouse Canadiens through the mid 1960’s through 1970’s.
His two most productive seasons came with the Minnesota North Stars during the 1968-69 and 1969-70 seasons. Years 2 and 3 in the franchise’s existence, where he played along side fellow Northern Ontario alumni, Jean-Paul Parise.
Claude Larose – Life After the NHL
After going from Montreal to St. Louis in the 1974-75 season, Claude would play three more years in St. Louis.
Retiring from the game after the 1977-78 season.
He became an assistant coach of the Hartford Whalers from 1983 to 1988. For the 1988-89 season he became head coach of Hartford’s farm team, the Binghamton Whalers.
He returned to Hartford for one more season of being an assistant for the 1991-92 season.
Afterwards, he became a scout for the Carolina Hurricanes.
Claude’s son Guy, was an 11th round draft pick of the Buffalo Sabres. He played in 70 NHL games scoring 10 goals.
In case you missed it, check out the other players on the Top 20 NHL Players list