MONTREAL -- Ray Getliffe, the hard-hitting forward credited with giving Canadiens teammate Maurice Richard the nickname "The Rocket," has died. He was 94 and the second-oldest living former NHL player.
Getliffe played 10 seasons with the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens from 1935-45. He died Sunday in London, Ontario, his son told The Canadian Press on Monday.
John Getliffe said his father felt he was fortunate to play the game for a decade.
"He enjoyed it all, it was a great experience and he always said if he had to do it all again, he'd do exactly the same thing," he said.
A native of Galt, Ontario, Ray Getliffe retired at 31 with 136 goals and 250 points in 393 games. He won a Stanley Cup with the Bruins in 1939 and again with Montreal in 1944.
But his best-known contribution to hockey may have been the moniker he is credited with giving the great Richard in 1942.
"I was sitting on the bench during a practice with Murph Chamberlain and Phil Watson," Getliffe told the Hockey Hall of Fame's Stanley Cup Journal three years ago. "[Elmer] Lach was on the ice with Richard and fed him a lovely pass.
"Richard got the puck and took off. I leaned over to Murph and said, 'Wow, Richard took off like a rocket!' Dink Carroll, he was a sportswriter with the [Montreal] Gazette, heard me and the next day in the paper wrote something about Richard skating like a rocket.
"It wasn't too long after that Dink was using the nickname 'The Rocket' when he was writing about Maurice Richard."
Getliffe is survived by his wife of 74 years, Lorna.