Rocket impressive

PAUL FRIESEN -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:05 AM ET

The movie The Rocket is about as real as it gets -- take it from someone who's been there.

Winnipegger Ab McDonald, a former captain of the WHA Jets, was also a teammate of Maurice "The Rocket" Richard, the subject of the new film.

McDonald saw a special screening of the picture, and was impressed.

"I thought it was very well done. I really enjoyed it," he said. "There was a lot of stuff in there that I really knew about. It was so true."

McDonald played with Richard on Montreal Canadiens teams from 1957-58 (playoffs only) to 1959-60, winning Stanley Cups all three seasons.

"He wanted to score goals like nobody else," McDonald said. "From the blue-line in, he was unbelievable."

DIDN'T SEE TEMPER

McDonald didn't see much evidence of Richard's legendary temper, though. That surfaced more often earlier in The Rocket's career.

"By the time I got playing with him, he was pretty calmed down. He'd mellowed. But he still wanted to score goals."

McDonald remembers something else about Richard: he had a superstition, one you didn't mess with.

"He was always last onto the ice," McDonald said. "You didn't dare want to be the last guy out. He was going out last, no doubt about that."

McDonald isn't depicted in the movie, though.

It ends with the Richard Riots, caused by Richard's suspension in 1955. McDonald didn't join the Habs until two years later.


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