When news broke that Elmer Lach, the 97-year-old Canadiens legend, had passed away early in the morning on April 4, it was only a matter of time before all tributes to Lach were rendered obsolete by whatever it was Montreal put together to honor the three-time Stanley Cup champion.
Before Thursday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings, the Canadiens rolled out their tribute to Lach and, in typical Montreal fashion, it was a brilliant piece of video. Set to ‘As Time Goes By’, the tune popularized by the 1942 film Casablanca, fans got a look back at Lach’s marvelous career:
While most of the footage is comprised of locker room shots and still images, the image of a young Lach alongside teammates juxtaposed with an elder Lach walking out to his jersey retirement is a nice touch. It shows just how the Saskatchewan native built a career – and a life – as part of the Canadiens organization.
In 664 career games, Lach registered 215 goals and 623 points, adding another 19 goals and 64 points in 76 career playoff contests. He was twice the winner of the Art Ross Trophy, the Hart Trophy winner in 1945 and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1966. When The Hockey News ranked the 100 greatest players of all-time in 1998, Lach came in at 68.