OTD: Montréal Canadiens retire Maurice Richard’s No. 9

On today’s date in 1960, the Montréal Canadiens retired Maurice Richard’s No. 9 sweater.

In 2009, Canada Post commemorated the Canadiens’ 100th anniversary with a Permanent stamp (Scott #2339) featuring a close-up of Richard’s game-worn No. 9 jersey, which is currently housed in the Montréal Canadiens Hall of Fame. Printed by the Lowe Martin Group on Tullis Russell coated paper, this stamp has general tagging along each side.

“The jersey’s texture is very interesting visually,” said designer Stéphane Huot. “The older style, with its wool fabric and intricate detailing, really speaks to the team’s long history, capturing the magnitude of this anniversary.”

Huot said the jersey was considered a powerful, unifying symbol in French-Canadian culture throughout the middle of the 20th century.

“It’s sometimes called La Sainte Flanelle (the ‘Holy Shirt’),” he added. “By connecting it to faith in this way, fans attribute a mystic, other-worldly quality to the feelings it conjures.”

The stamps were issued in booklets of 10, which also list the team’s Stanley Cup victories and feature the team’s centennial logo, as well as souvenir sheets of three. An official first-day cover was cancelled in Montréal.

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