Pete Morin

Pete Morin was a star performer with the Quebec Senior Hockey League's Montreal Royals for a decade. For only one season he would appear in the NHL with the Montreal Canadiens, but he, along with line mates Buddy O'Connor and Gerry Heffernan would "Razzle Dazzle" fans in 1941-42.

Morin, who was only 5-foot-6 and weighed 150 pounds, started his senior hockey career in the 1936-37 season. over the next 5 seasons the playmaking genius developed into a solid player, and exploded in the playoffs. Twice he led the QSHL in post season goal scoring. In fact in 1938-39, he scored just 7 goals in 17 regular season games only to explode with 21 goals and 34 points in 20 post season games!

Morin's line mates were equally as impressive. Heffernan was speedster, while O'Connor was the superstar as history would later show. The trio would lead the Royals to become top contenders for the Allan Cup, Canada's amateur hockey championship, but never landed the title before the outbreak of war. Known at first as the Little Line, a Montreal Herald sports writer dubbed them the Razzle Dazzle Line, a nickname they would take with them to the National Hockey League.

With their team decimated by World War II service and with superstar center Elmer Lach out with a broken arm, the Montreal Canadiens opened the 1941-42 season by winning just one of seven games. Desperate, the team signed the top line of the local senior amateur club on November 28, 1941 for a total of $12,000.

Morin played 31 games with the Canadiens in 1941-42, scoring 10 goals and 12 assists. He suffered an injury had passport problems, preventing him from traveling to the United States for much of the season. But even in that short period of time the Razzle Dazzle line proved they could play in the National Hockey League.

"They are a two-way trio, a whippet threesome who can backcheck and carry," the Montreal Daily Star exclaimed.

"We had to pass the puck around," Heffernan told the Montreal Gazette. "We couldn't shoot it in and go fight for it because we were too small."

But World War II got in the way of Morin's NHL career. The very next season, 1942-43, Morin was in the army, however he was based out of Montreal. In his spare time he played with the Montreal RCAF of the QSHL.

Once the war was over, returning to the Habs was not in the cards that Morin was holding. Instead he played with the Lachine Rapides, of the Quebec Provincial Hockey League, before returning to the QSHL Royals for five more seasons.

His second tenure with the Royals was even better than his first. In 1946, he was named the QSHL's most valuable player. Two seasons later, he led the league in scoring with 34 goals and 57 assists in 47 games. The previous two years Morin led all post season scorers in assists and points.

Morin retired in the summer of 1950 and turned to coaching Laval Nationale, of the Quebec Junior Hockey League in 1950-51. Like his his Razzle Dazzle linemate Gerry Heffernan, he was later very successful as a chartered insurance broker for more than 4 decades.

Morin's athletic skills extend beyond hockey. He holds seven Canadian rowing titles for the Lachine Racing Canoe Club, and was a founding member of the Club Richelieu and l'Association des Pecheurs et Chasseurs du Lac St-Louis.

Morin died on January 5th, 2000. He was 84 years old. The arena in Lachine bears his name in memory.


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