April 4, 2015 / 8:23 PM / 4 years ago

Hall of Fame Canadien Elmer Lach dies at age 97

Montreal Canadiens legends (L-R) Emile Bouchard, Elmer Lach and Patrick Roy sit together during a ceremony to celebrate the Canadiens 100th anniversary in Montreal, in this December 4, 2009. REUTERS/Shaun Best/Files

(Reuters) - National Hockey League Hall of Famer Elmer Lach died on Saturday at the age of 97, the Montreal Canadiens said.

Lach, who won the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s Most Valuable Player after scoring 26 goals and 54 assists in the 1944-45 season, played his entire 14-season career with the Canadiens, helping the team to three Stanley Cups.

The Saskatchewan native played center on the famous Montreal “Punch Line” with Maurice Richard and Toe Blake. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1966.

The Punch Line’s 220 combined points in 1944-45 set an NHL record that lasted more than a decade.

Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina, editing by Gene Cherry

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