Red Fisher, who covered the Canadiens for more than six decades for both the Montreal Gazette and Montreal Star, died Friday at the age of 91.
Red Fisher, who covered the Montreal Canadiens for nearly six decades for The Montreal Gazette and The Montreal Star, has passed away at the age of 91. pic.twitter.com/Au8vcVbKW4— SportsCentre (@SportsCentre) January 19, 2018
Fisher was a Montreal native and began his hockey coverage in 1954 for the Star. When the paper folded in 1979, he went over to the Gazette. Fisher was the longest-serving hockey writer any NHL team ever had until his retirement in 2012. One of his closest friends during his time on the Canadiens beat became Hall of Famer Dickie Moore, who died in 2015 at the age of 84.
"I owe a hell of a lot more to a lot of hockey people, starting with many of the players, than they owe me," Fisher said when he retired.
I remember asking Red Fisher at the closing of the Montreal Forum what made it such a special place. “Nothing,” he said. “It’s just a building. What made it remarkable were the people in it.”— Gord Miller (@GMillerTSN) January 19, 2018
Red was one of those special people. He’ll be missed by all whose lives he touched.
Direct and often blunt, Fisher became one of the most respected hockey writers across the NHL. He wrote the book, "Hockey, Heroes and Me," in 1994.
Fisher received the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award from the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1985 and was inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 1999. He received the Order of Canada medal in 2017 to recognize his "contributions to sports journalism, notably for his iconic coverage of the Montreal Canadiens hockey franchise." The Order of Canada is one of the nation's highest civilian honors.
"He was the best of his time, and his time lasted a very long time," Canadiens Hall of Fame goaltender Ken Dryden wrote in an email to the Montreal Gazette.
"When things would go wrong for the team or for me, I would search for answers," Dryden wrote. "If I couldn’t find them, I would say to myself, ‘I wonder what Red thinks’ and wait for the next day’s paper. I never did that with anyone else."