Sad news today. Former Montreal Canadiens defenceman and Hockey Hall of Famer Kenny Reardon has passed away after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer's disease. He was 86.
Reardon played seven seasons with the Canadiens between 1940 and 1950, scoring 122 points in 341 games. Playing with greats like Maurice Richard, Toe Blake, Elmer Lach and Emile Bouchard, Reardon helped the Canadiens win two Stanley Cups. He was also selected to the NHL's First All-Star Team twice and the Second All-Star Team three times in his career.
He is best remembered by modern fans as Don Cherry's boyhood hero. "Grapes" has mentioned that fact numerous times on "Coach's Corner," and undoubtedly he will have a tribute to him tonight.The fact that Don Cherry grew up idolizing Ken Reardon should pretty much tell you what kind of a player Reardon was.
His fearless, reckless abandon accounted for his many injuries, and even more fans. He was a fan favorite during his entire NHL career. He would barge down the ice in the most direct line to either the opponent's net or his check, and he loved the body-contact game. Reardon came to the Montreal Canadiens as a rookie determined to succeed, not on skill, but hard work. And he did.
Reardon's hard work paid off when he made the Canadiens in 1941 and played two full seasons before his career was interrupted by World War II.
Ken would play on army teams while at battle, and returned to the Canadiens for the 1945-46 season and for the next five seasons was named to NHL All-Star teams. He made the first team in 1946-47 and 1949-50, the second team in the other three seasons. He played on a Stanley Cup winner in 1945-46.
More on Ken Reardon:
Eyes On The Prize
HHOF Photo Gallery