Skip to main content

Gilles Tremblay Passes Away

Yet another hockey death this week, as Gilles Tremblay passed away at the age of 75.

For nine seasons Gilles Tremblay was quietly one of the top players on the Montreal Canadiens. From 1960 to 1969 the small left winger put up decent offensive totals but was best known for concentrating on defensive duties.

After apprenticing with the EPHL's Hull-Ottawa Canadiens, GIlles got his big break during the 1960-61 season when he was called up after 14 games in the minors. Gilles played really well, particularly defensively. He scored 7 goals in 45 games, including his first on November 13, 1960 in New York where he slipped a shot past Gump Worsley. The assists on his first NHL goal were from Bernie Geoffrion and Jean Beliveau - imagine being able to tell your grandchildren that!

The Canadiens told Tremblay that they were pleased with his play in his rookie season but if he wanted to stay in the NHL he would have to develop more of an offensive flare. Gilles went home that summer and prepared for the following season. His preparations obviously paid off as he came back and scored a career high 32 goals and 54 points, all while continuing his strong defensive play. The 32 goals was the 5th highest in the whole league! There was no doubt - Gilles Tremblay planned on sticking around the NHL for years to come.

Tremblay never quite equaled that output again, but he remained a steady though quiet 25 goal man for most of his career. He followed it up with 25 and 22 markers in the next two seasons. A broken leg cut short his 1964-65 season but he rebounded strongly in 1965-66 when he scored 27 goals. 1965-66 was particularly special for Gilles as he added 9 points in 10 playoff games to lead the Habs to the Stanley Cup championship.

Tremblay played until the 1968-69 season when injuries forced him to retire. In all he scored 168 goals and 330 points in 509 NHL games. He added 9 goals and 23 points in 48 playoff contests, earning three Stanley Cup rings.

Tremblay was involved in an ugly incident with the Blackhawks Reggie Fleming on October 24, 1962. The two were quite upset at each other and began to swing sticks at each other. The combatants took approximately 8 baseball style swings at each other though neither player was injured. Both were suspended by league president Clarence Campbell for 3 games and they were fined $850 each.

Forced to retire due to injuries and asthma, Tremblay went onto become a legendary broadcaster on CBC French broadcasts of Le Soiree du Hockey. He was recognized for his excellent work in 2002 when he was honored with the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award and his inclusion in the broadcaster's section of the Hockey Hall of Fame.


Popular posts from this blog

100 Greatest Hockey Players Of All Time

What follows is a listing of the 100 greatest hockey players of all time, in my opinion. As discussed earlier, the definition of greatness is a very personalized endeavor and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
While there is no way of ever truly ranking the top 100 definitively, it is important for the creators of such lists to be open and transparent of how the came to their conclusions. That accountability allows the reader to better understand the process. 

Although admittedly I'm using a completely unscientific formula, I weigh career achievements (era statistics, awards, championships) and legacy (impact on and off ice, peak dominance) equally high. I rank player ability as the third most important ingredient, as first and foremost as a tie breaker. Hence, I'm not necessarily looking for the better player, as in text book definitions of what a hockey player should be, but for players with the greatest careers and greatest legacies. Therefore the best player is not n…

Top Ten Junior Players Of All Time

Let's take a look at the Top Ten junior players of all time. For the purposes of this list we will at players in the WHL, OHL and QMJHL only.

10. Pat Lafontaine, Verdun, QMJHL Rookie-record 104 goals, 234 points in 1982-83; major junior player of the year.

9. Denis Potvin, Ottawa, OHL 254 games, 95 goals, 234 assists, 329 points. Broke Bobby Orr's junior records.

8. John Tavares, Oshawa, OHL 215 goals, 433 points in 247 games; most goals in OHL history; eligibility rules changed to admit him at 15; 2006 major junior rookie of the year, 2007 major junior player of the year; two world juniors, named 2009 all-star, top forward and MVP.

7. Sidney Crosby, Rimouski, QMJHL 120 goals, 303 points in 121 games; two-time major junior player of the year; silver and gold with Canada at two world juniors.

6. Eric Lindros, Oshawa, OHL 97 goals, 216 points in 95 games; one Memorial Cup victory; three world junior tournaments; major junior player of the year in 1991.

5. Mike Bossy, Laval, Q…

Greatest Hockey Legends: M