May 14, 2015

Roger Picard

A lot of people know Noel Picard was a defenseman in the early days of the St. Louis Blues history. They know that because he is the answer to a pretty neat trivia question - Who is the St. Louis player who trips Bobby Orr and sends him flying like Superman as Orr scores the Stanley Cup winning goal in 1970.

Noel Picard was a Montreal Canadiens farmhand in the Original Six days and the Blues had their eye on him for their blue line from the start. He was a defensive mainstay with the Blues for their first five seasons, helping them reach three Stanley Cup finals.

But did you know Noel's older brother Roger was also part of the inaugural Blues squad?

Roger Picard played 15 games, all in the expansion season of 1967-68. He scored two goals and two assists for four career points.

Picard also registered the first fighting major in St. Louis Blues history when he dropped the gloves with Ted Taylor of the Minnesota North Stars on October 18, 1967. Picard must have been really upset with Taylor, because the referee assessed Picard with an additional two minute penalty for roughing. The Stars scored on the ensuing penalty, giving them a 2-1 lead with just three minutes left in the very first game in franchise history. Luckily Wayne Rivers tied the game with a little over a minute left. The game ended in a 2-2 draw.

The Blues specifically targeted veteran players with their expansion plans. But, like all expansion teams, goals were hard to come by. They took a chance on Roger Picard, a right winger who had spent the previous decade chasing the Allan Cup as Canada's amateur champions in Quebec's competitive senior league.

Picard enjoyed lengthy stops in Granby, Sherbrooke, Montreal and Drummondville, finally capturing that elusive Allan Cup title in 1967.

On June 6th, 1967 they signed Roger to a two year pact as an unrestricted free agent. He started the year with the Blues before being sent down to the minor leagues where he put up good numbers with Kansas City in the Central league.

Picard played one more season in the pros, bouncing around with three teams and three leagues in 1968-69. With that he had enough. He retired and returned to Quebec.

The Picard brothers had farms and were business partners raising and training horses.

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