November 02, 2015

Marc Reaume

Some players enter the league with a bang and leave with a whimper. Marc Reaume was the opposite - he was relatively unknown throughout much of his career, but his long career ended with a bang - and a crash.

Reaume played parts of 5 seasons as a stay at home defensemen with the Toronto Maple Leafs before he was dealt to Detroit for the legendary Red Kelly in one of the more lopsided trades in NHL history. Kelly went on to become a big part of the dynastic Leafs teams of the 1960s. Reaume played just 47 games in Detroit.

Injuries hampered him early on in Detroit, but Reaume thinks the Wings quickly lost their patience with him.

"I think they lost faith in me as a steady with their team so I was moved out to the minor leagues." he said. From 1961 until late 1970 Reaume played in the minor leagues, except for a 3 game stint with the Montreal Canadiens in 1963-64.

Reaume described himself as a "class A minor league player and a fringe National Hockey League player" He added "I lacked confidence in the NHL. I was in awe of the players and the whole situation and I didn't play well."

Unexpectedly Reaume got a chance to return to the NHL in 1970. The first year Vancouver Canucks expansion team entered the NHL scene. Reaume spent his previous two seasons in the British Columbian port city with the WHL, and was given a chance to play with the NHL Canucks.

Reaume played in 27 games, collecting just 2 assists for Vancouver. His NHL stint came to an end in January of 1971 when the Canucks sent Reaume to their minor league affiliate in Rochester.

However that's where Reaume's career came to a sudden and tragic end.

En route to Rochester, on highway 3 near Hamilton, his car left the road and smashed into a tree. To this day he cannot remember exactly what happened.

"I had a broken leg, broken wrist, my head hit the top of the car and put me out for three or four days but not one cut." Reaume says. "I woke up in the hospital and said 'Who hit me?' " For all Reaume knew he had been hit with a vicious elbow in a hockey game.

The injuries inflicted upon Reaume forced him to retire.

In his post hockey career Reaume worked at several jobs before landing a job at General Motors transmission plant in Windsor Ontario.

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