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March 01, 2016

Herb Rheaume

The Montreal Canadiens signed goaltender Herb Rheaume as a free agent on December 13th, 1925.

The Canadiens were desperate for a starting goaltender as the great Georges Vezina - the only goalie the franchise had known for 15 years and 328 consecutive games - fell ill with a serious case of tuberculosis. Vezina would never return to the ice and lost the battle and his life a few months later.

In 1925-26 season, the Montreal Canadiens were a team desperate for a starting goaltender. They had lost the backbone of the franchise, Georges Vezina, in the first game of the season, whose career and life were terminated with a serious bout of tuberculosis.

Though Frenchy Lacroix was initially recruited, it was Rheaume who played the balance of the season. It was not the season anyone in Montreal wanted. Rheaume finished with a 10-21-1 record with a 2.92 goals against average. The team, not surprisingly, missed the playoffs.

That proved to Rheaume's only season in the National Hockey League. He would play 10 more seasons in the minor leagues, travelling from Boston to St. Louis to western Canada.

Rheaume last played in Vancouver and he never left. He lived there until his death on New Year's Day 1953. He was just 52 years old.

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