Mario Tremblay

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Mario Tremblay
Born (1956-09-02) September 2, 1956 (age 57)
Alma, QC, CAN
Height 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight 190 lb (86 kg; 13 st 8 lb)
Position Forward
Shot Right
Played for NHL
Montreal Canadiens
NHL Draft 12th overall, 1974
Montreal Canadiens
Playing career 1974–1986

Mario Tremblay (born September 2, 1956 in Alma, Quebec) is a former professional ice hockey player and former coach in the National Hockey League (NHL).

Playing career

Tremblay, nicknamed "Le bleuet bionique" (The Bionic Blueberry), played with the Montreal Canadiens for his entire NHL playing career (1974 to 1986), and was also the coach of the club from 1995 until his resignation in 1997, winning five Stanley Cup championships with the team as a player in 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, and 1986. He scored the series winning goal in game six of the Stanley Cup Finals in 1978. He was the winner of the Molson Cup for the season 1982-83.

Tremblay is 10th on the Montreal Canadiens all time list for plus-minus at 184. In 852 regular season games in the NHL, he scored 258 goals and added 326 assists for 584 points, with 1043 penalty minutes. Despite his successful playing days, his legacy was overshadowed by his controversial coaching career,

Coaching career

Tremblay was hired four games into the 1995–96 season as head coach of the Canadiens although he had no previous coaching experience. As coach, he developed a long running dispute with star goaltender Patrick Roy, which eventually led to Roy's departure from Montreal. The two had almost come to blows in a Long Island coffee shop before Tremblay was announced as a coach and his first appearance in the dressing room was greeted with snickers from Roy. They almost fought a second time after Tremblay fired a shot at Roy's throat during practice, by which point it was only a matter of time before the hot-tempered Tremblay and his star goalie reached the point of no return.

On November 28, 1995, Treblay's Montreal Canadiens were playing the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. The day before the game, Tremblay spoke to Mario Leclerc of Le Journal de Montreal newspaper. Tremblay mentioned that he was resentful of current Red Wings head coach Scotty Bowman. The first five years of Tremblay’s career were played under Bowman, and Tremblay told Leclerc that Bowman would always threaten to send him to the minors.1 When Leclerc approached Cournoyer, he stated that he did not want to speak about Bowman.2 The Canadiens lost the game by a score of 3-2. The next day, the Journal de Montreal had a headline that stated, "Bowman has the Last Word."2

Tremblay kept Patrick Roy in net during a December 2, 1995, game versus the Detroit Red Wings, in which the Wings scored nine goals on Roy, who was jeered by the Montreal fans. Roy stormed off the ice and told team president Ronald Corey that it was the last game he would play for the Canadiens. Two days later, Roy was traded to Colorado with captain Mike Keane for Jocelyn Thibault, Martin Rucinsky and Andrei Kovalenko. Roy went on to lead the Avalanche to the Stanley Cup twice before retiring. The rivalry would continue into the coaching ranks, as Roy would later (on October 15, 2013) tie Tremblay's record for longest winning streak (six games) to begin an NHL coaching career.

Nearly a year after Roy left the Canadiens, Tremblay also had a heated verbal exchange with Montreal's enforcer Donald Brashear during a team practice prior to a game against the Avalanche in Denver. Brashear was later traded to the Vancouver Canucks.

As a head coach for Montreal, Tremblay coached 159 games, with 71 wins, 63 losses and 25 ties across two years with the team. Prior to his 2009–10 hiring as assistant-coach of the New Jersey Devils, Tremblay served as an assistant coach for the Minnesota Wild. In both jobs, he was an assistant coach to Jacques Lemaire. After Lemaire retired in 2010, Tremblay was not retained as assistant coach. He then joined the Quebec sport network RDS as a hockey analyst for the Montreal Canadiens games.3

Personal life

He was honoured by his hometown of Alma, which named its local arena "Le Centre Mario-Tremblay".

Since 1981, Tremblay has owned the sports bar in his hometown called "Bar-Restaurant chez Mario Tremblay".

Career statistics

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1972–73 Montreal Red White and Blue QMJHL 56 43 37 80 155
1973–74 Montreal Red White and Blue QMJHL 46 49 51 100 154
1974–75 Nova Scotia Voyageurs AHL 15 10 8 18 47
1974–75 Montreal Canadiens NHL 63 21 18 39 108 11 0 1 1 7
1975–76 Montreal Canadiens NHL 71 11 16 27 88 10 0 1 1 27
1976–77 Montreal Canadiens NHL 74 18 28 46 61 14 0 3 3 9
1977–78 Montreal Canadiens NHL 56 10 14 24 44 5 2 1 3 16
1978–79 Montreal Canadiens NHL 76 30 29 59 74 13 3 4 7 13
1979–80 Montreal Canadiens NHL 77 16 26 42 105 10 0 11 11 14
1980–81 Montreal Canadiens NHL 77 25 38 63 123 3 0 0 0 9
1981–82 Montreal Canadiens NHL 80 33 40 73 66 5 4 1 5 24
1982–83 Montreal Canadiens NHL 80 30 37 67 87 3 0 1 1 7
1983–84 Montreal Canadiens NHL 67 14 25 39 112 15 6 3 9 31
1984–85 Montreal Canadiens NHL 75 31 35 66 120 12 2 6 8 30
1985–86 Montreal Canadiens NHL 56 19 20 39 55
NHL totals 852 258 326 584 1043 101 20 29 49 187

Coaching record

Team Year Regular season Post season
GP W L T Pts Finish Result
MTL 1995–96 77 40 27 10 90 3rd in Northeast Lost in first round
MTL 1996–97 82 31 36 15 77 4th in Northeast Lost in first round
Total 159 71 63 25 167

References

  1. ^ Patrick Roy, winning, nothing else, p.350 , by Michel Roy, translated by Charles Phillips, 2008, John Wiley & Sons, Mississauga, ON, ISBN 978-0-470-15616-2
  2. ^ a b Patrick Roy, winning, nothing else, p.351 , by Michel Roy, translated by Charles Phillips, 2008, John Wiley & Sons, Mississauga, ON, ISBN 978-0-470-15616-2
  3. ^ http://www.rds.ca/divers/chroniques/303400.html

Molson Cup winner : http://ourhistory.canadiens.com/player/Mario-Tremblay

External links

Preceded by
Rick Chartraw
Montreal Canadiens first round draft pick
1974
Succeeded by
Gord McTavish
Preceded by
Jacques Demers
Head coach of the Montreal Canadiens
199597
Succeeded by
Alain Vigneault







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