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IN MEMORIAM: ANDRE BOUDRIAS

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Paying tribute to the first star for the Vancouver Canucks.

2006 NHL Entry Draft Portraits Dave Sandford/Getty Images for NHL

He was one of the original Canucks, and the first one who got the fans to rise out of their seats. The man known affectionately as ‘Super Pest’, Andre Boudrias, who led all Canucks scorers in that inaugural season passed yesterday at the age of 75.

Boudrias came up as part of the Montreal Jr Canadiens, and led them in scoring twice, including the 1963-64 season, when the team boasted the likes of Yvan Cournoyer, Jacques Lemaire and Serge Savard. He would play just 3 games for the Habs though, a victim of their incredible depth, and didn’t get a break until the 1967 expansion draft, when he was claimed by the Minnesota North Stars.

After a great rookie campaign for the North Stars he struggled, and was part of a 4 player trade that sent him to Chicago. That following summer he would be claimed by St Louis in the NHL’s intra-league draft, and he and the Blues would go to the Stanley Cup Finals, only to lose to the Boston Bruins. Another expansion draft in 1970 saw him taken by the Canucks, and finally Boudrias showed the promise of his youth. He would lead the Canucks in scoring in 4 of the next 5 seasons, and finished just 1 point behind Bobby Schmautz in the season he didn’t lead. He also set a record that stood for 32 years: 62 assists in a season. It took until the 2006-07 season for that one to fall when Henrik Sedin eclipsed that mark. He currently sits 13th overall in team scoring with 88 goals, 239 assists for 327 points.

Boudrias was part of the first Canucks squad to make the playoffs, in 1975. Sadly, their first round opponent was the Montreal Canadiens. Despite the obvious mismatch, the young Canucks gave the Habs a battle, and included this goal by Boudrias on future Hall of Famer Ken Dryden.

The following season would be his last with the Canucks, and he would leave the NHL for the World Hockey Association, spending two seasons with the Quebec Nordiques. After his retirement he would go to where his career started, as a scout with the Montreal Canadiens. He was the Assistant GM and Director of Scouting for the 1993 Cup Champs in Montreal, and soon afterwards left to join his old buddy Jacques Lemaire in New Jersey. He got 3 Cup rings in his time with the Devils as one of their pro scouts.

Yesterday, the Legendary Jim Robson was on TSN 1040 to talk about Boudrias and what he meant to this franchise in it’s early days.

Boudrias died yesterday in Whistler at the age of 75. We can expect a tribute Saturday before the Calgary game, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Blackhawks make mention of it before the game tonight as well.