Original Blue Noel Picard Passes Away at 78


A member of the original 1967-68 St. Louis Blues squad, Noel Picard, lost his battle to cancer on Wednesday.

Original Blue Noel Picard Passes Away at 78

The Photograph

Not only was Picard one of the original Blues, but he is also the reason the iconic picture of one of the hockey greats, Bobby Orr, flying through the air circa 1970 was possible. In Game Four of the 1970 Stanley Cup Finals between the St. Louis Blues and the Boston Bruins, Orr scored the series-winning goal to win his Bruins the Stanley Cup. Defenseman Noel Picard was not very pleased by this so he put his stick between Orr’s legs, tripping him, and watched him fly through the air while still celebrating. This picture is one of the most popular photos in all of sports and the most famous in hockey. When people talk about Picard’s career, this is the moment that they talk about.

Even after he retired and moved back to Montreal, avid hockey fans still remembered this moment. “I get asked about that a lot. People send me card and pictures in Montreal and I sign them all the time.” Picard said in 2011.

Picard’s Career

Picard started his career with one season with his hometown team, the Montreal Canadiens in 1964-65 and won the Stanley Cup. He came to the Blues in 1967-68 and played six seasons with the Blue Note on his chest. As a defenseman, he had 58 points in his 278 games with St. Louis. He helped the Blues make the Stanley Cup Finals their first three seasons in the league from 1967-68 to 1969-70. He finished his career with one season with the Atlanta Flames before retiring. He finished his career with 75 points and 616 penalty minutes. Once he retired, he spent time broadcasting for the Blues with Dan Kelly on KMOX.

Picard’s Legacy

Picard’s former teammate, Bob Plager, said this about his passing, “He was one of the best friends and teammates I had here. He was a big, happy-go-lucky guy and enjoyed life. He was the life of everything. One of the most important parts of the team in the early days was Noel Picard. He gave our star players room to be star players. Everybody in this city had Noel Picard stories.”

When thinking of players that wore the Blue Note with pride and honor, who represented the Blue Note well and who are still loved by Blues fans years after their careers are over, players like Bob Plager, Glenn Hall, Brian Sutter, Keith Tkachuk, Bernie Federko, Brett Hull, Adam Oates, Curtis Joseph, Al MacInnis, Kelly Chase, and Noel Picard come to mind. Picard will be missed by Blues fans everywhere.

Main Photo:

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