Gilles Tremblay, who played nine NHL seasons for the Montreal Canadiens and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a broadcaster, died early Wednesday at the age of 75.
Tremblay, a native of Montmorency, Quebec, was a member of four Stanley Cup championship teams with the Canadiens. He had 168 goals and 330 points in 509 regular-season games and was considered a strong two-way player.
His obituary on the Canadiens website states that in Tremblay's first NHL game, Nov. 12, 1960 at the Montreal Forum, he skated on a line with legends Bernie Geoffrion and Jean Beliveau. The Canadiens faced the Detroit Red Wings and Tremblay's job duties that night included keeping an all-time great, Gordie Howe, in check.
Tremblay's career was shortened because of injuries and asthma which led to difficulty breathing, but he worked as a color analyst for French television broadcasts of Canadiens games on La Soirée du hockey. He received the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award in 2002.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman issued the following statement Wednesday:
"The National Hockey League mourns the passing of Gilles Tremblay, whose career as a player and broadcaster bridged four glorious decades of Montreal Canadiens hockey.
"A solid two-way wing, Gilles contributed to four Stanley Cup championships in a five-season span from 1965-69. During his 27 years on La Soiree du Hockey, many of them as part of a formidable announcing team with Rene Lecavalier, Gilles' insights brought a national audience the stories of hundreds of games and eight more Canadiens titles. We send heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of someone who brought great dignity and professionalism to his duties on and off the ice."