Andre Boudrias, a center who played 12 seasons in the NHL and later helped the Montreal Canadiens and New Jersey Devils build Stanley Cup-winning teams, died Tuesday in Whistler, British Columbia. He was 75.
Boudrias, born in Montreal on Sept. 19, 1943, was 20 when he made his NHL debut with the Canadiens in 1963-64. He spent most of the next three seasons in the minor leagues before being traded to the Minnesota North Stars on June 6, 1967.
Given his first chance to play regularly in the NHL, Boudrias responded with 53 points (18 goals, 35 assists) for the North Stars in 1967-68, tying him for second in scoring on the first-year team. But he was traded by the North Stars to the Chicago Blackhawks on Feb. 14, 1969, claimed by the St. Louis Blues in the intraleague draft four months later and traded to the expansion Vancouver Canucks on June 10, 1970.
The 5-foot-8, 165-pound center blossomed in Vancouver. He led the first-year Canucks in scoring with 66 points (25 goals, 41 assists), tied with Orland Kurtenbach for the team lead in 1971-72 with 61 points (27 goals, 34 assists), then had 70, 75 and 78 points in the next three seasons.
"Boudrias led Vancouver offensively from the inaugural season of the franchise in 1970-71 to 1975-76 as one of the Canucks first true stars," the Canucks said. "Boudrias was an active member of the Canucks alumni and will be fondly remembered by family, friends and his many peers throughout the NHL community."
After dropping to 38 points in 1975-76, Boudrias left the Canucks and spent two seasons with the Quebec Nordiques of the World Hockey Association before retiring from hockey.
He finished his NHL career with 491 points (151 goals, 340 assists) in 662 games, as well as 16 points (six goals, 10 assists) in 34 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
After retiring, Boudrias returned to the Canadiens as a scout before being promoted and spending 12 years as assistant general manager. He played a key role in Montreal's Stanley Cup championships in 1986 and 1993.
Boudrias joined the Devils in 1994 and spent two decades as a scout, helping built teams that won the Cup in 1995, 2000 and 2003.