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Picard, original Blues defenseman, dies at 78

Helped St. Louis reach Stanley Cup Final three times, tripped Orr on iconic 1970 goal @NHLdotcom

Noel Picard, a defenseman and original member of the St. Louis Blues, died Wednesday of cancer. He was 78.

Picard played seven seasons in the NHL, but perhaps is best remembered for tripping Hall of Fame defenseman Bobby Orr on his overtime goal that won the Stanley Cup for the Boston Bruins on May 10, 1970, and being part of one of the most iconic photos in sports history.

Picard played six seasons with the Blues, helping them reach the Stanley Cup Final in 1968, 1969 and 1970. In 278 regular-season games with St. Louis, Picard had 58 points (12 goals, 46 assists).

"Noel was one of the best friends and teammates that I had here," Bob Plager, Picard's defense partner, told the Blues website. "He gave me a chance to be a better player. He made a lot of us better players, and our success in the [Stanley Cup] Playoffs in those early years, he was a big, big part of us being successful. He was a player that gave a lot of our players a chance to become better players. I know he made a better player of me.

"Everybody knew Noel Picard. Everybody in this city from those days will have a Noel Picard story. He was around the city, everybody loved him and everybody talked about him. They all had stories, and some of them could be a little crazy, but those were the true ones."

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