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Original Blues defenseman Noel Picard dies at 78


Noel Picard, an original member of the St. Louis Blues when they entered the National Hockey League in 1967, passed away Wednesday after a long battle with cancer, the club announced in a statement.

He was 78 years old.

Picard played in three consecutive Stanley Cup Finals for the Blues. He spent six seasons in St. Louis after initially beginning his NHL career with the Montreal Canadiens in 1964-65.

“Noel was one of the best friends and teammates that I had here. He gave me a chance to be a better player,” said his teammate and defense partner Bob Plager in a statement on the Blues website.

“He made a lot of us better players and our success in the 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.”

Picard played in 335 career NHL games, scoring 12 goals and 75 points with 616 penalty minutes.