October 25, 1949 |
Rouyn, QC, CAN
|Height||5 ft 11 in (180 cm)|
|Weight||165 lb (75 kg; 11 st 11 lb)|
|Played for||Montreal Canadiens (NHL)
Quebec Nordiques (WHA)
|NHL Draft||1st overall, 1969
Réjean Houle (born October 25, 1949) is a retired Canadian ice hockey forward who played most of his career for the Montreal Canadiens of the National Hockey League. He also served a controversial stint as general manager for the Canadiens.
Drafted as the first pick overall in the 1969 NHL Amateur Draft by the Canadiens, Houle played for the Habs from 1970 to 1973 and from 1976 to 1983. Houle was on five Stanley Cup championships with the Canadiens. In between his NHL stints, he played for the Quebec Nordiques of the World Hockey Association.
After retiring as a player, Houle became an executive with Molson, one of Canada's leading breweries and the then-owner of the Canadiens. A disastrous start to the 1995–96 season resulted in Serge Savard being fired as Canadiens' general manager, and the team saw Houle's business background and history with the team as the right combination to get the team back on track. Houle was general manager of the Canadiens from 1995 to 2000. His tenure as the Habs' GM was viewed as a disaster by many fans. He pulled the trigger on the infamous trade which sent Patrick Roy and Mike Keane to the Colorado Avalanche for Jocelyn Thibault, Martin Rucinsky and Andrei Kovalenko just six weeks into the job. Following this trade, he traded away marquee players like Mark Recchi, Vincent Damphousse and Pierre Turgeon for players of little value. He was also criticized for frequently trading with non-contending teams, being unable to sign big name free agents and signing marginal players to inflated contracts. Houle's drafting was considered even worse as he was criticized for taking players like Matt Higgins, Jason Ward, Eric Chouinard and Marcel Hossa, the younger brother of then rising star Marian with his first round selections as well as trading away a top ten pick in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft for an underacheving Trevor Linden. Houle was fired from his post two months into the 2000–01 NHL season and replaced by André Savard. He currently serves as an ambassador to the Canadiens organization.
- 1968–69: Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy
|1967-68||Montreal Junior Canadiens||OHA||45||27||38||65||102|
|1968-69||Montreal Junior Canadiens||OHA||54||53||55||108||76|
*Stanley Cup Champion
|NHL first overall draft pick
|Montreal Canadiens first round draft pick
|General Manager of the Montreal Canadiens