Réjean Houle

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Réjean Houle
Born (1949-10-25) October 25, 1949 (age 65)
Rouyn, QC, CAN
Height 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight 165 lb (75 kg; 11 st 11 lb)
Position Right Wing
Shot Left
Played for Montreal Canadiens (NHL)
Quebec Nordiques (WHA)
National team  Canada
NHL Draft 1st overall, 1969
Montreal Canadiens
Playing career 1969–1983

Réjean Houle (born October 25, 1949) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey forward who played the majority of his career with the Montreal Canadiens of the National Hockey League (NHL), also serving in a controversial stint as general manager for the Canadiens.

Playing career[edit]

Drafted as the first pick overall in the 1969 NHL Amateur Draft by the Montreal Canadiens, Houle played for the Habs from 1970 to 1973 and from 1976 to 1983. He won five Stanley Cup championships with the Canadiens. In between his NHL stints, he played for the Quebec Nordiques of the World Hockey Association (WHA).

Management career[edit]

After retiring as a player, Houle became an executive with Molson, one of Canada's leading breweries and the then-owner of the Montreal Canadiens organization. A disastrous start to the 1995–96 season resulted in then-General Manager Serge Savard's termination, and the team saw Houle, with his business background and history with the team, as the most viable replacement candidate.

Houle then served as GM of the Canadiens from 1995 to 2000, though his tenure was largely viewed as a disaster by many fans. He initiated the infamous trade that sent Patrick Roy and Mike Keane to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for Jocelyn Thibault, Martin Ručinský and Andrei Kovalenko just six weeks into the job. Following this trade, he dealt-away marquee players including Mark Recchi, Vincent Damphousse and Pierre Turgeon in exchange for players of little value to the team. He was also criticized for frequently trading with non-contending teams, being unable to land widely-coveted free agents and for signing marginal players to inflated contracts.

Houle's drafting was considered even worse, however, as he was criticized for selected players such Matt Higgins, Jason Ward, Eric Chouinard and Marcel Hossa, the younger brother of then-rising talent and current NHL star Marián Hossa, with his first round selections, as well as trading away a top ten pick in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft for an underachieving Trevor Linden. Houle was fired from his post two months into the 2000–01 season and replaced by André Savard. He currently serves as an ambassador to the Canadiens organization.

Awards[edit]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1967-68 Montreal Junior Canadiens OHA 45 27 38 65 102
1968-69 Montreal Junior Canadiens OHA 54 53 55 108 76
1969-70 Montreal Voyageurs AHL 27 9 16 25 23 8 3 2 5 4
1969-70 Montreal Canadiens NHL 9 0 1 1 0 -- -- -- -- --
1970-71* Montreal Canadiens NHL 66 10 9 19 28 20 2 5 7 20
1971-72 Montreal Canadiens NHL 77 11 17 28 21 6 0 0 0 2
1972-73* Montreal Canadiens NHL 72 13 35 48 36 17 3 6 9 0
1973-74 Quebec Nordiques WHA 69 27 35 62 17 -- -- -- -- --
1974-75 Quebec Nordiques WHA 64 40 52 92 37 15 10 6 16 2
1975-76 Quebec Nordiques WHA 81 51 52 103 61 5 2 0 2 8
1976-77* Montreal Canadiens NHL 65 22 30 52 24 6 0 1 1 4
1977-78* Montreal Canadiens NHL 76 30 28 58 50 15 3 8 11 14
1978-79* Montreal Canadiens NHL 66 17 34 51 43 7 1 5 6 2
1979-80 Montreal Canadiens NHL 60 18 27 45 68 10 4 5 9 12
1980-81 Montreal Canadiens NHL 77 27 31 58 83 3 1 0 1 6
1981-82 Montreal Canadiens NHL 51 11 32 43 34 5 0 4 4 6
1982-83 Montreal Canadiens NHL 16 2 3 5 8 1 0 0 0 0
WHA totals 214 118 139 257 115 20 12 6 18 10
NHL totals 635 161 247 408 395 90 14 34 48 66

*Stanley Cup Champion

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Michel Plasse
NHL first overall draft pick
1969
Succeeded by
Gilbert Perreault
Preceded by
Michel Plasse
Montreal Canadiens first round draft pick
1969
Succeeded by
Marc Tardif
Preceded by
Serge Savard
General Manager of the Montreal Canadiens
19952000
Succeeded by
Andre Savard