A native of Alma, Mario Tremblay was certainly a gifted hockey player, but above all a player of character without equal. From his teenage years, his boundless energy earned him the nickname “Bleuet bionique” (Translator’s note: Bionic Blueberry) by local journalists.
In 1972, at age 16, he joined the Montreal Bleu-Blanc-Rouge. As a right winger, he showed what he could do by scoring 43 goals and 80 points in 56 games to go along with 155 penalty minutes.
The following season, the energy provided by this 6-feet 185 pounds frame propelled him to a 100-point season, a pace of two points per game. On November 20, 1973 in a 11-0 win in Trois-Rivières, Mario Tremblay scored 7 points, while fellow legends Normand Dupont (8) and Denis Daigle (7) were as equally productive.
Before he turned 18 years-old, the Montreal Canadiens selected him in the first round of the 1974 Entry Draft. As a rookie with the Canadiens he scored 21 times, the first of his six seasons of at least 20 goals.
A player who thrives during great moments, Tremblay scored the 6,000th goal in Canadiens history at home during his rookie campaign in 1974-75. In November of 1984, he recorded two similar milestones: the 14,000th goal in franchise history and the 6,000th goal of the franchise on the road.
He scored several game-winning goals, including the one in game 6 of the Stanley Cup final in 1978. His famous assist on Yvon Lambert’s goal in the 1979 semifinals against the Bruins propelled the Canadiens to its fourth straight playoff title.
In 12 seasons with the Canadiens, he raised the Stanley Cup on five occasions. His career as a hockey player was cut short by injuries and illness and ended at the conclusion of the 1985-86 season. He would end his career with 953 games played, registering 278 goals and 633 points along with 1,230 penalty minutes.
Following his hockey career, he jumped to the broadcast booth where he worked for radio and TV outlets for nine years.
In October of 1995, he returned to the dressing as the 23rd Montreal Canadiens head coach. He coached two seasons before leaving of his own accord. He later became Jacques Lemaire’s assistant coach with Minnesota (2000-09) and New Jersey (2009-10).
In 2010, he picked up the mic to begin the second chapter of his broadcast career, mainly working for RDS and collaborating with multiple Montreal-based radio stations.
Mario Tremblay will be inducted into the QMJHL Hall of Fame on April 3, 2019, in the Players category.