Carol Vadnais, who will always have a special place in hockey history, died at age 68, the New York Rangers announced Sunday. A cause of death was not announced, but former Canadiens teammate Serge Savard told Le Journal de Montreal (via the New York Times) that Vadnais had been suffering from cancer.
The longtime NHL defenseman will be in hockey history books for years to come as he was part of one of the biggest trades in league history when the Boston Bruins traded him along with Hall of Famer Phil Esposito to the New York Rangers for Brad Park, Jean Ratelle and Joe Zanussi in 1975.
Vadnais appeared in 1,087 games, 485 of which came as a member of the Rangers. The blueliner, who also spent time with the Oakland/California Golden Seals, Montreal Canadiens and New Jersey Devils, posted 587 career points and appeared in six NHL All-Star games over his 17-year career.
His best season came as a member of the Boston Bruins in 1974-75 when he had 74 points. He also won two Stanley Cups, first with the Habs in 1968, then with the Bruins in 1972.
According to the Rangers, Vadnais is survived by his daughter and two grandchildren.