Carol Vadnais Passes Away at 68
Carol Vadnais, who was a mainstay on the Rangers' blueline for seven seasons, passed away on Sunday at the age of 68.
Vadnais was part of one of the most prolific trades in Rangers history. On November 7, 1975, the Blueshirts acquired him and Phil Esposito from the Boston Bruins in exchange for Brad Park, Jean Ratelle, and Joe Zanussi.
In his first season with the Rangers, Vadnais quickly showed why he was one of the top all-around defensemen in the NHL. He led all Rangers defensemen with 50 points (20 goals and 30 assists) in 64 games after he was acquired, and was selected to play in his fifth career NHL All-Star Game.
Vadnais tallied at least 40 points in each of the following three seasons, and led all team defensemen in points with 48 during the 1976-77 season. He was selected to play in his second NHL All-Star Game as a member of the Rangers in 1977-78, as he recorded 46 points (six goals, 40 assists) in a career-high 80 games.
In 1978-79, the Montreal, Quebec native was a key contributor in one of the most memorable playoff runs in Rangers history. After finishing the regular season with 45 points, Vadnais tallied 11 points (two goals, nine assists) in 18 playoff games as the Rangers advanced to the Stanley Cup Final.
Vadnais skated in 485 career games with the Rangers, registering 56 goals and 190 assists for 246 points, along with 690 penalty minutes. He ranks 11th in franchise history in goals, assists, and points by a defenseman. Vadnais also skated in his 1,000th career NHL game as a member of the Rangers on November 21, 1981 against the Islanders.
Over a 17-year NHL career with the Rangers, Montreal Canadiens, Oakland Seals/California Golden Seals, Boston Bruins, and New Jersey Devils, Vadnais tallied 169 goals and 418 assists for 587 points, along with 1,813 penalty minutes in 1,087 career games. He was selected to play in the NHL All-Star Game six times during his career. Vadnais was also a member of Team Canada at the 1976 Canada Cup, and represented Team Canada at the 1977 World Championships.
He reached the playoffs in 13 of his 17 NHL seasons. Vadnais appeared in 106 career playoff games, registering 10 goals and 40 assists for 50 points, along with 185 penalty minutes. He won the Stanley Cup twice in his career - in 1967-68 with Montreal and in 1971-72 with Boston.
Vadnais tallied five goals and 16 assists for 21 points in 54 career playoff games with the Rangers. He ranks 12th in franchise history in points by a defensemen in the playoffs, and is tied for 12th in franchise history in goals and assists by a defenseman in the playoffs.
Vadnais is survived by his daughter, Michele, and two grandchildren.