Paul Houde 1954 2024 The Blackhawks lost their biggest fan

Paul Houde | 1954-2024: The Blackhawks lost “their biggest fan in Quebec,” team legend says

Since childhood, Paul Houde was a huge Blackhawks fan, whose love for the Chicago team was well known to the general public. “Our biggest fan in Quebec,” says none other than one of the club's legends, Denis Savard, with whom the radio presenter was friends.

“I still remember the support he gave me throughout my career,” said the former forward with 1,338 NHL points. Every time I met him at a game in Chicago, he proudly wore the Blackhawks jersey.

“He talked about the great legends of the Hawks and always ended our conversations by proclaiming in his powerful voice, “Defender Elmer Mooooose Vasko,” he added, referring to the 1960s defenseman Paul Houde loved. Repeat the name… and especially the nickname!

A sweater that would change everything

This unwavering support was born in the 1960s, right in the middle of the glorious era of Stan Mikita and Bobby Hull.

“When we played hockey, I was always picked last, and they kept telling me: You're going to be a goalie. I said, “Yeah, if that’s the case, I’ll get noticed.” he explained to our sports director Denis Poissant in 2010, who met him during the Stanley Cup Finals. So I asked one of my aunts to knit me a Blackhawks sweater, a white sweater with an Indian head on it.

“And she did.”

The Canadian mocks legends

His love for the Blackhawks has earned him the ridicule of Canadian players over the years, including Réjean Houle.

“We liked to remind him that we had won the Cup twice against Chicago in the early 1970s,” he remembers.

But Paul Houde didn't hate the Canadian. In fact, he dreamed of a new final between Montreal and Chicago in which “his heart would still have been with the Blackhawks.”

– In collaboration with Rodger Brulotte