Former Habs coach Ruel passes away at 76

Claude Ruel, who coached the Canadiens to the 1969 Stanley Cup, died on Monday at the age of 76.

Ruel had two stints coaching in Montreal, the first beginning in ’69 — he was the 11th head coach in NHL history to lift the Stanley Cup during his rookie year — and the second in ’79, when he took over for Bernie Geoffrion and led the Habs to a first-place finish in the Norris Division.

A former player that had his career cut short to an eye injury, Ruel coached some of the most iconic figures in Montreal franchise history, including Yvan Cournoyer, Jean Beliveau, Guy LaFleur and Larry Robinson.

He finished his coaching career with a 172-82-51 record, a .648 winning percentage.

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