Born in Cap-de-la-Madeleine, Québec, in 1932, Talbot was the second-last surviving member of the group of 12 players who remained with the Canadiens during their NHL-record five consecutive championships from 1956 to 1960. Those were the first five full seasons of Talbot’s NHL career – he would go on to win the Cup twice more with Montreal in 1965 and 1966.
Talbot was among the Habs’ many key figures of the late Original Six era, playing over 800 games in a Montreal sweater between 1955 and 1967. While his career-best 1961-62 campaign didn’t result in an eighth Stanley Cup win, Talbot’s five goals, 42 assists, 47 points, and +30 rating in 70 games placed him third in Norris Trophy voting behind the Blackhawks’ Pierre Pilote and the Rangers’ Doug Harvey. He was also named to the year-end All-Star team for the only time in his career.
His Montreal tenure ended when the Canadiens left him unprotected in the 1967 Expansion Draft, where the Minnesota North Stars selected him. He was traded to the Red Wings just four games into the 1967-68 season, though, and switched teams for a second time that year when the Blues claimed him off waivers from Detroit in January. Talbot remained in St. Louis for most of the remainder of his career, closing out his playing days briefly with the Sabres after a trade in 1970-71.
After retirement, Talbot stayed in the game as a coach, taking over behind the Blues bench in 1972-73 after the team fired Al Arbour, who would win four straight Stanley Cups with the Islanders between 1980 and 1983. Talbot resigned from his post with the Blues late in the 1973-74 season and would coach the WHA’s Denver Spurs in 1975-76, which relocated to Ottawa mid-season before folding. He returned to the NHL as the coach of the Rangers in 1977-78 but only spent one season behind the bench.
Talbot resided in Trois-Rivières, Québec, and is survived by his wife of over 70 years, Pierrette, two sons, a daughter, and five granddaughters. PHR extends its deepest condolences to Talbot’s family and the Canadiens organization.