It's been over two months since the last entry in my Nordiques Numbers Project, so I thought I could check off #44 with this card of journeyman defenseman Mario Marois, who hails from the Québec suburb of L'Ancienne-Lorette and had two stints with the team:
Like many others, Marois played his Junior hockey in his hometown, for the Québec Remparts ofthe LHJMQ, already displaying a taste for playing a physical brand of hockey. He accumulated 522 penalty minutes (and 139 points) in 153 games in the Q, though he was blanked in a losing bid at the 1975-76 Memorial Cup.
He was drafted 62nd overall by the New York Rangers at the 1977 draft and finished in the top-10 for Norris Trophy votes twice. He topped the 40-point mark six times (with a high of 51 in 1987-88) and the 100-PIM mark eleven times (with a high of 181 in 1980-81). He scored 11 goals in 1981-82 and 13 in 1983-84, the year he also finished at an incredible +51.
He had a good, hard shot from the point, and his all-around game could be compared, in modern terms, to a slightly less-talented Shea Weber, or perhaps a Scott Stevens. He was captain of the Nordiques from 1983 until 1985, when Peter Stastny took over the team's leadership.
He also helped Team Canada capture a silver medal at the 1989 World Championships.