#48: Billy Coutu While Billy Coutu is probably most well-known as being the first player ever banned from the NHL, he spent 12 solid seasons with the Montreal Canadiens.
He definitely had one of the most interesting hockey careers. He started with the Canadiens the year before the NHL was formed, in 1916-17.The next season, the first of the NHL, Coutu had two goals and two assists as a defenceman.In 1919, Coutu was one of five Montreal Canadiens players in the Stanley Cup finals to get the influenza that was affecting much of the world. The finals was eventually cancelled because too many players were out sick.
After one more season with the Habs, Coutu was loaned to the Hamilton team for the season, before joining Montreal again in the 1921-22 season.
Coutu would eventually win the Stanley Cup with the Habs in 1924.
But his tough play was also detrimental to his career. He was suspended three times for his rough play before being traded to the Boston Bruins.
Six months after the trade, Coutu started a on-ice brawl in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals by punching the referee. He was given a lifetime suspension from the NHL.
He played the rest of his career in the minors, where he was thrown out of a game a few years later for, you guessed it, abuse of the referee.For more on Bill Coutu: