Picard started his National Hockey League career with the Montreal Canadiens in 1965. He also played for the St. Louis Blues and Atlanta Flames. He retired after the 1973 season. He won one Stanley Cup with Montreal in 1965.
Picard is noted for tripping Bobby Orr after Orr scored the goal to give the Boston Bruins the 1970 Stanley Cup, sending Orr flying through the air with his arms raised in celebration. This image stands as one of the most famous action shots in North American sports history.
He played junior for the Peterborough Petes, a Montreal Canadiens farm team. He turned pro at age 21 with the Jersey Larks of the Eastern Hockey League in 1960-61. He spent the next two seasons with the senior Montreal Olympics who made it to the 1961-62 Allan Cup Final.
The move marked the beginning of a seven-year run of minor-league stints accentuated by one 16-game slice of glory with the Montreal Canadiens in 1964-65, when he won the Stanley Cup. Otherwise, Picard spent his time sharpening his game in the service of such teams as the Omaha Knights, Houston Apollos, Seattle Totems, and Providence Reds.
In the summer of 1967, Picard's hockey fortunes underwent a dramatic shift. His rights were secured by the St. Louis Blues in the 1967 NHL Expansion Draft. The burly blueliner was just the right kind of stay-at-home, seasoned veteran that his fledgling team needed.
The Blues solidified themselves quickly, becoming playoff finalists in each of their first three seasons. During the third outing, the Blues squared off against the mighty Boston Bruins and their superstar defenceman, Bobby Orr.
In all, Picard lasted just over five seasons in St. Louis. During that time, he became one of his club's most popular players with the fans. All appeared to be unfolding like a well laid plan until he went on a hunting trip in Novemeber of 1971. While his mates were relaxing in the cabin, he hopped aboard an old horse for a trot around the area. But a second horse got tangled with the first causing Picard's transport to fall to the ground with his foot caught squarely under the old mare's rump. By the time the horse got up, Picard's foot was crushed so severely that three bones were seen protruding through his boot. Hours passed before he was finally admitted to a St. Louis hospital. The doctors were seriously contemplating an amputation, but decided to at least attempt to save some aspects of the original foot. Picard was delighted with the prospects of rehabilitating his limb. He swore in the face of medical doomsayers that he would eventually return to the NHL.
He stayed true to his word and did recover sufficiently to resume his career with the Blues in 1972-73. But the deeper price paid was a noticeable loss of mobility that limited his effectiveness in defensive coverage. He was soon put on waivers and claimed by the Atlanta Flames. There, he lasted only until the end of the season at which time he hung up his blades for good.
Picard died on September 6, 2017 in his hometown of Montreal.