It was obvious from a young age that Vincent Damphousse had extraordinary hockey talent. He starred for the Montreal-Bourassa midgets of the Québec AAA Hockey Leauge. In 1983-84, he joined the QMJHL's Laval Voisin and scored 65 points as a rookie. In 1984-85, he improved to 35 goals and 103 points and in 1985-86, Damphousse scored 45 goals and 155 points and was named a QMJHL Second Team All-Star.
Vincent Damphousse was drafted sixth overall in the 1986 NHL Entry Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs. In his rookie season, Damphousse played in all 80 games and tallied 21 goals and 25 assists for 46 points. The breakout year offensively for Damphousse came in 1989-90, when he scored 33 goals and finished second in team scoring with 94 points. In 1990-91, he paced the team with 26 goals and 73 points and was named the MVP of the NHL All-Star Game in Chicago thanks to a four-goal effort. He still regards that as the single greatest memory in his NHL career.
In one of the biggest trades in NHL history, Damphousse was traded with Peter Ing, Scott Thornton, Luke Richardson, and cash to the Edmonton Oilers for Grant Fuhr, Glenn Anderson and Craig Berube on September 19, 1991. The move to northern Alberta seemed to agree with him, as he led the Oilers with 38 goals, 51 assists and 89 points. In the playoffs, he scored 14 points in 16 games as the team reached the Campbell Conference finals before losing to the Chicago Blackhawks.
On August 27, 1992, Damphousse was traded to the Montreal Canadiens. Playing in his home town, Damphousse responded with 39 goals, 58 assists, and 97 points for the Habs. And the playoffs were even better. He had 23 points in 20 games as the Canadiens won the Stanley Cup, defeating Wayne Gretzky and the Los Angeles Kings four games to one.
In 1993-94, Damphousse led the Canadiens with 40 goals and 51 assists for 91 points. In the shortened 1994-95 campaign, he played all 48 games and scored 40 points. In 1995-96, he co-led the Canadiens with 38 goals and finished second in team scoring with 56 assists and 94 points. In 1996-97, he led the Canadiens with 54 assists and 81 points. In 1997-98, he finished second in team scoring with 59 points.
In 1998-99, Damphousse moved to his fourth NHL club when he was traded to the San Jose Sharks. On October 14, 2000, Damphousse recorded his 1,000th career NHL point and was one of the most consistent players on the Sharks for the better part of six seasons, before signing as a free-agent with the Colorado Avalanche in the summer of 2004.
Following a lock out year in 2004-05, Damphousse announced his retirement from the game of hockey during the summer of 2005.