The Chicago Blackhawks have released the following statement on Pierre Pilote, who passed away last night at the age of 85:
"The Chicago Blackhawks offer our sincere condolences to the family of Pierre Pilote as we mourn his passing. Pierre was one of the most decorated defenseman in NHL history and was a valuable member of the 1961 Stanley Cup championship team. He will be remembered for his toughness, leadership and reliability on the ice, as proven by his captaincy and streak of 376 consecutive games played. We will forever be grateful for his incredible contribution to the Blackhawks and the game of hockey."
Pilote played a total of 14 seasons in the National Hockey League (1955-1969),13 of those (1955-1968) with the Chicago Blackhawks. A member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, Pilote played with the 1961 Blackhawks Stanley Cup Championship team and served as team captain from 1961-1968. The defenseman played in 821 games and scored 477 points (77G, 400A) as a member of the Blackhawks and is one of just eight defensemen in NHL history to capture the Norris Trophy three times (1963, 1964, 1965). A native of Kenogami, Quebec, his No. 3 sweater was retired by the team along with Keith Magnuson's in November of 2008 and hangs from the rafters at the United Center.
The Pilote family released the following statement:
"We are saddened with the passing of our father, but our family will always remember the Blackhawks organization for providing us with so many special moments. We are so proud of what our father accomplished in his professional career and thankful that his legacy will be preserved with the retirement of his No. 3 by the team."
Pilote leaves behind four children; Denise, Pierre Jr., Renée and David, along with many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife, Annie, and he will be greatly missed by his companion, June Gerdes-Beard. He was also an avid golfer and participated in many charity events over his lifetime.