The Chicago Blackhawks announced today the organization will retire jersey No. 3 in honor of defensemen Keith Magnuson and Pierre Pilote during a 2008-09 regular season home game to be announced at a later date.
"In keeping consistent with honoring our past greats, the Blackhawks are proud to announce that we will be retiring the number three for two wonderful gentlemen," Blackhawks President John McDonough said. "The number three hanging in their honor will be a continuing memory to our fans and players on what it means to be a distinguished member of the Blackhawks family."
Magnuson spent 11 seasons in a Blackhawks uniform (1969-80), racking up 1,442 penalty minutes and 139 points (14 goals, 125 assists) in 589 career games, which includes captaining the squad for three years (1976-79). The Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, native helped Chicago reach the postseason eight times, collecting 164 penalty minutes and 12 points (3 goals, 9 assists) in 68 career playoff outings.
Following his playing career, Magnuson served as Chicago’s head coach during the 1980-81 campaign before helping organize and serving as president of the Blackhawks Alumni Association. He passed away tragically in an automobile accident on Dec. 15, 2003, at the age of 56.
A member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, Pilote ranks second among defensemen in franchise history with 400 assists and fourth with 477 points in 821 contests spanning 13 seasons in a Blackhawks sweater (1955-68). The Kenogami, Quebec, native is one of four players in the history of the NHL to capture three straight James Norris Memorial Trophies as the league’s outstanding all-round defenseman, a feat he accomplished in 1963, 1964 and 1965.
A First-Team All-Star five times during his career (1963, 1964, 1965, 1966 and 1967), Pilote captained the Blackhawks starting with the 1961-62 season until the end of the 1967-68 campaign.
Magnuson and Pilote will join Glenn Hall (1), Bobby Hull (9), Denis Savard (18), Stan Mikita (21) and Tony Esposito (35) and as the only players to have their jersey numbers retired in the 82-year history of the franchise.