It is with great sadness the Toronto Maple Leafs learned on Sunday of the passing of Marcel Pronovost. He was 84 years old.
Pronovost was born on June 15, 1930 in Lac la Tortue, Que. His family then moved to Shawinigan Falls, Que., where he became a star for the hockey team at Shawinigan Tech. It was there Pronovost caught the eye of the Detroit Red Wings, signed a contract and joined the Windsor Spitfires. He also had stops with the Detroit Auto Club team of the IHL and the Omaha Knights of the USHL before debuting for the Red Wings during the 1949-50 playoffs.
He became a fixture in the Red Wings lineup during the 1950-51 season and played there for 15 years. He recorded 80 goals and 297 points in 983 games with Detroit. In that span he was a two-time first team NHL All-Star, a two-time second team NHL All-Star and four-time Stanley Cup Champion.
An eight-player trade on May 20, 1965 brought Pronovost to Toronto. He cemented himself as an integral piece of the Leafs blueline and helped the team to its Stanley Cup win in 1967, his last as a player. He retired during the 1969-70 season having recorded eight goals and 48 points in 223 games with the Leafs.
Following his retirement, Pronovost began a lengthy career in coaching and management. His coaching career started with the Tulsa Oilers, where he finished as a player in 1970-71. Stops in the WHA and QMJHL preceded a stint as head coach of the Buffalo Sabres from 1978-80. He also held an assistant coaching role with the Red Wings from 1980-82.
Pronovost transitioned from coaching to scouting. He joined the NHL's Central Scouting Bureau in 1985 and worked there for five years. He joined the New Jersey Devils in 1990 where he has been part of the scouting staff since. He won three Stanley Cups as a member of the Devils front office.
Marcel Pronovost was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1978. His career in professional hockey spanned from 1947 to 2015.