The Chicago Blackhawks have announced that former blue liner Pierre Pilote has passed away at age 85.
Pilote played 13 seasons for the Blackhawks from 1955-1968 before finishing his career with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1969. He was a three-time Norris Trophy winner as the NHL’s best defenseman and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1975.
Old school hockey fans will remember Pilote as one of the game’s very first offensive defensemen. In a time before Bobby Orr when blue liners were used almost exclusively for defending, Pilote’s smooth skating and puck moving style was seen as truly revolutionary. While he didn’t rack up the points you’d expect of an offensive defenseman, Pilote was a pioneer and changed the game forever.
RIP Pierre Pilote. Gone, but never forgotten.