Blackhawks great Pierre Pilote dies at 85

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Pierre Pilote, who won a Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in 1961 and the Norris Trophy three times, passed away Saturday.

He was 85 years old.

The Blackhawks confirmed his passing in a statement on Sunday.

“The Chicago Blackhawks offer our sincere condolences to the family of Pierre Pilote as we mourn his passing,” the organization wrote in a statement.

“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.”

He played 890 games in the NHL, scoring 80 goals and 498 points, while spending 13 of his 14 years in the league with the Blackhawks. He captained the Blackhawks from 1961 to 1968. He finished his career in 1969 following one season with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

His No. 3 jersey was retired to the rafters at United Center in 2008.

“A consistent, durable, dependable defender who enjoyed the offensive aspects of the position, Pierre Pilote was a team captain, an eight-time post-season All-Star and a three-time Norris Trophy winner,” said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in a statement.

“Mainstay of the Blackhawks’ 1961 Stanley Cup champion, Pierre also was a man of humor and great dignity and a proud member of the Hockey Hall of Fame. The National Hockey League mourns Pierre’s passing and sends heartfelt condolences to his family, teammates and many friends.”