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Old 28-04-15, 17:59   #1
 
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Hockey PhOtOs- Maple Leaf Hall of Famer Dies

Hockey Hall of Famer Marcel Pronovost Dead at 84





Hall of Fame hockey player Marcel Pronovost was named the honourary captain of Team OHL for the upcoming Subway Super Series game
in this 2009 file photo. (DAN JANISSE/The Windsor Star)


28 April 2015


Marcel Pronovost always considered Windsor to be his adopted hometown.

“Windsor is my second home,” said Pronovost, who died Sunday in Windsor after a brief illness. He was 84.
“I think the town that you play junior in always kind of becomes your second home. You’re taken in by a family and treated like one of their own, and the whole town gets to know who you are.”


Born in Lac La Tortue, Que., Pronovost first came to Windsor in 1947 when he signed a C-form with the Detroit Red Wings and arrived in the city to play for the Wings’ Windsor Spitfires junior franchise.





Former Spitfire great Marcel Pronovost waves to the crowd after his banner was lowered in a post game ceremony
in this 2008 file photo. (DAN JANISSE/The Windsor Star)




After making the grade with the Wings in 1950, Pronovost eventually settled in Windsor in 1953 and lived in the city until he was traded to the Maple Leafs in 1965. In 1979, when Pronovost joined the Red Wings’ coaching staff, he returned to Windsor and remained here the rest of his life.
The Wings actually found Pronovost almost by accident. Detroit scout Marcel Cote had come to Shawinigan to watch the Wilson brothers, Larry and Johnny, and they recommended to him to check out Pronovost as well. Detroit signed all three players.
Pronovost made his Wings debut during the Stanley Cup playoffs in 1950, winning a Cup before he ever played a regular-season game.

“I wasn’t really shocked to be there so young, not really, because that’s the goal I had,” Pronovost once explained. “But still, I was glad, because the Wings had put their faith in me and I wanted to prove them right.”





Coach Marcel Pronovost closely monitors the scrimmage action in this Sept. 2, 1982 file photo. (FILES/The Windsor Star)


He’d win four more Cups with Detroit, and in 1952 was the guy who dealt with the first octopus ever thrown on the ice in a Stanley Cup game at Olympia Stadium.

“Linesman George Hayes went over to see what it was and you should have seen him jump back,” Pronovost recalled in his book A Life In Hockey. “So I decided to take a look. I smacked it with my stick.
“Right away, I knew what it was, and I knew that it was dead. It was an octopus. I scooped it up and skated over to the penalty box with it, but nobody there wanted to touch it, either. I didn’t think about it, I just picked it up.
“Oh yeah, you better believe I wondered why they were throwing the octopus on the ice.”





Marcel Pronovost is pictured in his Windsor Spitfires jersey on Nov. 10, 1948. (FILES/The Windsor Star)


After a 1965 trade to Toronto, Pronovost was a member of the Maple Leafs’ most recent Cup title in 1967.

Pronovost played in 1,206 NHL games, was a four-time All-Star selection and skated in 11 NHL All-Star Games.

He entered the coaching field after his playing days.

In 1972, he was named the first coach of the WHA’s Chicago Cougars. Pronovost coached the Buffalo Sabres and Wings and also the Spitfires. In 1984-85, he guided the Belle River Canadiens to the OHA Jr. C title.

Five years later, Pronovost joined the scouting staff of the New Jersey Devils, where he’d win three more Stanley Cups. Among his finds was the backbone of those triumphs, goaltender Martin Brodeur.

When the Devils won their most recent Cup in 2003, Pronovost set a record for the longest tenure between first and last Stanley Cup inscriptions, it coming 53 years after his first triumph as a Red Wing.
In 2005, the Spitfires honoured Pronovost’s No. 4 sweater.

He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1978, the Windsor/Essex County Sports Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.

“Hockey provided me with a good living and Windsor provided me with a home, and a lifetime of memories,” Pronovost said.
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