On The Shoulders Of Giants: Remembering Those Who Passed On


Since its founding in November of 1917, the National Hockey League has been a league steeped in tradition.  Most recognize that tradition in the form of Lord Stanley's Cup, the oldest trophy in all of professional sports. But there are much deeper and far more meaningful relationships, work ethics and codes of honor and dedication that are cultivated in the league by its players, passed on from generation to generation.
The old axiom attributed to Bernard of Chartres holds true in the sport of hockey. In short, if not for today's players "standing on the shoulders of giants" of the hockey's past, there simply is no hockey. Unfortunately, as in life itself, while their legacy may remain, those giants cannot. The Laws of Nature itself dictate that.

The hockey world is ready for the NHL to embark on what will be, in the end, just another chapter in its storied past. And with great respect towards those who paved the way for today, we at PensInitiative.com would like to take the time to recognize - admittedly all too briefly - those former NHLers who have left us since the drop of the puck in last season's opener.

In chronological order of their passing:

Valeri Karpov (August 5, 1971 - October 10, 2014)

  • Right Wing (1994-97)
  • Drafted by Anaheim in the 3rd Rd, 56th overall
  • Played 76 games over 3 seasons for Anaheim
  • In 1994 Olympics scored 3 goals and an assist for Team Russia (4th Place)

Germain Gagnon (December 9, 1942 - October 26, 2014)

  • Left Wing (1971-76)
  • Played for the Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders, Chicago Blackhawks, and Kansas City Scouts
  • 40 goals, 101 assists in 259 regular season games

Connie Dion (August 11, 1918 - November 7, 2014)

  • Goaltender (1943-45)
  • 23-11-4 record, 3.13 GAA over two seasons with the Detroit Red Wings
  • 1-4 in the 1943-44 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Murray Oliver (November 14, 1937 - November 23, 2014)

  • Center (1957-78), Coach (1982-83)
  • NHL All-Star 5 straight years (1963-68)
  • Played for the Boston Bruins, Minnesota NorthStars, Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs
  • 274 goals, 454 assists in 1127 regular season games
  • 9 goals, 16 assists in 35 playoff games
  • Coached 1982-83 Minnesota NorthStars for 37 games (18-12-7, 43 points)

Pat Quinn (January 29, 1943 - November 23, 2014)

  • Defenseman (1968-77), Coach (1978-87, 1990-2006, 2009-10)
  • Played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks and Atlanta Flames
  • 18 goals, 113 assists in 606 regular season games
  • Coached the Philadelphia Flyers, Los Angeles Kings, Vancouver Canucks, Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers over a 20 year period
  • 684-528-154-34 record over 1400 regular season games coached
  • Western Conference Championship in 1993-94 season
  • Won the Jack Adams Award in 1979-80 and 1991-92


Gilles Tremblay (December 17, 1938 - November 26, 2014)
  • Left Wing (1960-69)
  • Played for the Montreal Canadiens
  • 168 goals, 162 assists in 509 regular season games
  • 9 goals, 14 assists in 48 playoff games
  • NHL All Star in 1965 and 1967
  • Stanley Cup Champion in 1966 and 1968

Jean Belliveau (August 31, 1931 - December 2, 2014)

"Talent is a gift, but the success only comes with the job"
  • Center (1950-71)
  • Played entire career as a Montreal Canadien
  • 507 goals, 712 assists in 1125 regular season games
  • Won Art Ross Trophy in 1956, Hart Memorial Trophy in 1956 and 1964
  • 10x Stanley Cup Champion: 1956-60, 1965, 1966, 1968-71
  • Won Conn Smythe Trophy in 1965
  • 79 goals, 97 assists in 162 playoff games
  • Elected to the Hall of Fame Class of 1972

Andre Gill (September 19, 1941 - December 2, 2014)
  • Goaltender (1967-68)
  • Played for the Boston Bruins
  • 3-2-0 record with a 3.92 GAA

Bob Solinger (December 23, 1925 - December 10, 2014)
  • Left/Right Wing (1951-55, 1959-60)
  • Played for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings
  • 10 goals, 11 assists in 99 regular season games
  • Sept 6, 1949: Traded to the Maple Leafs from Cleveland (AHL) in a package that included Ray Ceresino who passed away in 2015.

Ed Kachur (April 22, 1934 - December 16, 2014)
  • Right Wing (1956-58)
  • Played for the Chicago Blackhawks
  • 10 goals, 14 assists in 96 regular season games

Daniel Poulin (September 19, 1957 - January 2, 2015)
  • Defenseman (1981-82)
  • Played 3 games for the Minnesota NorthStars

J.P. Parise (December 11, 1941 - January 7, 2015)

  • Left Wing (1965-79)
  • Played for the Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, Minnesota NorthStars (two different stints), New York Islanders and Cleveland Barons
  • 238 goals, 356 assists in 890 regular season games
  • 27 goals, 31 assists in 86 playoff games
  • January 5, 1975: Traded to the Islanders for a package that included Doug Rombough, who passed away in June 2015.
  • Father to the Minnesota Wild's Zach Parise

Denis Tsygurov (February 26, 1971 - January 10, 2015)
  • Defenseman (1993-96)
  • 38th overall pick in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft
  • Played for the Buffalo Sabres and Los Angeles Kings
  • Scored 1 goal, 5 assists in 51 career games

Mark Marquess (March 26, 1925 - January 19, 2015)
  • Right Wing (1946-47)
  • Played in 27 games for the Boston Bruins
  • Scored 5 goals, 4 assists.

Marc Dufour (September 11, 1941 - January 23, 2015)
  • Right Wing (1963-65, 1968-69)
  • Played for the New York Rangers and the Los Angeles Kings
  • Scored 1 goal in his 14 career NHL games

Vic Howe (November 2, 1929 - January 31, 2015)
  • Right Wing (1950-51, 1953-55)
  • Played 33 games for the New York Rangers
  • Scored 3 goals, 4 assists
  • Traded along with Andy Bathgate - whose brother, Frank, passed in 2015 as well - to the Rangers

Jean-Paul Gladu (June 20, 1921 - February 1, 2015)
  • Left Wing (1944-45)
  • Played for the Boston Bruins
  • Scored 6 goals, 14 assists in 40 regular season games
  • Added 2 goals, 2 assists in his 7 playoff appearances

Earl Johnson (June 28, 1931 - February 7, 2015)

  • Left Wing (1953-54)
  • Played for the Detroit Red Wings
  • No points in his lone NHL game

Dave Hoyda (May 20, 1957 - February 8, 2015)

  • Left Wing (1977-81)
  • Played for the Philadelphia Flyers and Winnipeg Jets
  • Recorded 6 goals, 17 assists and 299 penalty minutes in 132 regular season games

Steve Montador (December 21, 1979 - February 15, 2015)


  • Defenseman (2001-12)
  • Played for the Calgary Flames, Florida Panthers, Anaheim Ducks, Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres and Chicago Blackhawks
  • Recorded 807 penalty minutes, 33 goals, 98 assists in 571 regular season NHL games
  • Scored 3 goals, 5 assists in 43 playoff games
  • May 9, 2004: Scored OT goal in Game 1 of 2nd round Flames/Sharks series. Flames would go on to win that series in 6 games.

Frank Bathgate (February 14, 1930 - February 21, 2015)
  • Center (1952-53)
  • Played for the New York Rangers
  • No points in his 2 NHL games
  • Brother Andy Bathgate played for the Pittsburgh Penguins

Don McLeod (August 24, 1946 - March 11, 2015)
  • Goaltender (1971-72)
  • Played majority of his career in the World Hockey Association
  • Played for the Detroit Red Wings and Philadelphia Flyers
  • Went 3-10-1 with a 5.05 GAA in 18 regular season NHL games

Elmer Lach (January 22, 1918 - April 4, 2015)
  • Center (1940-54)
  • Played for the Montreal Canadiens
  • NHL All Star in 1948, 1952 and 1953
  • Scored 215 goals, 408 assists in 664 regular season NHL games
  • Scored 19 goals, 45 assists in 76 playoff games
  • 1944-45 Hart Memorial Trophy winner
  • 1947-48 Art Ross Trophy winner
  • Won the Stanley Cup 3 times with the Canadiens (1944, 1946 and 1953)
  • Elected to the Hall of Fame Class of 1966

Dollard St. Laurent (May 12, 1929 - April 6, 2015)
  • Defenseman (1950-62)
  • Played for the Montreal Canadiens and Chicago BlackHawks
  • NHL All Star in 1953, 1956-58 and 1961
  • Scored 29 goals, 133 assists and 496 penalty minutes in 652 regular season games
  • Scored 2 goals, 22 assists and 87 penalty minutes in 92 playoff games
  • Won the Stanley Cup 4 times with the Canadiens (1953, 1956-58) and 1 time with the BlackHawks (1961)

Mark Reeds (January 24, 1960 - April 14, 2015)
  • Right Wing (1981-89)
  • Played for the St. Louis Blues and Hartford Whalers
  • Scored 45 goals, 114 assists in 365 regular season games
  • Scored 8 goals, 9 assists in 53 playoff games
  • April 7, 1984: Scored 2OT goal to give St. Louis a Game 3 win over the Detroit Red Wings. The Blues would win that series 3-1 the next night.
  • April 26, 1986: Scored OT goal for St. Louis to put the Blues up 3-2 in the Division Finals over Toronto. The Blues would go on to win that series 4-3.

Marcel Pronovost (June 15, 1930 - April 26, 2015)


  • Defenseman (1950-70), Coach (1977-79)
  • Played for the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs
  • NHL All Star in 1950, 1954-55, 1957-61, 1963, 1965 and 1968
  • Scored 88 goals, 257 assists in 1206 regular season NHL games
  • Scored 8 goals, 23 assists in 134 playoff games
  • Won the Stanley Cup 4 times with the Red Wings (1950, 1952, 1954 and 1955) and once with the Toronto Maple Leafs (1967)
  • Elected to the Hall of Fame Class of 1978 as a Player
  • Coached the Buffalo Sabres
  • 52-29-23 record in 104 regular season games
  • 3-5-0 record in 8 playoff games
  • Brothers Claude Pronovost and Jean Pronovost also played in the NHL

Ray Ceresino (April 24, 1929 - May 1, 2015)
  • Right Wing (1948-49)
  • Played for the Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Scored a goal and an assist in 12 regular season games
  • Sept 6, 1949: Traded from the Maple Leafs to Cleveland (AHL). That deal brought Bob Solinger, who passed away months before Ceresino, to the Leafs.

John Mahaffey (July 18, 1919 - May 2, 2015)
  • Center (1942-44)
  • Played for the Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers
  • Scored 11 goals, 25 assists in 37 regular season games
  • Had an assist in his only playoff game with Montreal

Greg Parks (March 25, 1967 - June 16, 2015)
  • Center (1990-93)
  • Played for the New York Islanders
  • Scored 1 goal, 2 assists in 23 regular season games
  • Scored a goal and 2 assists for Team Canada in the 1994 Olympic Games

Doug Rombough (July 8, 1950 - June 20, 2015)
  • Center (1972-76)
  • Played for the Buffalo Sabres, New York Islanders and Minnesota NorthStars
  • Scored 24 goals, 27 assists in 150 regular season games
  • January 5, 1975: Traded in a package to Minnesota for J.P. Parise, who died in January 2015.

Wally Stanowski (April 28, 1919 - June 28, 2015)
  • Defenseman (1939-51)
  • Played for the Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Rangers
  • NHL All Star in 1947
  • Scored 23 goals, 88 assists in 428 NHL regular season games
  • Scored 3 goals, 14 assists in 60 playoff games
  • Won the Stanley Cup 4 times with the Toronto Maple Leafs (1942, 1945, 1947 and 1948)

Leo Reise, Jr. (June 7, 1922 - July 26, 2015)

Leo Reise, Jr with photo of Leo Reise, Sr.
  • Defenseman (1945-54)
  • Played for the Chicago BlackHawks, Detroit Red Wings, and New York Rangers
  • NHL All Star from 1950-53
  • Scored 28 goals, 81 assists in 494 regular season games
  • Scored 8 goals, 5 assists in 52 playoff games
  • Won the Stanley Cup 2 times with the Red Wings (1950 and 1952)
  • April 4, 1950: Scored 2OT goal to give Detroit a 2-1 victory in Game 2 of the Division Finals against the Maple Leafs
  • April 9, 1950: Scored an OT goal to send Detroit to the Stanley Cup Finals, defeating the Maple Leafs 1-0 in the game, 3-2 in the series. The Red Wings would go on to defeat the Rangers in 7 games
  • Father Leo Reise, Sr. also played in the NHL

Jack Jackson (May 3, 1925  - August 8, 2015)
  • Defenseman (1946-47)
  • Played for the Chicago BlackHawks
  • Scored 2 goals, 5 assists in 48 regular season games

Gus Mortson (January 24, 1925 - August 8, 2015)
  • Defenseman (1946-59)
  • Played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Chicago BlackHawks and Detroit Red Wings
  • NHL All Star in 1947, 1948, 1950-54 and 1956
  • Scored 46 goals, 152 assists and 1380 penalty minutes in 797 NHL regular season games
  • Scored 5 goals, 8 assists in 54 playoff games
  • Won the Stanley Cup 4 times with the Toronto Maple Leafs (1947, 1948, 1949 and 1951)
  • Led the NHL in penalty minutes 4 seasons, finished in the top ten in 9 total.

Bob Fillion (July 12, 1921 - August 13, 2015)
  • Left Wing (1943-50)
  • Played for the Montreal Canadiens
  • Scored 42 goals, 61 assists in 321 career regular season games
  • Scored 7 goals, 4 assists in 33 playoff games
  • Won the Stanley Cup 2 times with Montreal
  • Brother Marcel Fillion also played in the NHL

Cummy Burton (May 12, 1936 - August 24, 2015)
  • Right Wing (1955-56, 1957-59)
  • Played for the Detroit Red Wings
  • Recorded 2 assists, 21 penalty minutes in 43 regular season games
  • Played in 3 playoff games

Chico Maki (August 17, 1939 - August 24, 2015)
  • Right Wing (1961-76)
  • Played for the Chicago BlackHawks
  • NHL All Star in 1961, 1971 and 1972
  • Scored 143 goals, 292 assists in 841 regular season games
  • Scored 17 goals, 36 assists in 113 playoff games
  • Won the Stanley Cup with the BlackHawks in 1961
  • Brother Wayne Maki also played in the NHL

Al Arbour (November 1, 1932 - August 28, 2015)
  • Defenseman (1953-71), Coach (1970-86, 1988-94, 2007-08)
  • Played for the Detroit Red Wings, Chicago BlackHawks, Toronto Maple Leafs and St. Louis Blues
  • NHL All Star in 1969
  • Scored 12 goals, 58 assists and 617 penalty minutes in 626 regular season games
  • Scored 1 goal, 8 assists and 92 penalty minutes in 86 playoff games
  • Won the Stanley Cup 1 time with the BlackHawks (1961) and 2 times with the Maple Leafs (1962 and 1964)
  • Coached the St. Louis Blues and New York Islanders
  • Career regular season record of 782-577-248 as a coach (1500 games as the Islanders' coach, 107 in St. Louis) 
  • Career playoff record of 123-86
  • Coached the Islanders to 4 straight Stanley Cups (1980-83)
  • Won the Jack Adams Award in 1979
  • Elected to the Hall of Fame Class of 1996 as a Builder

Todd Ewen (March 22, 1966 - September 19, 2015)
  • Right Wing (1986-97)
  • Played for the St. Louis Blues, Montreal Canadiens, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and San Jose Sharks
  • Scored 36 goals, 40 assists and 1911 penalty minutes in 518 regular season games
  • Played in 26 playoff games, recording 87 penalty minutes
  • Won the Stanley cup with Montreal in 1993.

Norm Defelice (January 19, 1933 - September 27, 2015)
  • Goaltender (1956-57)
  • Played for the Boston Bruins
  • Career regular season record of 3-5-2 with a GAA of 3.00

Gilles Mayer (August 24, 1930 - September 29, 2015)
  • Goaltender (1949-50, 1953-56)
  • Played for the Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Career regular season record of 2-6-1 with a GAA of 2.67
  Sources: List of players who passed away (sihrhockey.org); Stats and other bio information (hockey-reference.com); Photos (via Google search); Top Photo (photoshopped by the author)
Share on Google Plus

About Brian Blystone

Now living in Youngstown, OH. Podcasting/Writing from ToonsStudios East for PensInitiative.com, 1-Up.club and whoever else wants to listen. Mistakenly left in charge of visual/web design for PI and owning/operating The 1-Up Club video game site.
Spends free time playing video games, watching hockey, playing hacky sack with son while daughter is warming up for whatever activity she's doing next and wondering how he got such a hot wife.
Some mysteries are meant to remain unsolved.
    Blogger Comment
    Facebook Comment

1 comments: