Hall of Famer Marcel Pronovost dies at age 84

Five-time winner Marcel Pronovost, right, holds a ring removed from the Stanley Cup at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto in 2007 alongside two-time winner Gaye Stewart, left. (Aaron Harris/CP)

WINDSOR, Ont. — Hockey Hall of Famer Marcel Pronovost, who spent 15 years with the Detroit Red Wings before capping his playing career with a five-year run in Toronto, has died. He was 84.

Pronovost won the Stanley Cup five times as a player and recorded 345 points (88 goals, 257 assists) in 1,206 career regular-season games. He moved into coaching after his retirement and had served as a scout for the New Jersey Devils since 1990.

Pronovost died Sunday in his hometown of Windsor, Ont., the Devils said in a statement Monday on their website.

“The entire hockey world is saddened by the loss of Marcel Pronovost,” said Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello. “Marcel was a caring individual who dedicated his life to his family and to the game of hockey. He was a longtime member of our Devils’ family, a lifetime friend to the hockey community, and will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Pronovost family.”

There was no immediate word on the cause of death.

Pronovost, a native of Lac la Tortue, Que., made his debut for the Red Wings in the 1949-’50 playoffs. He soon became a fixture on the Detroit blue-line and won the Stanley Cup on four occasions in the Motor City.

“The Detroit Red Wings are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Marcel Pronovost,” the team said on its website. “Marcel was a beloved teammate and coach in Detroit and a lifelong friend to many in the hockey community. The Hall of Fame defenceman is one of only 11 players to win four Stanley Cups in a Red Wings sweater. Our thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathies go out to the Pronovost family during this difficult time.”

Pronovost was dealt to the Maple Leafs in an eight-player trade in May 1965 and helped guide Toronto to its last Stanley Cup win in 1967. He finished with 31 points (8-23) in 134 career playoff games.

“A Hall of Fame defenceman, a respected coach and for five seasons a valued member of the National Hockey League’s Central Scouting Bureau, Marcel Pronovost devoted his life to the pursuit of excellence in our sport,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. “We send condolences to Marcel’s family, his friends, the teams he served and the countless young players whose potential he recognized.”

Pronovost spent time coaching in the CHL, WHA and QMJHL. He also served as head coach of the Buffalo Sabres from October 1977 to December 1978 and had a brief run as an assistant coach with the Red Wings.

He moved to the NHL’s Central Scouting Bureau in 1985 and joined the Devils’ scouting staff in 1990. Pronovost, who was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1978, won three Stanley Cups as a member of the Devils’ front office.

Funeral arrangements were pending.

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