At the time of his retirement, Pierre Pilote was the second highest scoring defenceman in NHL history, so I’m surprised he wasn’t more celebrated during the decades that followed his outstanding career. While I have no memory of watching Pierre play, I’ve come to conclude that he kicked butt in the ’60s.
A three-time Norris Trophy winner as the league’s best defenceman in ’63, ’64 and ’65, Pierre finished runner-up for that award in ’62, ’66 and ’67. Plus, when his Black Hawks won the Stanley Cup in ’61, Pierre’s playoff performance was impressive. Then, in the fall of ’66, wunderkind Bobby Orr arrived and a short time later Pierre’s reputation as an exceptional offensive defenceman was suddenly seen as no big deal. I think that’s sad.