Marcel Pronovost, a Hockey Hall of Fame member who won the Stanley Cup five times as a player and three times as a scout, died on April 26. He was 84 years old.
Pronovost had 345 points in 1,206 games in 21 seasons as a defenseman with the Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs.
He won the Cup for the first time before he played a regular-season game. The Red Wings recalled him from their minor-league affiliate in Omaha during the 1950 Stanley Cup Playoffs to fill in when Red Kelly was moved from defense to forward to replace an injured Gordie Howe. Pronovost had one point in nine games as the Red Wings beat the Maple Leafs in the semifinals and the New York Rangers in the Cup Final.
Pronovost also was part of Cup championship teams with the Red Wings in 1952, 1954 and 1955. He never had more than the 11 goals and 32 points he had in 1958-59 but he made four consecutive NHL All-Star teams, including First Team in 1960 and 1961.
He was traded to the Maple Leafs in 1965 and was a key part in the Maple Leafs winning the Cup in 1967.
Pronovost retired in 1971 and went into coaching. He spent parts of two seasons as head coach of the Buffalo Sabres and parts of two others as an assistant coach with the Red Wings.
“He was just an all-round good guy,” said fellow Hall of Famer Red Kelly, who played with Pronovost both on the Red Wings and the Leafs to the Hockey News. “He played hockey. That was his life. He gave everything he had to it.”
Since 1990 he had been an Ontario-based scout for the New Jersey Devils, where he helped build Cup champions in 1995, 2000 and 2003.
“He understood the requirements to be a champion and the prerequisite humility necessary to go with the confidence,” said David Conte, Scouting Director of the Devils to the Hockey News.“There was no bravado, it was all substance. The respect he had for the game is almost lost today. Without getting to gushy about it, there’s a dignity to guys like Marcel Pronovost that I hope kids like Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel can aspire to.”