Former Capital Marcel Pronovost dies

Hall of Fame defenseman Marcel Pronovost, who won eight Stanley Cups as a player and a scout, passed away Sunday at age 84.

Early in his 24-year playing career, Pronovost played 34 games for the Indianapolis Capitals in 1950-51. He had nine goals and 23 assists from his defense position, earning a midseason callup to the parent Detroit Red Wings. Despite playing only a half-season with the Caps, his performance was so good, he was named an AHL All-Star that season.

Pronovost is one of several Hockey Hall of Fame members to have played for the Capitals, a list that includes Herb Lewis, Syd Howe, Terry Sawchuk, Harry Lumley, Glenn Hall, Ted Lindsay, Alex Delvecchio and Sid Abel. He was inducted in 1978. He is one of 17 members of the Hockey Hall of Fame to have played for, coached or owned an Indianapolis-based hockey team.

Known as one of the greatest two-way defensemen in the game’s history, Pronovost was named an NHL first or second-team All-Star four times in his career. He played 1,206 NHL games, with 88 goals, 257 assists and 851 PIM. He also had 31 points in 134 playoff games during an NHL career that began with the 1950 playoffs and lasted through 1969. His pro playing career, which began in 1947-48 in the newly-founded International Hockey League, continued through 1971, when he played the last of two seasons a player-coach with the Central Hockey League’s Tulsa Oilers. He remained in hockey as a coach and scout throughout the remainder of his life.

As a player, Pronovost won Stanley Cups with the Red Wings in 1950, 1952, 1954 and 1955, and another with the Maple Leafs in 1967. He also coached in several leagues, including the NHL, and joined the New Jersey Devils as a scout in 1990. He is credited with encouraging the Devils to draft Martin Brodeur, and had his name on the Stanley Cup three more times when the Devils won titles in 1995, 2000 and 2003. The 53-year spread is the longest span that one individual has had his name on the Stanley Cup.

Pronovost was born in Lac-a-la-Tortue, Quebec on June 15, 1930. In addition to playing for the Red Wings and Maple Leafs, he also coached the WHA’s Chicago Cougars and the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres and Detroit Red Wings, as well as teams in junior and minor pro hockey. He worked for the NHL’s Central Scouting Bureau before joining the Devils as a scout.