The Blackhawks family is mourning the loss of Stanley Cup champion Pierre Pilote.
Pilote passed away Saturday night at the age of 85. The Blackhawks released a statement Sunday afternoon:
The Chicago Blackhawks offer our sincere condolences to the family of Pierre Pilote as we mourn his passing. Pierre was one of the most decorated defenseman in NHL history and was a valuable member of the 1961 Stanley Cup championship team. He will be remembered for his toughness, leadership and reliability on the ice—as proven by his captaincy and streak of 376 consecutive games played. We will forever be grateful for his incredible contribution to the Blackhawks and the game of hockey.
The legendary defenseman spent 13 of his 14 NHL seasons in Chicago, tallying 477 points in 821 games. He won the Norris Trophy three consecutive seasons (1963-1965) and his No. 3 is retired by the team.
Pilote's family also released a statement:
We are saddened with the passing of our father, but our family will always remember the Blackhawks organization for providing us with so many special moments. We are so proud of what our father accomplished in his professional career and thankful that his legacy will be preserved with the retirement of his #3 by the team.
The Hall of Famer made an impression on people on and off the ice.
"A consistent, durable, dependable defender who enjoyed the offensive aspects of the position, Pierre Pilote was a team captain, an eight-time post-season All-Star and a three-time Norris Trophy winner," Commissioner Bettman said. "'Mainstay of the Blackhawks' 1961 Stanley Cup champion, Pierre also was a man of humor and great dignity and a proud member of the Hockey Hall of Fame. The National Hockey League mourns Pierre's passing and sends heartfelt condolences to his family, teammates and many friends."