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Ex-Blackhawks star Pilote dies

(Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

(TSX / STATS) -- Former Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Pierre Pilote died on Saturday at the age of 85, the team announced.

Inducted into the Hockey of Hall of Fame in 1975, Pilote was a three-time Norris Trophy recipient as the NHL's top defenseman. He was a member of the 1961 Stanley Cup-winning Blackhawks and was named captain of the club the following year.

An eight-time All-Star, Pilote's iron-man streak of 367 consecutive games played spanned from 1956-1962.

"The Chicago Blackhawks offer our sincere condolences to the family of Pierre Pilote as we mourn his passing," the team said in a statement on Sunday. "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."

Commissioner Gary Bettman also added his condolences following the passing Pilote.

"A consistent, durable, dependable defender who enjoyed the offensive aspects of the position, Pierre Pilote was a team captain, an eight-time postseason All-Star and a three-time Norris Trophy winner," Bettman said in a statement. "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."

Pilote recorded 498 points (80 goals, 418 assists) during his 14-year career, with the initial 13 seasons being played with Chicago before his final one in 1968-89 with the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Blackhawks retired his No. 3 jersey in 2008.

"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," Pilote's family said in a statement. "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 No. 3 by the team."

Updated September 10, 2017

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