When you think of Great Men in NHL History from player, coach, and general manager the list may not start with the name Bob Pulford, but his name would be on the list that’s for sure.
Bob Pulford career began in 1956, and he was on the last Stanley Cup Championship Teams that hoisted the Cup in Toronto. Pulford played 14 seasons for the Maple Leafs winning 4 Stanley Cups and had one of the most famous overtime goals in Leafs history in the 67 Stanley Cup Final.
Pulford was a natural leader as he became the first president of the NHLPA, and then he went on to play for the LA Kings and coach them.
In 1977, he became the head coach and general manager of the Chicago Blackhawks, and it seemed like he traded the responsibilities of both jobs depending on what the franchise needed most for the next 30 years.
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When I was a kid it seemed like every time the Chicago Blackhawks fired a coach and Pulford replaced the coach with himself the Hawks were going to make it to the Conference Finals, and then they wouldn’t be able to get to the Stanley Cup Final.
Pulford only coached 433 games for the Chicago Blackhawks, but it felt like he was behind the bench for most of the 1980’s and oh yea that fun year in 1999-2000 which most Blackhawks fans try to forget.
Pulford was associated with Bill Wirtz and the tightwad spending of the entire franchise, which is why they always seemed like they were a player away from getting to the promised land.
Pulford as a GM had a good eye for talent and made a lot of great draft choices, and he was elected into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1991 after a great career as a player, coach, and GM.
Pulford never won a Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks, but he helped them go to the playoffs every year until the late 1990’s.
What are your thoughts of Pulford? Only 58 days left until the season kicks off!