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Honoured Member of the Hockey Hall of Fame - Builders Category


Rudypilous

Rudolf Pilous


During a career than spanned more than four decades in coaching, managing, team ownership, and promotion, Rudy Pilous was a success everywhere he worked.


Pilous played with the junior Portage Terriers, who were captained by future NHL star Bryan Hextall in 1933-34. Then moved up to the senior ranks with the Selkirk Fishermen and Nelson Maple Leafs of the West Kootenay League. Also spent time with the Richmond Hawks in the England. The New York Rangers invited him to attend training camp in 1937 and after was assigned to the Blueshirts' top farm team, the New York Rovers.

Pilous never shied away from the truth. After requesting an honest opinion about his NHL potential from Rangers' bench boss Frank Boucher, was told he lacked big league speed. He next moved to St. Catharines to play on the senior team. After three full seasons in the OHA, he spent part of the 1941-42 season out of hockey, was itching to return to the game. After seeing the excitement generated by the Memorial Cup match up between Oshawa Generals and Winnipeg Monarchs at Maple Leafs Gardens, Pilous sought a junior franchise for St. Catharines. After much lobbying for league approval and investors, he was successful in putting the Garden City on the map.

Pilous returned to pro hockey in 1946 as a scout and assistant with the Buffalo Bisons of the American Hockey League. He then moved to Houston and turned around the fortunes of its United States Hockey League team, winning the championship in 1947-48. He was gaining a reputation as a trouble-shooter. His next accomplishment was taking the San Diego Skyhawks of the Pacific Coast League from last place to the league crown in 1949.

After his foray into minor pro hockey, Pilous returned to St. Catharines where there was a solid base of talent and in 1954 won the Memorial Cup with the TeePees. He was part owner as well as manager and was very content when the opportunity to coach in the NHL presented itself. The parent Chicago Black Hawks were in need of a competent individual to coach their improved team and take it to the next level in the late 1950s. Pilous was up to the challenge, guiding the Hawks to the Stanley Cup championship in 1961. All the while still managing the junior outfit, which he purchased, to the Memorial Cup championship in 1960. This dual success didn't last long as he sold the TeePees in 1961 and the Hawks opted to replace him with Billy Reay in 1963.

Pilous next moved back into minor pro hockey after he was hired by Punch Imlach to coach the Maple Leafs' affiliate Denver Invaders in the Western Hockey League, which transferred to Victoria the following season. He soon tired of the strife existing between Stafford Smythe and Imlach, and joined the Detroit Red Wings' junior team in Hamilton. In 1966, he was hired by the NHL expansion Oakland Seals as their first coach and general manager. The Seals' ownership was not patient and he was removed before they started playing in the NHL.

Pilous returned to Denver and helped start their new expansion team in the WHL. He coached and managed the Spurs for three seasons. Then he went home to Manitoba and worked with the junior Wheat Kings in Brandon. Where he was contacted by former Black Hawk Bobby Hull, who wanted an experienced person to coach the Winnipeg Jets of the new World Hockey Association. After being elevated to general manager, Pilous built a team that won the Avco Cup in 1976, 1978 and 1979. He left the Jets after John Ferguson was hired late in 1978 and joined the Detroit Red Wings as a scout. Pilous later scouted for Los Angeles and managed Toronto AHL farm team St. Catharines Saints from 1983 to 1986. He also coached in the popular Original Six oldtimers' circuit.

Career StatisticsEdit

PlayingEdit

    Regular Season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1932-33 Winnipeg Monarchs WJrHL 4 0 0 0 2 -- -- -- -- --
1933-34 Portage Terriers MJHL 14 5 6 11 6 2 0 0 0 0
1934-35 Selkirk Fishermen MSHL 2 0 0 0 2 -- -- -- -- --
Nelson Maple Leafs WKHL Statistics Unavailable -- -- -- -- --
1935-36 Nelson Maple Leafs WKHL 10 2 5 7 5
1936-37 Richmond Hawks ENL 8 3 11 16 -- -- -- -- --
1937-38 New York Rovers EAHL 56 2 10 12 58
1938-39 St. Catharines Chiefs OHASr 19 5 7 12 10 4 1 2 3 2
1939-40 St. Catharines Saints OHASr 24 19 20 39 25 8 1 5 6 4
1940-41 St. Catharines Saints OHASr 31 9 8 17 27 12 4 2 6 9
1941-42 St. Catharines Saints OHASr 12 0 3 3 4

CoachingEdit

    Regular Season   Playoffs
Season Team League Type GP W L T Pts Finish GP W L T Results
1943-44 St. Catharines Falcons OHA Head 26 15 9 2 32 1st Group 2 6 2 4 - Lost Semi Final
1944-45 St. Catharines Falcons OHA Head 20 12 8 0 24 2nd 5 1 4 - Lost Semi Final
1945-46 St. Catharines Falcons OHA Head 28 14 14 0 28 4th 4 1 3 - Lost Qtr Final
1948-49 San Diego Skyhawks PCHL Bench 70 32 35 3 67 3rd South 14 10 4 - Won League
1949-50 Louisville Blades USHL Head 70 22 39 9 53 6th DNQ
1950-51 St. Catharines TeePees OHA Head 54 23 24 7 53 6th 9 4 5 - Lost Semi Final
1951-52 St. Catharines TeePees OHA Head 54 30 23 1 61 5th 14 7 7 - Lost Final
1952-53 St. Catharines TeePees OHA Head 56 31 20 5 67 4th 3 0 3 - Lost Qtr Final
1953-54 St. Catharines TeePees OHA Head 59 42 15 2 86 1st 15 8 6 1 Won League
M-Cup Head - - - - - - 14 8 5 1 Won Canada
1954-55 St. Catharines TeePees OHA Head 49 32 15 2 66 1st 11 6 4 1 Lost Final
1955-56 St. Catharines TeePees OHA Head 48 28 17 3 59 1st 6 1 4 1 Lost Semi Final
1956-57 St. Catharines TeePees OHA Head 52 25 25 2 52 3rd 14 8 6 - Lost Final
1957-58 St. Catharines TeePees OHA Head 27 17 6 4 38 - -
Chicago Black Hawks NHL Head 35 13 21 1 27 5th DNQ
1958-59 Chicago Black Hawks NHL Head 70 28 29 13 69 3rd 6 2 4 - Lost Semi Final
1959-60 Chicago Black Hawks NHL Head 70 28 29 13 69 3rd 4 0 4 - Lost Semi Final
1960-61 Chicago Black Hawks NHL Head 70 29 24 17 75 3rd 12 8 4 - Won League
1961-62 Chicago Black Hawks NHL Head 70 31 26 13 75 3rd 12 6 6 - Lost Final
1962-63 Chicago Black Hawks NHL Head 70 32 21 17 81 2nd 6 2 4 - Lost Semi Final
1963-64 Denver Invaders WHL Head 70 44 23 3 91 1st 6 2 4 - Lost Semi Final
1964-65 Victoria Maple Leafs WHL Head 70 32 36 2 66 4th 12 5 7 - Lost Semi Final
1965-66 Hamilton Red Wings OHA Head 48 22 20 6 50 5th 5 0 3 2 Lost Qtr Final
1966-67 California Seals WHL Head 27 10 11 6 26 - -
1968-69 Denver Spurs WHL Head 74 23 44 7 53 6th DNQ
1969-70 Denver Spurs WHL Head 55 17 30 8 42 - -
1970-71 Denver Spurs WHL Head 60 23 26 11 57 4th 5 1 4 - Lost Semi Final
1971-72 Brandon Wheat Kings WCHL Head 68 35 33 0 70 3rd East 14 6 7 1 Lost Div Final
1972-73 Brandon Wheat Kings WCHL Head 68 29 30 9 67 4th East 6 2 4 - Lost Div Semi Final
1973-74 Brandon Wheat Kings WCHL Head 45 21 22 2 44 - -
1974-75 Winnipeg Jets WHA Head 65 34 26 5 0 3rd Can DNQ

ManagingEdit

Season Team League Position Finish Playoffs
1946-47 Buffalo Bisons AHL Assist. General Manager 2nd West Lost 2nd Round
1947-48 Houston Huskies USHL General Manager 1st South Won League
1948-49 San Diego Skyhawks PCHL General Manager 3rd South Won League
1950-51 St. Catharines TeePees OHA General Manager 6th Lost Semi Final
1951-52 St. Catharines TeePees OHA General Manager 5th Lost Final
1952-53 St. Catharines TeePees OHA General Manager 4th Lost Qtr Final
1953-54 St. Catharines TeePees OHA General Manager 1st Won League
M-Cup General Manager - Won Canada
1954-55 St. Catharines TeePees OHA General Manager 4th Lost Final
1955-56 St. Catharines TeePees OHA General Manager 4th Lost Semi Final
1956-57 St. Catharines TeePees OHA General Manager 3rd Lost Final
1957-58 St. Catharines TeePees OHA General Manager - -
1959-60 St. Catharines TeePees OHA General Manager / Owner 2nd Won League
M-Cup General Manager / Owner - Won Canada
1960-61 St. Catharines TeePees OHA General Manager / Owner 5th Lost Qtr Final
1963-64 Denver Invaders WHL General Manager 1st Lost Semi Final
1965-66 Hamilton Red Wings OHA General Manager 5th Lost Qtr Final
1966-67 California Seals WHL General Manager 4th Lost Semi Final
1967-68 Denver Spurs WHL General Manager - -
1968-69 Denver Spurs WHL General Manager 6th DNQ
1969-70 Denver Spurs WHL General Manager 6th DNQ
1970-71 Denver Spurs WHL General Manager 4th Lost Semi Final
1971-72 Brandon Wheat Kings WCJHL General Manager 3rd East Lost Div Final
1972-73 Brandon Wheat Kings WCHL General Manager 4th East Lost Div Semi Final
1973-74 Brandon Wheat Kings WCHL General Manager 5th East DNQ
1974-75 Winnipeg Jets WHA General Manager 3rd Can DNQ
1975-76 Winnipeg Jets WHA General Manager 1st Can Won League
1976-77 Winnipeg Jets WHA General Manager 2nd West Lost Final
1977-78 Winnipeg Jets WHA General Manager 1st Won League
1978-79 Winnipeg Jets WHA General Manager - -
1983-84 St. Catharines Saints AHL Director of Operations 3rd South Lost Div Semi Final
1984-85 St. Catharines Saints AHL Director of Operations 7th South DNQ
1985-86 St. Catharines Saints AHL Director of Operations 3rd South Lost Div Final

Awards & Achievements Edit

  • United States Hockey League Championship (1948)
  • Pacific Coast Hockey League Championship (1949)
  • Ontario Hockey Association Junior A Hockey Championship (1954 & 1960)
  • George Richardson Memorial Trophy Eastern Canada Junior A Hockey Championship (1954 & 1960)
  • Memorial Cup Canada Junior A Hockey Championship (1954 & 1960)
  • Stanley Cup National Hockey League Championship (1961)
  • Avco Cup World Hockey Association Championship (1976 & 1978)
  • Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame (1985)
  • Inducted into the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame (1985)
  • Inducted into the St. Catharines Sports Hall of Fame (1990)

External linksEdit

Chicago Blackhawks Head Coaches
Muldoon Stanley Lehman Gardiner Irvin Shaughnessy Tobin Iverson Matheson Gorman Loughlin Stewart Thompson Gottselig Conacher Goodfellow Abel Eddolls Ivan Pilous Reay White Pulford Johnston Magnuson Pulford Tessier Pulford Murdoch Keenan D. Sutter Hartsburg Graham Molleken Pulford Suhonen B. Sutter Yawney Savard
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