Bob Pulford

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Bob Pulford
Hockey Hall of Fame, 1991
Bob Pulford Maple Leafs Chex card.jpg
Born (1936-03-31) March 31, 1936 (age 78)
Newton Robinson, ON, CAN
Height 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight 188 lb (85 kg; 13 st 6 lb)
Position Forward
Shot Left
Played for Toronto Maple Leafs
Los Angeles Kings
Playing career 1956–1972

Robert Jesse Pulford (born March 31, 1936) is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey forward who played for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Los Angeles Kings in the National Hockey League. He has been a coach and executive for the Chicago Blackhawks for the past thirty years.

Playing career[edit]

Pulford played junior hockey for the Toronto Marlboros for three seasons from 1953 to 1956, winning two Memorial Cups under coach Turk Broda. He moved up to the Maple Leafs for the 1956–57 season and remained with the team for 14 seasons wearing jersey #20. Pulford was an important member of the Leaf teams that won four Stanley Cups in 1962-63-64-67. The Leafs traded him to the Los Angeles Kings on September 3, 1970, where he played two seasons and retired as a player in 1972.

Pulford became head coach of the Kings for the 1972–73 season and led the team for five years before becoming coach and general manager of the Chicago Blackhawks in 1977. As coach of the Kings, he helped Los Angeles go from being one of the worst defensive and penalty killing teams in the NHL to one of the best. He guided the Kings to their first playoff appearance in five years in 1974, and won the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year in the NHL in 1975. That season, the Kings amassed 105 points, still a club record through 2013. He also led the Kings to their first playoff series wins since 1969 when they defeated the Atlanta Flames in the first round of both the 1976 and 1977 NHL playoffs. Pulford left the Kings after the 1976–77 season after constant feuding with then owner Jack Kent Cooke. Pulford wanted to become General Manager as well as coach, or at least have a bigger role in player personnel decisions. Cooke however, often meddled in player personnel matters, and in the mid-70's, reverted to his old habits of trading promising young players and draft picks for veteran, past their prime former stars.

He served as coach for the Blackhawks on three separate occasions from 1977 to 1987. He was promoted to senior vice president in 1990, but took on the general manager's duties again from 1992 to 1997, from 1999 to 2000, and from 2003 to 2005. During his third stint as general manager, Pulford nominally doubled as head coach. However, Lorne Molleken remained the team's main operator on the bench, with Pulford as more or less a senior consultant.

In 7 seasons: 426 games as Hawks coach, Bob Pulford won 182, lost 176, and tied 68. His win percentage was .507 and he is ranked second behind Billy Reay in most regular season games won as Hawk coach.

With the series tied 1–1, Pulford scored the overtime game winner in game 3 of the 1967 Stanley Cup Finals against the Montreal Canadiens. The Montreal goalie was Rogie Vachon. Pulford later coached Vachon in Los Angeles as the Kings rose to prominence in the mid-1970s.

He won the Jack Adams Award for best coach in the NHL in 1975. Pulford was also honoured to be named head coach of Team USA during the 1976 Canada Cup tournament.

He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1991.

On October 11, 2007; Pulford was named an officer with the Wirtz Corporation and is no longer part of the day-to-day management of the Blackhawks.

His son-in-law is Dean Lombardi, a former assistant general manager for the Minnesota North Stars, former GM of the San Jose Sharks, and current president and general manager of the Los Angeles Kings since April 2006.

In 2012, Pulford was honoured by the Kings in a pregame ceremony; the team wore their purple and gold 1970s throwback uniforms in the game following this ceremony.

Career statistics[edit]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1954–55 Toronto Marlboros OHA 47 24 22 46 0
1955–56 Toronto Marlboros OHA 48 30 25 55 0
1956–57 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 65 11 11 22 32
1957–58 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 70 14 17 31 48
1958–59 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 70 23 14 37 53 12 4 4 8 8
1959–60 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 79 24 28 52 81 10 4 1 5 10
1960–61 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 40 11 18 29 41 5 0 0 0 8
1961–62 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 70 18 21 39 98 12 7 1 8 24
1962–63 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 70 19 25 44 49 10 2 5 7 14
1963–64 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 70 18 30 48 73 14 5 3 8 20
1964–65 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 65 19 29 39 46 6 1 1 2 16
1965–66 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 70 28 28 56 51 4 1 1 2 12
1966–67 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 67 17 28 45 28 12 1 10 11 12
1967–68 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 74 20 30 50 40
1968–69 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 71 11 23 34 20 4 0 0 0 2
1969–70 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 74 18 19 37 31
1970–71 Los Angeles Kings NHL 59 17 26 43 53
1971–72 Los Angeles Kings NHL 73 13 24 37 48
NHL totals 1079 281 362 643 792 89 25 26 51 126

Coaching record[edit]

Team Year Regular season Post season
G W L T Pts Division rank Result
LA 1972–73 78 31 36 11 73 6th in West Missed playoffs
LA 1973–74 78 33 33 12 78 3rd in West Lost in first round
LA 1974–75 80 42 17 21 105 2nd in Smythe Lost in first round
LA 1975–76 80 38 33 9 85 2nd in Smythe Lost in second round
LA 1976–77 80 34 31 15 83 2nd in Smythe Lost in second round
CHI 1977–78 80 32 29 19 83 1st in Norris Lost in first round
CHI 1978–79 80 29 36 15 73 1st in Norris Lost in first round
CHI 1981–82 28 12 14 2 (72) 4th in Norris Lost in Conf Champ
CHI 1984–85 27 16 7 4 (83) 2nd in Norris Lost in Conf Champ
CHI 1985–86 80 39 33 8 86 1st in Norris Lost in first round
CHI 1986–87 80 29 37 14 72 3rd in Norris Lost in first round
CHI 1999–2000 58 28 24 6 62 3rd in Central Missed playoffs
Total 829 363 330 136

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Ted Lindsay (1958)
NHLPA President
1967–72
Succeeded by
Ken Dryden
Preceded by
Larry Cahan
Los Angeles Kings captain
197173
Succeeded by
Terry Harper
Preceded by
Fred Glover
Head coach of the Los Angeles Kings
197277
Succeeded by
Ron Stewart
Preceded by
Bill White
Head coach of the Chicago Black Hawks
197779
Succeeded by
Eddie Johnston
Preceded by
Keith Magnuson
Head coach of the Chicago Black Hawks
1981–82
Succeeded by
Orval Tessier
Preceded by
Orval Tessier
Head coach of the Chicago Black Hawks/Blackhawks
198487
Succeeded by
Bob Murdoch
Preceded by
Lorne Molleken
Head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks
1999-2000
Succeeded by
Alpo Suhonen
Preceded by
Tommy Ivan
Mike Keenan
Bob Murray
Mike Smith
General Manager of the Chicago Black Hawks/Blackhawks
1977-90
1992-97
1999-2000
2003-05
Succeeded by
Mike Keenan
Bob Murray
Mike Smith
Dale Tallon