Rich Pilon

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Rich Pilon
Born (1968-04-30) April 30, 1968 (age 49)
Saskatoon, SK, Can
Height 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight 216 lb (98 kg; 15 st 6 lb)
Position Defence
Shot Left
Played for New York Islanders (1988–1999)
New York Rangers (1999–2001)
St. Louis Blues (2001)
NHL Draft 143rd overall, 1986
New York Islanders
Playing career 1988–2001

Richard Brian Pilon (born April 30, 1968 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) is a retired NHL ice hockey player. A stay-at-home defenceman, Pilon played for three teams during his 15-year NHL career, the New York Islanders, New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues, but is primarily recognized for his time with the Islanders.

NHL Career[edit]

The New York Islanders drafted him in the seventh round, 143rd overall, in the 1986 NHL Entry Draft.

Pilon made his debut in the 1988–89 NHL season, playing 62 games, recording 14 assists and 242 penalty minutes for the New York Islanders as a left shooting defenseman. He would play 10 seasons for the Islanders before being put on waivers by the team. He was then picked up on December 1, 1999, by the New York Rangers. Due to injury, he played parts of two seasons for the Rangers, before he was traded to the San Jose Sharks for a seventh round draft pick, days before he became an unrestricted free agent in 2001. He was then signed by the St. Louis Blues on July 10, 2001. He played eight games for the Blues before he suffered a broken left wrist in a game against the Rangers that subsequently ended his NHL career.

The Kevin Stevens Hit[edit]

On May 14, 1993, during game seven of the Patrick Division finals between the New York Islanders and the favored defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins not only saw one of the greatest upsets in NHL playoff history (with the Islanders' David Volek's overtime goal) but one of the worst freak accidents to ever occur on the ice.

Early in the first period, the puck went into the Islanders' corner. The Penguins' star power-forward, Kevin Stevens, skated in hard and attempted to hit Pilon who was battling for the puck, but instead was met by Pilon's visor which knocked Stevens unconscious in mid-air. The unprotected fall left Stevens to smash his face on the ice upon impact. Stevens laid motionless on the ice for several seconds with the referee and Penguins teammates concerned, a pool of blood forming around Stevens' head, before the team trainer attended to him. Stevens was carted off the ice in a stretcher with a neck brace. He required immediate surgery on his crushed face, injuries that ended up being a broken sinus bone and nose, as well as many facial lacerations and bruises. Stevens' face required over one-hundred stitches that left him unrecognizable, even to his own family, for the next few weeks until the swelling went down. Fortunately for Stevens, this injury did not end his career, and he played 10 more seasons in the NHL.

Consol Energy Center statue[edit]

Pilon and Jeff Norton are depicted as the two defenders Mario Lemieux skates between in a 4,700-pound bronze statue unveiled on 7 March 2012 at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.[1] He learned of his inclusion in the statue via text message on the day it was unveiled.

Personal life[edit]

Pilon currently resides in Saskatoon with his wife and two children where he works with a uranium mining company. After battling drugs and alcohol over the course of his career, Pilon has been sober for several years and volunteers in a program that uses hockey to encourage children ages eight to 14 to avoid substance abuse.[2]

Career statistics[edit]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1988-89 New York Islanders NHL 62 0 14 14 272
1989-90 New York Islanders NHL 14 0 2 2 31
1990-91 New York Islanders NHL 60 1 4 5 126
1991-92 New York Islanders NHL 65 1 6 7 183
1992-93 New York Islanders NHL 44 1 3 4 194 15 0 0 0 50
1993-94 New York Islanders NHL 28 1 4 5 75
1994-95 New York Islanders NHL 20 1 1 2 40
1995-96 New York Islanders NHL 27 0 3 3 72
1996-97 New York Islanders NHL 52 0 4 5 179
1997-98 New York Islanders NHL 76 0 7 7 291
1998-99 New York Islanders NHL 52 0 4 4 88
1999-00 New York Islanders NHL 9 0 2 2 34
1999-00 New York Rangers NHL 45 0 4 4 36
2000-01 New York Rangers NHL 69 2 9 11 175
2001-02 St. Louis Blues NHL 8 0 2 2 9
NHL totals 631 8 69 77 1745 15 0 0 0 50


  1. ^ "Mario Lemieux statue unveiled in Pittsburgh", USA Today. 7 March 2012.
  2. ^ "The Two Other Guys in that Magnificent Tribute", The Sports Network. 7 March 2012.

External links[edit]