NHL legend Dean Prentice passes away at 87

4 novembre 2019
Dean Prentice is the stuff NHL legends are made of. A veteran of 22 NHL seasons, 1378 games with five NHL teams, and a story of scoring on a penalty shot with a broken back. Sadly, word has come that Prentice has passed away. He was 87-years-old.

Prentice began his career in 1953 with the New York Rangers. After close to 11 seasons with the Blueshirts, he would be traded to the Boston Bruins, where he would stay until 1966, when he was shipped to the Detroit Red Wings. He'd spend close to four seasons there before joining the Pittsburgh Pengiuns for two seasons, and then the Minnesota North Stars for another three before finally leaving the NHL during the 1973-74 season. Interestingly enough, he would come out of retirement at the age of 44 to play 28 games with the Traverse City Bays of the United States Hockey League in 1976.

While never winning a cup, Prentice did make it to the finals on one occassion, and managed to put up an impressive 860 points (391 goals, 469 assists) over 1378 NHL games. Perhaps his greatest moment came as a member of the Bruins in December of 1964, when he was awarded a penalty shot after being tripped by Chicago's Stan Makita on a breakaway. Prentice had crashed into the boards after the trip and was unconscious for a brief moment. He was going to allow someone else to take the penalty shot when Makita's teammate Bobby Hull taunted him with "Come on Dean, you are not going to let one of your dummy teammates take the penalty shot for you, are you?" Prentice took the shot and scored. He was then frozen to the bench and couldn't take another shift. He was carried to the dressing room on a stretcher and x-rays later revealed that he had a broken back.

In the book "100 Ranger Greats" released in 2009, Prentice was ranked number 37.

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