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He was a hard hitter and a great friend.

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Leo Boivin, a hockey legend who has never forgotten his Prescott roots, died on Saturday at the age of 90.

“It is with a heavy heart that we share in the passing of our local legend,” said a message from The Row, a group of hockey supporters who is a mainstay of the annual Prescott Midget Hockey Tournament, which said on Saturday afternoon. bears the name of Boivin.

The Prescott native, who played junior with the Inkerman Rockets, was an NHL defenseman from the early 1950s until 1970, most notably with the Boston Bruins for 12 years, when he was known as a dreaded adversary for the body and the physique. He started his NHL career with the Toronto Maple Leafs; after his stint in Boston, Boivin played for Detroit, Pittsburgh and Minnesota.

In all, he has played over 1,100 NHL games and scored 322 points.

After his retirement, he became a scout and was interim coach of the St. Louis Blues twice between the mid to late 1970s.

Boivin was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in September 1986, when the town of Prescott renamed its arena in his honor.

Recognizing Boivin’s passing and offering his condolences to his family, Prescott Mayor Brett Todd called the Hockey Hall of Fame “one of the best in Prescott who was a great friend of the community.” .

“He was the kind of guy who loved nothing more than hanging out at the rink, watching hockey and giving his time to the many kids who approached him,” added the mayor.

On Twitter Sunday morning, the Boston Bruins offered their thoughts and condolences to Boivin’s family and friends. The Bruins “mourn the passing” of their former team captain, who held the position from 1963 until he was transferred to Detroit in 1966.

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The Hockey Hall of Fame was “saddened” to learn of the death of Boivin, an “honored member”.

His Boston teammate Johnny Bucyk told nhl.com columnist Dave Stubbs that Boivin was a great player and a good friend.

“He knew how to throw hip checks from the toe while I was tossing them up front.” Bucyk said. “It’s sad to hear he’s gone.

The Row indicated that Boivin’s family have requested confidentiality at this time. A private mass was planned; the arrangements had not been announced at the time of going to press.

There was a moment of silence before the South Grenville Rangers Jr. C’s home game began at Cardinal on Saturday night.

“You’ve always seen him on the ice,” said team president Dennis Van Luit. “He was still smiling and waving and be the first to stop and talk to you.”

The annual midget hockey tournament in Prescott is named in honor of Boivin. He was a member of the Brockville and Area Sports Hall of Fame.


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